I witnessed several interesting happenings today. As I was driving east on Rogers just before 4:00 PM to meet a friend for coffee I came to a line of cars waiting for the light at College Blvd. The seven or so cars ahead of me put me west of the intersection with Park St., where two more cars waited for entry onto Rogers. Just as the light turned green a police car with light ablaze rushed up behind the second of those cars on Park, and as it stopped two cops jumped out with weapons drawn and ran up to that car demanding that the occupant exit with hands raised. Immediately unmarked police cars pulled up and more police jumped out to aid in the arrest. The traffic ahead of me cleared at just that time, but not long enough for me to get through the light, so I was stuck there feeling very much in the line of fire should the suspect resist. Fortunately he chose to surrender without a fight, as I witnessed through my rear-view mirror.

Later this evening, at about 7:00 PM, I drove to Jefferson City to work on a programming project with Mitch. On the way I noticed that the moon shone interestingly on the clouds. At first I saw just wispy, high-level clouds, but a few minutes later I noticed an airplane’s vapor trail completely circling the moon. It seems as though the plane had flown in from the east, made a complete turn, and headed off towards the north-east, something like a 210° turn, with the trail crossing itself just to the east of the moon in the sky. This was spectacular enough, but then I saw that the vapor trail cast a shadow on the wispy clouds below it, so outside the white vapor trail was a ring of darkness in the clouds! Then, a minute later I looked again (I was driving 70 mph on Hwy 63 at the time, so I had to keep looking away to make sure I was still on the road) and saw that another vapor trail had come into view, this one a straight line going north and south. The wind must have pushed these trails into just that position to make the moonlight shine on them so that I could see them, as I never saw the planes that created them, and they appeared too suddenly to have been formed as I watched. The loop eventually passed under the moon, and so the dark shadow moved past and inside the loop. Quite an amazing scene. If I’d been sitting still I would have tried to get a photo of the sky on my phone, but it all seemed to pass too quickly for me to stop and take the shot.

Finally, on the way home from Jeff City at about 9:00 PM, about a mile south of Ashland I drove past a small red sports car parked awkwardly on the shoulder with great flames leaping from the engine compartment and licking at its windshield. Another car and a large SUV were parked behind it, and between those two vehicles some people milled about. I chose not to stop, as it seemed that the people standing around were in no immediate distress, and I saw no one inside the burning vehicle. I also worried that if the flames reached the gas tank of that car a tremendous explosion could result, and I’d prefer not to be around when that happened. Within moments I saw two police cars heading south on the highway towards the scene. Fire trucks probably dispatched from Ashland, though I never actually saw any myself.

So there you have it, quite an interesting day. I haven’t witnessed anything quite like any one of those events in some time, then suddenly all three happen in a matter of a few hours. I hope no one was hurt in the arrest or fire, and I hope some other people got to see the beautiful moonlit sky.

Ain’t life grand?

Have fun –