Chasing Fireflies

June 21, 2015 § Leave a comment

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one of the joys of a June evening… {click the image for a larger view}

Lakeside Daisy

May 10, 2015 § Leave a comment

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For Mother’s Day, my wife and I have a tradition of going to the Lakeside Daisy Preserve on Ohio’s Marblehead peninsula. Lakeside Daisies are on the federal list of endangered species and, by some accounts, the Marblehead preserve is the only naturally occurring population in the United States.

This photograph above shows the flowers growing up from a lush green carpet of vegetation but the preserve is situated on an old limestone quarry and the soil is poor. The photograph below is perhaps more typical.

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Naturally Occurring Emoticons

May 9, 2015 § Leave a comment

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Comet Lovejoy Continues

February 24, 2015 § 2 Comments

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We ventured outside last night to take another look at Comet Lovejoy, C/2014 Q2.  It is easy to find in binoculars just to the west of the Lazy W asterism of Cassiopeia in the northwest sky.  You can see it more easily by looking for the fuzzy turquoise spot just to the left of center in the photograph.  I can almost imagine a wisp of dust issuing up and slightly to right from it {but it could be just my imagination :-) }

When there is a visible comet in the sky we are compelled to go out and appreciate its visit as it tracks across the sky…even on a brutally cold night {-5 º F last night, -13 º F this morning}.

Recurring Questions

February 11, 2015 § 2 Comments

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It is February, so again I must ask the still unresolved question: “How can the longest month have the fewest number of days?”

Chasing Shadows

February 8, 2015 § Leave a comment

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Winter is a hard time for those of us who chase shadows. Starting around the autumnal cross-quarter, in our part of the country the sky becomes overcast with a featureless gray cloud stretching from horizon to horizon that casts our whole world into a shadow. Our northern midlatitude location means that increasingly long portions of our day fall into the shadow of our own earth, which we call night. Our midlatitude sun, being ever lower in the southern sky, casts longer and weaker shadows on the rare days that it makes a true appearance. Shadows are everywhere but so hard to find.

Then around the winter cross-quarter, a glimmer of hope returns to chasers of shadows. Slowly we notice that the daylight hours have increased and that the shade of the overcast has lightened. The sun, which we can now sometimes see as a bright spot in the overcast sky, is a little higher in the midday. There are a few more partly cloudy days. This morning I looked out the window and saw a shadow on the snow! I grabbed my camera, slipped on my boots, and ran outside. It was gone. For the next few hours, I watched for another opportunity. My patience was finally rewarded with the photograph you see!

Spring is on its way…along with its chasable shadows.

Comet Lovejoy Update

December 29, 2014 § 6 Comments

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We had clear skies this evening.  The comet was well placed for easy binocular viewing in the southern sky by 9 o’clock. The only issue was the bright waxing crescent moon.  It had moved a surprising amount since 2:30 this morning.

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