Washington column for Jan. 28: Mother Nature

Amber ClatterbuckAmber Clatterbuck
Although Jonathan Clatterbuck spent the weekend shoveling snow, he found some play time with his daughter, Olivia, in the snow.

I hope that everyone survived the snowstorm that Mother Nature dumped on us last Friday going through Saturday. Wow did she dump a lot of snow. We had so much snow up my way, that I did not get out until Tuesday morning. There were drifts from 4 to 5 feet from the wind. My son, Jonathan, was in and out on Saturday, shoveling snow from the sides and top of the heating unit. On Sunday, he and his dad  shoveled the sidewalks and paths all day.

With the warmer temperatures that are forecast for the next several days, maybe the snow will disappear fast for us.

Over all, I can say that everybody in my home was prepared for this big snow. The only thing we can do is dig out and move on and keep in mind that spring is just around the corner. I am counting the days until spring arrives and we hear the birds chirping.


For all those early morning winter stargazers, guess what: If you love to look at the stars in the winter, as I do, we are going to be treated to a performance that hasn’t occurred since 2005. According to meteorologist Brian Lada, five of the planets that are located closest to Earth will be in alignment in the sky. Wow, what a view that will be.

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will all be visible just before dawn through Feb. 20.

The best time to view them will be an hour to an hour and a half before sunrise. If you decide to look at  them earlier than that, some of the planets will not be above the horizon. For me, Venus is the easiest planet to spot when the skies are clear. It is the second brightest object in the night sky, with the moon being the first.

Mercury, Venus and Satum are clustered over the southeastern horizon. Mars and Jupiter will be higher up in the sky to the south and southwest.

For those searching for Jupiter, be sure to look to the southwest and look for the brightest object, as Jupiter is the second brightest after Venus. Although Mars not as bright as Jupiter, it will have a red glow.

As the moon slides across the sky, getting closer to each of the five planets as it transitions from a full moon to a new moon, the last days of January and the first week of February may be the best time to view the alignment.

We will have another opportunity to view them from about Aug. 13 to Aug. 19, according to EarthSky.

Enjoy the view!

Democratic meeting

The Rappahannock County Democratic Committee meeting will be held at the County Library on Tuesday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome, and you don’t have to be a member to participate. If you have any questions, please contact Ross O’Donoghue at 540-987-8019.

Free clinic

Rappahannock Free Clinic is open at the Rappahannock County Health Department on Main Street in Washington on Wednesday, Feb.  3. Registration is from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call the Fauquier Free Clinic at 540-347-0394.

Date change

Due to the snow we had this past weekend, the Rappahannock Historical Society’s program Two Views of a World War II Japanese Internment Camp was canceled. The new date is Sunday, Feb. 7, at 2 p.m. at the Washington Town Hall with speaker Craig Rains, the son of the assistant project director of the internment camp in Arkansas where George Takei (“Star Trek”’s Mr. Sulu) and his family were detained. Craig will share his memories and images of life in the camp and his recent reconnection with Takei. Admission is $10, cash or check. For more information, call the Historical Society at 540-675-1163.

Relay meeting

Let’s paint Rappahannock County purple this year by volunteering or having a team for Rappahannock Relay for Life. Join them at Washington Baptist Church on Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. for their first meeting in 2016. Let’s stop this cancer that never sleeps and takes our loved ones. You can also register online at www.relayforlife.org/rappva, or call Phyllis Grogg at 540-364-2640 if you have any questions.

RAWL meeting new date

Due to the blizzard, the RAWL annual meeting that was to be held this week will now be on Monday, Feb. 22, at the Rappahannock County Library at 6:30 p.m.


Belated birthday wishes go out to my mother-in-law, Anna Clatterbuck. She celebrated her special day on Tuesday, Jan. 19. She called my attention for not putting it in the Washington column.  

Have a great week and keep on thinking spring is around the corner.

Amber ClatterbuckAmber Clatterbuck
Although Jonathan Clatterbuck spent the weekend shoveling snow, he found some play time with his daughter, Olivia, in the snow.
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