I went out on the morning of December 23 to look for Ursids. A cold front had just swept through, moving clouds away but not without strong winds. It was -10C, and the east-end looked favoured, so I chose Johnston road, a quiet place out past the village of Bourget. Todd Weeks introduced me to this location several years ago. It has decently dark skies for only a 25 minutes drive from my house. I quite enjoy the tranquility of this location and very rarely does a car go by.
This time, the sky was brightly lit by the nearly Full Moon but it was transparent enough that Ursa Minor could be seen in its entirety. I setup on the side of the road, and the wind was howling, but the thick forest behind me did a wonderful job blocking just about all of it. What makes this location unique are the trees acting as a wind shield and also hiding some of the city light pollution, but the other directions still feature excellent horizons.
Meteor activity was low. In fact, the entire first hour of observing had zero meteors. I cannot remember the last time that I had experienced such a long lull. At the end of this hour, I felt fatigue, so I called a break and went for a snooze. About 20 minutes later, I woke up more refreshed and I decided to try a second hour. I finally saw a few meteors! : ) The count was four sporadics and a single Ursid. There was certainly no indication of any unusual Ursids rates (although my session was several hours after the predicted enhanced rates).
December 22/23 2018, 07:35-10:00 UT (02:35-05:00 EST)
Location: Bourget, Ontario, Canada
(Long: -75.104° W; Lat: 45.434° N)
Anthelion (ANT) – 06:52 (103) +23
Monocerotids (MON) – 07:26 (112) +07
December Leonis Minorids (DLM) – 10:44 (161) +29
Coma Berenicids (COM) – 11:36 (174) +18
Ursids (URS) – 14:24 (216) +75
Quadrantids (QUA) – 14:56 (224) +53
07:35-08:38 UT (02:35-03:38 EST); 3/5 trans; F 1.00; LM 5.00; facing NE60 deg; teff 1.00 hr
Total meteors: None seen
09:00-10:00 UT (04:00-05:00 EST); 3/5 trans; F 1.00; LM 5.00; facing NE60 deg; teff 1.00 hr
URS: one: +4
Sporadics: four: +2(2); +3; +4
Total meteors: Five