Merlin’s latest road trip destination was the sun, or rather, the annular solar eclipse May 20, 2012. Tracking Northern California weather in the path of totality from the Pacific Ocean landfall to Shasta and Tahoe, we packed our gear and headed north, sniffing out the best place to be when. Redding’s Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay presented a poetic site for great viewing, crossing the Sacramento River and bisecting the US midway between Mexico and Canada. Merlin joined the throngs of eclipse viewers as the moon slid across the edge of the sun. When the black circle of the moon popped into the center of the sun, a great roar of awe and appreciation rose from the bridge. As in ancient traditions, the clamor chased the sun-eater across the sky’s perfect circle. Staring up through our eye protection, we were held mesmerized watching Earth’s primal unchanging circle eclipsed. Another cheer arose as the black new moon popped out of the solar disk and disappeared. The perfect circle of the bright source of life on Earth was restored.
Merlin’s solar eclipse road trip field tested Planet Dog Eats treats. A responsibly active company that takes its fun seriously, Planet Dog makes Merlin’s favorite gear for on the road and at home. Merlin’s travel beds, collapsible water bowls, and hemp harness have logged thousands of miles. Ever the gracious dog ambassador, Merlin shares treats on road trips and with studio visitors. The new Chicken and Pumpkin Pot Pie is his preferred flavor.
Two weeks after the solar eclipse, we roused at 3am to observe the lunar eclipse, glimpsing the cool white night circle darkened behind wisps of fog. Twelve hours later the rare Transit of Venus began, giving us another opportunity to use our solar viewing safety shades. Realizing everyone watching around the planet would be gone before the next transit in 121 years sparked an appreciative shiver. Astronomical perspective makes the present more precious. From new moon to full moon, Venus crossing to summer solstice, it's been an especially exciting month of cosmic events.
Merlin’s favorite star, besides our local sun Sol, is Sirius, the Dog Star. Reappearing just before summer solstice, Sirius is the brightest star in the sky, blazing blue and bold in the summer night. Associated with dogs across time, Sirius gleams as the guardian eye of Orion’s great dog, Canis Major. In hot summer, Merlin waits for cool dark to take his evening walk. Transforming into a creature of the night, he slinks between shadows, sniffing, listening, slipping between the realms. Does he hear Orion whistle? Does Sirius call him home? Linking Planet Dog and Dog Star, we bark back the sun, grateful for life, light, and love at the height of summer.
We wish you short dark and long light of sweet dreams and inspired awakenings. And lots of celebratory biscuits along your cosmic orbit.