Thursday, February 11, 2016

Flight Lanes

The plane looks small and insignificant.

The effects can be large and significant.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Reality Check

The garden this morning.

Not much color. And it is still snowing.

That groundhog is a liar.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Snow Day ...

... NOT!

With the forecast calling for several inches of snow overnight I thought I'd take a break and present a bit of color, in the form of images from our garden last summer. Enjoy!

Even the aphids add a bit of color.

I hope you enjoyed this reminder of what's to come.

Now we return to our previously scheduled snow storm, 
already in progress.

Wolf Tree

On my drive to work I pass by this field each morning.

And occasionally photo ops present themselves.

Interesting sunrise colors or wisps of fog.

Of course, this never happens on a weekend morning when I could setup and do justice to the scene.

There are just so many reasons to prefer not working ...

Monday, February 8, 2016


Below ...

While out and about in the yard today I spotted this. Ice, with a layer of air beneath it, exhibiting colors. The colors are only apparent when viewed through a polarizer, such as the sunglasses I was wearing. And that I put in front of the lens of my iPhone to take this shot.

By the time I was able to get inside the house, grab my DSLR, put the polarizing filter on the lens, and get back outside the original ice had melted. But as you can see above, there was more ice. And the sun was just hitting it. And the colors were quite nice.

And they varied with the angle between the lens and the ice. Above we see the dominant hue is yellow.

Now it is purple.

And finally green. Very cool (physics is fun!).

The key to the colors, as can be learned a the wonderful Atmospheric Optics site, is the layer of air beneath the ice. As it is the reflection of the light at the ice-air interface that leads to the colors, via the phenomena of "birefringence".

... and Above

When I looked up instead of down I saw a 22ยบ halo around the sun. Formed by the ice crystals that make up the clouds.

And here we have an image of both halo above and the ice (bottom edge, center) below.

The moral of the story is to keep one eye looking up and one eye looking down. Or just look around a lot. That's what I do.

Sunday, February 7, 2016


After several days up in the tree, the drone has been recovered.

It took a step ladder, a 40 foot telescoping flag pole, and shop vac extension tubes to do so. But the drone returned to earth seemingly no worse for its ordeal.

While in flight (and entangled) I did manage to trigger a few photos before the battery died.

Here is the view from the tree.

And a view from a happier part of the flight.

Over the parking area, looking at the garage, with solar cell array, and the back garden. Note that it has been one week since the blizzard and the back of the garden is snow free.

I know, not the best images. You'd think a $60 drone would have a better camera, right? (I'm already looking at upgrades ...)

I've recharged the battery and tested the craft and it appears to be in fine working order. It helped that on the way down it landed first in another set of branches. And since it was in a willow tree the branches cushioned the fall. I was then able to knock it free a second time and it landed right side up on the (snow free!) ground.

The next flight will be from a tree free local park.

Window Birding ...

... with Max.

It amazes me that these birds, here an American Goldfinch and Pine Siskin, have no fear of the cat just inches away.

Nor it seems, of me and my iPhone. This siskin briefly looked, no doubt because of the flash, and then went back to the seeds.