Today’s morning sky is crystal clear in Olympia. The bare trees of winter give me a sweeping view of Venus rising brightly in the east, Saturn high in the west with Leo, and Gemini farther down in the northwest. Another fine view into the solar system, galaxy and beyond. Always a great pleasure to see and understand exactly where I am.
If you want to know the what’s overhead, you can find a skymap here. You can customize it to your latitude and longitude. I recommend that you simply the information as much as possible. Moon, planets, big stars, constellation outlines and names will identify pretty much all you're likely to see without some good equipment. My sky map looks like this.
Olympia may have been clear but farther north was overcast. I know this from personal observation, having made the round trip to Sea-Tac, seeing Maggie on to her flight to Phoenix. On the return, crossing the Nisqually Basin just north of Olympia was especially pretty. The fog bank Maggie and I saw on the outbound trip, had settled across the Nisqually River's marshy lowlands. Shrouded in fog, the twin trusses of the river crossing were silhouetted in wholly different shapes by oncoming headlights. I pulled off I-5 at Niisqually Wildlife Refuge to look at the sky. Gate was locked, only place to park was bathed in light and still foggy. I turned back onto the convenient ramp and continued home. A few minutes later, the view from the balcony was more than enough reward for any missed opportunity.
Short geography lesson. A large portion of the Nisqually Basin is Fort Lewis which lies between Tacoma and Olympia. The fort keeps the area mostly empty. I'm pretty sure I trained somewhere in those wetlands. The National Wildlife refuge preserves much of the Nisqually delta between the fort and the sound. Driving into the basin from the south on I-5 offers a striking view across the Nisqually delta into Puget Sound.
Traffic report: Easy round trip not too far ahead of the morning trek into Seattle from the nether parts of South Pugetopolis. I saw the headlights streaming north by 5:30 as I headed back. Much less traffic traveling south. The Fort Lewis exits were backed up like shopping mall exits on the last weekend shopping day before Christmas. Business is good, I guess.