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Night vision

—June 2, 2021

I can set my iPad for auto-dimming with Night Shift. I can ease my eyes with Dark Mode. Some apps have a Dark Theme. I can tell the iPad how quickly to Auto-darken or go into Sleep Mode. Ain’t automation wunnerful?

In the 70s darkness ruled. I passed a rise after Algodones and Albuquerque slipped from view. Narry a car showed. Then 37 miles from Santa Fe was the Budaghers post.

Past another rise, my lone lights showed the stripes until I reached the top of La Bajada. The dark distant foothills held a Santa Fe jewel.

Now a traffic stream lights the path, and Budaghers is no more. From atop La Bajada I see Santa Fe’s vast glow. Darkness dethroned: Santa Fe has been fruitful and multiplied.

The night is dead. Long live the light.

But not to worry. Santa Fe has a new street lighting plan. Santa Fe wants to be a Dark Sky Community. This means new street lights—more energy efficient—shielded so less light escapes into the night sky.

The lights will also be dimmable, though there’s nothing in the plan to say whether dimming equipment will be purchased, much less used.

So the night skies will get less of the street lights’ glare. It’ll be saved for where it’s most needed: our eyes. And as I try to look up through shielded lights toward the Milky Way, shooting stars, planets, and a passing space station, I’ll have night vision.

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