Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Tiny Turtle

While touring the gardens at Suningive at Whitesbog Patty spotted this little fellow.

A fellow visitor to the gardens. Or perhaps a resident.

The size of a 50¢ piece and showing no fear of us giant humans, wandering about on turtle business.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Yet Another ...

American Woodcock
We saw four of these in our yard this evening. And heard perhaps a couple more. Flying about, peenting, and one just poking its bill into the ground looking for worms.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Another Sign ...

First flower of the year.

The shadow creeps across the dial ...

... enjoy it while you can ...

... it will be time for yard work soon enough. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015


Remember this post: And The Clouds Parted?

(If you do you've been reading this blog for a long time! Thanks.)

Well the featured image is now part of an Optics Picture Of The Day.

But you knew that right? Since you are now visiting the OPOD on a regular basis. And if you aren't then book mark it right now!

And for those keeping score at home, I'm up to 45 minutes.

And here are the two images featured in this OPOD.

Diamond Ring and Shadow Bands

Diamond Ring and Corona

The first at the start of totality and the second at the end.

And So It Begins ...

The first warbler of the spring to visit our yard.

Despite the fact that we live (just) within the boundaries of the Pinelands National Reserve, we don't have many pines on our property. So this guy probably won't hang around. No doubt stopping by just to refuel.


Officially it is spring in these parts. And on the very first day of the season we enjoyed five inches of snow.

Sundial of the Seasons is the wonderfully evocative title of Hal Borland's collection of NY Times columns on the natural world. An apt description of the rhythm of life. We want winter to be over. We want spring to be here with warmth, with flowers, with singing birds and leaves on the trees. And we want it now.

We'll get what we want. But it will be on Earth's schedule, not ours. So relax. Sit back with a cup of your favorite beverage at your favorite window and watch the world wake up from winter. And enjoy the world at the pace of your ancestors.

Look, Down on the Ground

Color and optical phenomena are all around us. But most folks never notice them.

I almost didn't notice this one. As can be seen in the two images above, the colors are subtle. But as I'm always on the lookout for such things I tend to notice these subtitles. Too often they turn out to be wishful thinking on my part. Wanting an effect to be that just isn't.

But not this time.

It helped that a fellow hiker had a different viewpoint and that his angle made the colors much more vibrant. Promoting me to take a second look.

This is an air bubble under the ice and above the water, or between two layers of ice. You can see by its changing shape that it is moving under top ice sheet. And notice the water drops under the top layer.

It is not clear what is causing the colors. Dr. Les Cowley of the go to site for this type of phenomena, Atmospheric Optics, suggested two possibilities, both forms of thin-film interference. The first, and the one I thought it might have been, is birefringence

The second is an effect that gives rise to the colors in soap bubbles. This one certainly seems more similar to my images. Whatever caused it I still think it is pretty cool that I got to see it.

Keep looking down!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Cute Bandits

They're back!

Peek ...

... a ...

... Boo!

We had two of the critters eating the peanut butter we put out for the birds. And for the opossums.

They scraped the stumps clean. And then they were off.