Morning note…

Solar system distances
Solar system distances

I came across this image yesterday, and found it interesting and insightful.

We often focus on how big earth is, how far Mars is, how many times bigger than earth Jupiter is.

This image for me shows the real big thing…. how far everything even within the solar system is. What makes it really strike is when I see the inner 4 planets clustered around right next to the sun, and then compare the spaces between the outer 5 planets1.2

In other news… I got a real scare today. It sent my HR spiking by 100 beats in seconds, and made probably half of Surrey hear my voice.

Returning from our morning walk, we were walking up the Compton downs trail. We were still about 150m from the top when something spooked the boys.

Someone, in one of the Compton down bunglows, was working in their garden. We couldn’t see or hear them through the vegetation and the wooden fence. But we could see the action – a twig falling here, a tree moving there.

The boys got really spooked. Chewie ran a few steps and moved away from where the noise was coming from. Then he walked beside (behind) me rest of the way.

Dudley was the one who gave me a scare. He ran, full throttle, right up to the top, where the path joins a road. The path is hidden from the road till it suddenly appears and joins, and if Dudley ran up onto the road, an oncoming driver would have no time to react :((

I shouted at the top of my voice. Strong, deep-throated commands. Sharp commands. My heart rate rising all the time.

There was no point running. It may have triggered D’s flight response even more. And may have triggered Chewie as well.
And in any case, they’re both way faster than me, specially uphill on a muddy trail.

Thankfully, Dudley responded to my commands, and stopped. He was barely 5m from the road. He was shaking. And he was looking at the noise with trepidation. Yet he stopped.

Took a further few strong commands to get him to return down the trail to where we were stopped. He did!

Gave him, and Chewie a few calming rubs, and a kiss each on the forehead. Put them both back on the lead, and came back up the trail.

100m later, while my heart was still in my mouth, Dudley bear had already picked up a thick stick3, and was merrily trotting along.

I usually take the sticks away from them before crossing the road to civilisation (A31), but just this once, I let him carry it all the way home :D

Just adding a few photos of the boys. Will help calm me down if I come across this post later :)

  1. I’m firmly in the ‘Pluto is a planet’ club :) 
  2. To make it even more honest, and lonely: Realise that the items in the image are in a single line. In reality, they are in a three dimensional space. So, that empty space isn’t just between the planets, but all around us. Imagine a sphere the size of 40AU with just those tiny planets in there. I’m feeling too lonely to even share how tiny the solar system is within our galaxy, and our galaxy within the known universe. Back to my dogs! 
  3. Sticks are the love of his life. He loves sticks the way Chewie loves balls. The way I love… both of them? :) 

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