Strange Phenomena

Red clouds and phantom dogs. Yes, you read right. We've had some weird things happen since the year turned.

Twice this weekend my son and I have felt a dog jump up on the bed behind us while watching TV, but there's no dog there. Now of course it could be the springs of our 1984-model bed acting up, or just our imaginations. Aah, maybe it's the ghost of my lapdog Spinney, who died on 1 August. She was a total comfort-monger, always up on the bed or in a lap if she could get away with it. It's just really strange to feel that familiar "jump, 3 steps", and look or reach around - yet nothing's there!

On Saturday afternoon we were lying on the self-same bed, watching clouds go past the big window (a good excuse to be horizontal, and perhaps have a short nap when no-one's looking). Suddenly there was a series of completely red clouds - like you'd find at late sunset - only this was 2 in the afternoon! All the other clouds were white or grey, yet these were red, and dark pink. We have no clue why. They lasted about an hour before plain white ones started coming by again. It may have been leftover fireworks smoke from the previous night, only the gale-force wind was carrying them from inland where no fireworks had happened. We tried to get a photo of them, but the colour didn't come out as we saw it.

It's been a pretty strange year so far!

Weirdest thing in 2004? Well, we were driving home late one night from a church music practice, and in the middle of the suburbs something large and pitch-black ran across the road in front of us. It looked like a panther or puma, long and lean and about knee-high, complete with that little "hair knob" on the end of the tail that cat types often have. Both of us saw it - it wasn't a figment of my imagination. But when we spoke to a local nature reserve guy later he looked at us like we were nuts. There used to be leopards here about 100 years ago, but they've long since died out. No other similar beasts exist here. And yet, one of our campus residents is convinced there's a big cat around. He's seen the tracks... There are a number of green strips, places held wild, among the suburbs. They border a mountain range and uninhabited regions. Who knows what's living in them!