Posts Tagged ‘planets’


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.


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??

cell2 156

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!!


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.


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

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

Tonight I’ve watched as brilliant Jupiter chases the full moon across the southern sky. For northern latitudes see here: and here

More and hopefully better late tonight.


Night Sky II

July 10, 2009

Late rising moon, one night past full

tracking across the southern sky

Jupiter trailing just behind


5 a.m.

June 23, 2009

In the pre-dawn skies on a clear quiet morning Venus, Mars and Jupiter are the last and most brilliant objects to be seen. Beautiful! Venus and Mars rising in the east; Jupiter due south at 10 o’clock.

Sky and Telescope’s ‘Week at a Glance’ link: has a section for the planets at the bottom of the page.