Sunday, September 5, 2010

Meditation Garden

Our neighbor, Ray Yeager, is one of the driving forces behind Sky's the Limit, an observatory and nature center being developed in 29 Palms. A couple of weeks ago we drove out to the site to view the just-completed Meditation Garden, designed by Ray. That big boulder on the left came from the property of our neighbor across the street!

Here are Ray and his wife Shirley, standing in front of the garden. It's a Zen kind of garden where you sit on benches alongside and contemplate it. The garden backs directly up to the boundary of Joshua Tree National Park--see the boundary marker at right. There will be a grand opening event for the garden towards the end of September.

Sky's the Limit also has an orrery under construction. It's a model of the solar system (on a scale of 20 billion to one!) that shows the relative positions and motions of the planets. Those concrete disks on the ground are planet paths. The black buckets represent the planets themselves (the biggest bucket is the sun). When the orrery is completed, the marker for each planet will be repositioned once or twice a week. Not only that, this orrery is landscaped with ups and downs to show the inclination (tilt) of each planet's orbit.