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September 1, 2002

Yesterday I spent all day at Salsta borg: an edifice built, probably, at about 400AD and used, probably, as a defence structure. Now it is mostly a mound of large cobblestones, but quite magnificent once you get close to it, and we used it as setting for an outdoor party. After 6 weeks of no rain at all (and I mean none at all!), yesterday brought a change in weather, with a lot of wind and some scattered showers in the afternoon. However, towards late evening the wind calmed and the sky was free of clouds and brilliant with stars. I lay for half an hour just looking up at the sky; the fortress is on a hill surrounded by forest, and there is no man-made light for miles around. We had lit a few fires and had torches around the perimeter of the fortress, but the light from them was rather unintrusive and allowed me to gaze into as wonderful a starry sky as I have ever seen.

Satellites wandered over the sky—I saw one about every five minutes or so—and I counted to four shooting stars, three of them in less than a minute. It was quite, quite wondrous, and my words come nowhere close to describing it.

But the changing weather and the evenings being dark enough to see all those stars make it clear that autumn is here. And tomorrow it’s back to work.

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