Thursday, January 7, 2021

Look Up In The Sky

And sometimes you'll see clouds. Only clouds.

Although there is lots of clear sky in the image below.

But behind that ribbon of clouds, just below center, are the planets Jupiter and Saturn. One day after their Great Conjunction. Which was completely clouded out for me.

That ribbon of clouds traveled across the sky along its length. Keeping the planets hidden.

Except for that one hole toward the right. A chance to see and photograph these solar system giants.

And in that moment, I kicked the tripod. And the moment passed. The photo op missed.

And now I'll have to wait 800 years for my next chance.

Watch this blog.

And keep looking up.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021


Prescient cover by the New Yorker, from October 2019.

I doubt they even knew how right they were.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Look Up in The Sky

And you'll see cool things.

Like this Solar Corona.

Often the Sun is bright enough to overwhelm the subtle colors but this display was visible to the naked eye. 

Hiding the sun behind the house helps keep the camera sensor from overloading.

And soon enough the clouds passed and the show was over. 

As that famous philosopher Ferris Bueller notes, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

So keep looking up. And Down. And all around.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Meanwhile, on the Other Side of the Yard ...

The same Christmas Eve storm that toppled our Willow Tree, led to the return of the driveway lake.

Not as extensive as some in the past, but still a nice little pond.

Even cooler when you stand on your head.

Look Up In The Sky

And you'll see cool things.

Ok, so maybe you won't really see this, although you'll see some of it.

The three bright stars forming a diagonal line across the upper part of the image are Orion's Belt. At the bottom is the Orion Nebula. Both the Belt and Nebula are visible to the naked eye.

Some of the other bits, including the Flame, Running Man, and Horsehead Nebulas require a telescope, or as here, a camera.

⭐️    🪐    🌕    🪐    ⭐️

I took this image in February 2012 at the Winter Star Party in the Florida Keys. And during a recent online meeting of my Astronomy Club, while looking for a different image to present, I stumbled upon this image and made a note to reprocess it. And so I did,

I hope you like it.

Keep looking up!

Friday, January 1, 2021

Fall Down Go Boom

Boom not included ... *

🌳  🌳  🌳

A Christmas miracle!

This was the second year in a row we found ourselves home for Christmas. Last year because I was unemployed for most of it. This because of the pandemic. And when I walked into the kitchen Christmas morning to fire up the coffee maker, something looked wrong out in the yard.

A bit more obvious when looking from the other side, toward the house. 

One of our Willow Trees had fallen down.

Fortunately parallel and not perpendicular to the house. That's the 'miracle' part.

It did hit the fence around the Fish Pond, but the fence held. Another miracle.

Now comes the hard part, putting it back up.

Ok, I'm being a little facetious here. But ...

We knew this tree was dying and planted a Tulip Poplar behind (from the house) it last year. But we had hoped the dead trunk would remain, to attract woodpeckers.    

I've already cut the top branches off, to where the trunk divides. So maybe, if I trim the tree just a little bit more, we can have the main trunk stand again. If not, maybe we'll turn it into a bench. Or a long platform bird feeder. Time will tell.

And I'll no doubt blog about it.


* If a tree falls in the yard and no one is awake to hear it, does it go boom?

Carnivorous Slug?

Ok, so who had Slug as the first critter to visit the dead deer?

You win. Stop by to claim your prize!

According to the interwebs, slugs are opportunistic eaters, and as such not adverse to consuming dead animals. Just another member of Mother Nature's Clean Up Crew.