Archive for the ‘Night Skies’ Category

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Hard Frost

October 12, 2009
a little autumnal colour

a little autumnal colour

I’ve been meaning to get out and get some shots of the fall colour change. Between the weather, how I’ve been feeling and my sorta wacky hours that hasn’t happened  as yet. Hopefully the rain and wind don’t strip the trees of their leaves before I have a chance to do so. This shot is from a brief walk I took today to the local grocery store to pick up a pound of butter. Tonight the temperature is down to 0C / 32F so this will be our first hard (or ‘killing’) frost of the season. Meaning, that those trees which haven’t already started the colour change, will.

The days have gotten noticeably shorter and now I drive to and from work in the dark. Daylight Savings Time swings around at the end of the month and then it’ll be dark by dinnertime. Gack! Let the dread begin. It’s also time to buy some new tires for the car because the ones I have won’t do for the coming winter weather driving conditions. Out in Calgary where my son Russ lives they’ve had snow 3 times this past week…. heh, heh, heh.

Yeah, this is the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Lynda did up the whole enchilada – turkey w/dressing, smashed potatoes, turnip, corn, gravy, rolls, pumpkin pie for dessert, an apple crisp and some other yummy sort of cake. Lynda’s brother moved in with us a couple of weeks ago and had invited two of his daughters down for dinner from out-of-town, along with one of their husbands and their daughter. Anyway, that was quite a breakfast to get stuffed on before coming to work tonight….. and there is another dinner just like it waiting for me in the fridge here at work. Dunno if I can handle that or not. I was talking to Lynda before she headed for bed and she said we have no leftovers to worry about. All the food she prepared is gonzo…. but there are still a few dirty dishes she didn’t get to.

I spent over an hour on the phone earlier tonight talking with my daughter Sarah out in Vancouver. We hadn’t spoken for a little over a month so we had lots of catching up to do. Here’s a secret, something I bit my tongue about and didn’t share with her. It is my fervent wish that she doesn’t marry her fiance, D., Zeph’s father. Every time I get talking about him and learn something new of him I could scream and tear my hair out in handfuls. *shakes head* Argghh!!! Time will tell, I suppose, but I don’t have high hopes that he will ever change very significantly. Sarah deserves better; much, much better.

There are some cool things happening in the night sky this week – check it out HERE. When I got home yesterday morning the Big Dipper was standing upright on it’s handle and Venus was a beacon in the east.

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Enough About Me

September 19, 2009
time standing still

time standing still

…. and my problems. So sorry folks – I haven’t exactly been ‘on’ this week what with complaining about back pain, insomnia and fatigue. Sometimes life can get on the sucky side…… but all this too shall pass, eventually.

Shazzam!! Flipside of that is I have things to be grateful for, like:

I was up early this afternoon and got some things done and out of the way, then decided to take it easy and maybe snooze through a movie. Surfing the channels I found a show I actually wanted to see – a rarity in itself – the documentary ‘Johnny Cash’s America’. (2007) It was terrific and I think every / any one would find aspects about it they’d enjoy whether they’re a fan of Cash and his music or not. Lots of historic footage, interviews with family, fellow musicians and songwriters – it managed to give a full picture of the man during it’s 2 hour length. I was especially happy they spent about 15 minutes on the series of sessions he did with Rick Rubin producing for ‘American Recordings’ in the years leading up to Cash’s death. Here is the video that had me on the verge of tears at the end of the show – covering Nine Inch Nails ‘Hurt’.

Once our dogsitter arrived tonight I drove down to check on things at my townhouse. I had to ask my boarder to leave and his time is up at the end of next week. There has been some packing done and some clutter thinned out – a good sign. I’ll have some real gratitude about that whole thing when he has gone and the locks have been changed. Leaving there I headed uptown for a quick visit with Mom before coming to work. She’s happy to be moved, settled and satisfied she made the right decision to give up the house. If she’s happy, I’m happy. I think she made the right move, too – a nice condo in a quiet area.

The weather!?!? Amazing!! We have set a record for the longest period without rain for this time of year because of a big fat high pressure system that has been parked over us for 3 weeks. Beautiful!! It’s just what the farmers needed to finish the growing season after our late, long, cool and wet spring. There has only been a couple of days or nights with short periods of light overcast. It has made for the most excellent star gazing – amazingly clear conditions; no humidity to muddy the view. One of the guys here in tratment loaned me a couple of astronomy magazines he had brought with him; one of which included a sky map for the month. Cool; it’s helping me identify a lot more constellations. Here is a link for the coming week re: celestial events which can be viewed across Canada and the northern US states.

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/ataglance/59732092.html

It’s been a long week in part because Lynda has worked afternoon shift all week. Later today when I get up we will finally have some face time, T.G. Phone calls and notes just don’t cut it somehow, ya know? Once my work week is done Sunday morning we’ll have the rest of the day after I’ve slept and then attended an A.A. service committee meeting in the early afternoon. Everything is kicking back into gear following the summer down time / break.

I’ll have to get busy again with my camera because this one below is the last one in the media library. It was taken outside the wee country church where we attended the wedding a couple of weeks ago. The bell is inscribed with the donors name and dated 1920.

no way - it's not tolling for me!

no way - it's not tolling for me!

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Feeling Good, Feeling Alright!!

September 17, 2009

cell2 169

This was the view upon arriving home this morning of Venus and the ‘fingernail’ moon snoggling up in the eastern sky just before the dawn. Man, was I ever glad the worknight was over and I could climb immediately into bed. Tuesday I had no sleep – nada, zero – and really struggled to stay awake through last night. Actually, I was head down on the desk for about an hour and a half. It’s amazing really what 6 hours sleep can do for a body and mind. (Now if I can just get two days in a row… wouldn’t that be nice?)

Here is a companion shot to the one I posted last night, taken during the same drive to work. Imagine how good it might look if I was to actually stop the car & get out to shoot it??

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I like how at dusk the contours of the underside of the cloud are accented.

The music is here: LINK

shadowcast IV

shadowcast IV

Bonus shot: What do you see Sue?

BTW – 100th post here at Unmerited Gifts. Woot – Hoot!!

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Something a Little Different

August 14, 2009

Please feel free to join in the fun at Skywatch Friday and submit your own shots.

As for something different….. these next couple of shots were taken last week, on succeeding nights, of the full moon. (Once again  – these are cell phone shots which will explain the quality of the images.) In the first shot Jupiter is trailing the moon; 24 hours later Jupiter is leading their march across the sky. As I was driving home about dawn that 2nd morning the moon was setting close to the horizon and Jupiter had swung directly below it. Because they were so bright they were the last visible celestial objects in the sky.

Jupiter - Moon

Jupiter - Moon

Moon - Jupiter

Moon - Jupiter

That week presented a range of weather – sun, cloud, storms, high humidity – essentially if you didn’t like what was going on outside all you had to do was wait 15 minutes and it would have changed. One very humid morning I drove home through a heavy fog.

cell2 094

These last few days have seen the arrival ( finally) of full southern Ontario summer with a beautiful high pressure system bringing clear skies, high temps (mid 80’sF) and lower humidity. Wednesday was the first time this year I heard the loud buzzing whine of the cicada which I understand needs sustained temps over 80F to begin making it’s distinctive sound.

Hazy day

Hazy day

The view from my back door taken a few days ago when the humidity was still high.

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How Do You Spell ‘Relief’

August 9, 2009

Aaahhhh!!!!!! Much better now… thanks for asking. All I needed was about 8 hours of solid sleep to set me right. Funny how you can feel so differently when you’re rested as opposed to exhausted and sleep deprived.

It reminds me of the acronym H.A.L.T. which stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. If you’re feeling out of sorts and can pause and identify it’s cause ( which may be one or more of these 4, or other triggers ) make taking care of that your priority so you can get back on track more quickly. When you’re aware of the cause you are half way to the solution.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

The other thing that has made my night was a call from daughter Sarah from Vancouver. It had been some weeks since our last session so we had some serious catching up to do. That half hour spent talking was an elixir for my spirit.

azazazazazazazazazazazazazazazazazazazazazazazazazazazazazazazazazazazazazazaz

What does next week hold?? I know already that I won’t be straying very far from home or from Freedom’s side. On the plus side, I have some reading lined up. (Which is something I find difficult to do on nightshift – puts me at risk of falling asleep.) I’m intending to set up some daily practices and try to stick to them; do some reading; get out my art materials that have been languishing, unused; take some pictures even if they are mundane everyday subjects. Cruising the blogs I’ve found that even the mundane in one place can be an eye-opener elsewhere. I have a ton of work I could do at the computer especially downloading photos and getting them organized but Freedom will determine whether I get at that or not.

sosososososososososossosososososososososososososososossosososososossososo

**Freedom update** as promised. To save a few keystrokes here I’ll copy an email I sent to a friend last night., to whit:

Thanks for asking about Freedom. She is being so good it’s unbelievable, really. The incision is fine; she’s done her anti-biotics; still on an anti-inflammatory. Lynda has been swapping shifts with workmates in order that we have 24 hour coverage – one or the other of us is with her all the time. We’re still assisting her getting outside with the aid of blanket under her belly. She is just now starting to do some toe tapping and getting the feel of bearing a bit of weight on the leg. I think we’ll get in for a check-up early this coming week to get a read on how she’s doing.

We’re in the middle of a couple of low-pressure rainy days but things are supposed to clear by Monday night in time for the meteor showers. Mother Nature is putting on a show; don’t miss it!! Look north-east at about 6o degrees up and wait.

up where i'd like to be

up where i'd like to be

 

everything's coming up......

everything's coming up......

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Information Sharing

August 6, 2009

These last couple of nights have been low output ones…. feeling a little flat and sleep deprived. Last night I was a bit blue cuz there have been a couple of family events during the last week, and a couple coming up…. and there are literally hundreds or thousands of miles between me and where they are going on. Sometimes I wish I could gather my kids and their kids to me at will. C’est la vie; I’ll get over it. Friday would have been an opportunity to have some rare face-time with cousin BJ but drat! I’m working. Lucky BJ is off work for almost the entire month of August.

What I have been doing is diddling about following up on replies to emails I put out to blog-friends asking for a couple of bits of info. As per usual folks have been very accommodating to upping my knowledge with suggestions and straight goods info-wise. Lord, I like this wee blog community and people’s willingness to share what they know. Thanks Robin; thanks Stevo! I’m now registered at tineye.com.

There’s also been some background email follow-ups to blog comments that are tasty and heartening.

I might cobble together a post for Skywatch Friday – join in the fun at http://skyley.blogspot.com/.

Tonight I’ve watched as brilliant Jupiter chases the full moon across the southern sky. For northern latitudes see here: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/ataglance/ and here http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/highlights/52072127.html

More and hopefully better late tonight.

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Mondays – Addendum

July 21, 2009
Festival of Fire I

Festival of Fire I

 

Festival of Fire II

Festival of Fire II

 

Festival of Fire III + moon

Festival of Fire III + moon

 

Ta-Dahh!!! Got ’em.