Surfing at Sunset

Last evening, I saw a bit of color in the sky.  It wasn’t spectacular, but it looked just right for my purpose.  I wanted to test the automatic settings on my new camera.  I had worked enough with the point-and-shoot unit that I knew how to get it to do what I wanted.  Would the new one work as well?

The following shots are straight from the camera.  I only resized the images, no cropping and no other processing.

A wide-angle shot captures the context.

A wide-angle shot captures the context

Before I clicked, the display indicated “Strong Back Light.”  To my surprise the shutter activated twice on this shot.  Then the screen said the camera was processing.  What you see above is what came out.

I zoomed in to capture the sunset part of the scene.  I expected to see more color.

A larger percentage of sky left the foreground darker

A larger percentage of sky left the foreground darker

There is one part of the second picture that looked interesting.  To look closer, I zoomed in yet again.

Looks almost like a surfer

Looks almost like a surfer

In two minutes, I had concluded my experiments with satisfaction.  One more done with many, many more to go.

Good Friday

Today, most of the Christian world observes Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.  His final words are translated thus: “It is finished.”  The Greek word is “tetelestai.”  That word is a term of commerce that was used to indicate that a debt had been paid.  Today, we would be more likely to use “Paid in Full.”  Do enjoy the day.

Posted in sky

On Wheels

Sylvia and a few other women took the children roller skating last night.  And . . .



Called from the meeting
Sylvia on Roller skates
Fell upon her wrist

Not really my doctor.

Not really her doctor.

Help Sought

Emergency Room
This night it is filled with folks
Each with their own need

The fall resulted in a distal radius fracture.  In other words, she broke her wrist.  She’s doing well, but the next six weeks should be interesting.

Red Tail on Power Pole




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Wandering Mind

Do you remember the radio program, X Minus One?  It was, in their own words:

. . . Adventures in which you will live in a million could-be years on a thousand maybe worlds.

I really liked that program, but they don’t do that on radio these days.  That genre doesn’t do as well (for me) on a screen–be it big or little.

Are modern minds being limited and imagination stifled?  I hope not.

Free-ranging I go


My mind wanders far,
Time, space impose no limits,

Moon at First Quarter

Last Friday the moon was at first quarter.  I tried to get a better image with my new camera.  It was better, but not yet what I want.

Moon at 1st quarter - 3/27/'15

Moon at 1st quarter – 3/27/’15

The resulting image was improved with thanks to PhotoShop Elements 8.  I have since discovered something (read part of the manual) that should work better.  I’ll have to try that soon.  I’d just like to have a clear night that’s not so icy cold.

Posted in sky

A Mind Walk

120606aObligatory post of an outdoor scene (my pic from another time)

I was in a meeting recently, and from where I sat I could look out a window.  I tried to stay alert and attentive, but my mind went for a walk.  I tried to get it back, but once again it strayed.  My third attempt was also an exercise in futility.  Then the wayward one spoke clearly to me

The Sun Calls

Brightly the sun shines

Inviting me to come, play

But I’m trapped indoors.

Has this ever happened to you?

Till, the Smell Diminishes

Yesterday, I posted an animated gif of the neighbor applying liquid bovine stuff to the field behind our house.  The yellow house in the background is where neighbors, Curt and Meghan, live.  On FB, Meghan posted the comment that she hoped the reason the field looked so brown was that it had recently been tilled.  It had.  Less than 24 hours after applying the fertilizer, the neighbor was tilling it under.  That should protect and preserve the precious resource.

Heave ho and under it goes

Heave ho and under it goes

I find it interesting that the farmer plants corn.  At harvest time he chops it up and hauls it to storage.  That corn will feed his cattle for the next year.  The solid waste from the cattle is spread on the field the next spring.  Thus continues a cycle.  (Or is it a recycle?)

Of course the farmer doesn’t grow corn here every year.  He alternates corn and soy beans.  (Does that make it a bi-cycle?)

The field was tilled on Tuesday, and that night we had rain.  It [for the most part] washed the air clean.

You can avoid a few hours of seemingly unpleasant odors by living in suburbia or the city.  I wouldn’t want to miss all of the goodness of this rural setting.  As a farmer friend says, “That, Chuck, is the smell of money.”  I would add that is also an essential step in bringing good things to your dinner table and mine.

The Poo Flew


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Lunar Lag

You’ve probably noticed that the moon rises and sets later from one day (or night) to the next.  I know it’s about 50 minutes by the clock, but what does that translate to in space?  I had the chance to get an idea with two pictures.

The first I took on Saturday night.  There was Venus and the moon hanging in the western sky.

Saturday after sunset

Saturday after sunset — Will Venus catch the moon?

I was hoping for a cloudless Sunday evening.  I wanted to compare the positions of Venus and the moon.  How much closer would they be?

Sunday as Venus and the moon go hand-in-hand

Sunday as Venus and the moon go hand-in-hand

In the second shot, the moon was so brilliant that it “bloomed.”  It was only the second evening since the new moon, and only a tiny crescent was illuminated.  Against a very dark sky it was too much contrast.

Here’s a fully zoomed-in shot of Sunday night’s moon.  I only resized this shot and made no other changes.


The camera does not handle the very high contrast all that well.  Perhaps there’s a mode to help with that?  I still have much to learn.  (In many ways.)

Posted in sky

The “Wow” Factor

When Sylvia told me that she would be taking her camera to Florida, I felt the time had come to look into a DSLR.  We’ve been very happy with her Lumix point-and-shoot model, so I looked there first.  When I had narrowed my search, the DMC-FZ70 rose to the top of the list.

I compared and read reviews.  It took time, but it was worth the investment.  I placed my order and then waited.

One of the first things that I did with camera in hand was to check out the 60 to 1 zoom range.  Can you believe 20mm to 1200mm in a single lens?  I had to see for myself.

I'm over 2000 feet from this hunting blind.

I’m over 2000 feet from this hunting blind.

A hunting blind made a good target.  They said you couldn’t hand hold a shot that was fully zoomed.  Perhaps not free hand, but I used a window sill and frame to provide two points of stability.  The lens resting lightly against the window glass provided a third.  The image stability algorithm is awesome!

Next, I zoomed out a bit to capture the surrounding scene.

Even here you can see a great zoom range.

Even here you can see a great zoom range.

Finally, I zoomed to a full-wide shot.  Can you see the hunting blind?

I can't see it either, but I know it's there center frame

I can’t see it either, but I know it’s there center frame

When folk sing the praises of Spring, it is not this part of the season that they celebrate.  I call it astronomical spring.  The real thing, at least around here, begins sometime next month.