The Galwegians-August 2022

180 people attended the Strawberry Supper, held at the Galway Hall on July 2nd. It was good to see so many supporters return to our Hall again. A huge thank-you goes out to all our volunteers for making this first fundraiser after COVID-19 a success. The new, two-sitting format, using reservations, seemed to work very well.

Fingers crossed, the next fundraiser will be held on Saturday, November 5th. This will be our Turkey Supper. COVID-19 cases are on the rise again this summer. We are currently in the seventh wave. Apparently, someone is still doing the counting. Here’s hoping that the Galway Hall will be able to have this event without restrictions.

It is also good to see other local events up and running as well. The Farmer’s Market is open every Saturday until Thanksgiving from 9 am until 2 pm at the Austin Sawmill Park.  The Kinmount Railway Station and the Kinmount Heritage Centre are open Saturdays from 9 am until 3 pm. Every Thursday night in August, at 6:30 pm, there is Music in the Park. The Kinmount Fair is running Labour Day Weekend. There are many events to safely partake in locally this month.

Astronomically, August has the potential to be spectacular. The Milky Way is a “barred spiral galaxy” of starlight and dust containing 100 to 400 billion stars. One is to imagine a disk with spiral arms reaching out from the centre. The Orion Arm is one of these spiral arms. This is where the Earth, the Sun, and its planets are located.

The Orion Arm lies about two-thirds of the way from the centre of the Milky Way Galaxy. Here in Galway, we have little trouble seeing the Milky Way in its entire splendor on every clear, moonless night in August. Although the Milky Way is visible worldwide, many people have never seen it because of the increase in light pollution over the past century. 

On August 12th, there is a full moon and the last super moon of 2022. This is known as the ‘Sturgeon Moon’. It is also called the ‘Green Corn Moon’ or the ‘Grain Moon’.

The Perseid Meteor Shower is one of the best showers of the year. Its peak is from August 11th until August 13th. This is an annual event in August. Earth encounters debris left behind by the Comet Swift-Tuttle which was discovered in 1862.

On August 14th, Saturn at Opposition makes it as bright as it will be because the sun is shining upon it. On August 29th, Mercury will be at its highest point above the horizon in the western sky, just after sunset. 

The loons of Clear Bay were unsuccessful hatching their eggs. There are many possible reasons. For the third straight year, an intruder loon appeared during the nesting. This year’s chases appeared to last longer and seemed to be more intense than the previous ones. Other reasons may have been the cooler than normal temperatures, higher water levels, delayed mating season, and/or predators.

There have been a few accounts of Great Blue Herons being spotted in less than usual locations like gardens, walkways, and amongst shrubbery. One usually pictures this stately bird along shorelines, creeks, marshes, and riverbanks, looking for aquatic delicacies. Believe it or not, the heron’s diet does include small mammals- like chipmunks! The one observer watched a heron nail a chipmunk along their stone wall, hit it against the rock, and swallow it whole! Swallowing their food whole is what herons do.

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