Wednesday 10 April 2024

Scouting ahead

 The weather was very warm for being in a forest at 300m in April. There were quite a few "signs" of Spring:

The red question mark with the short line through it requires discussion.

Then there were signs of "man", too:

And I thought very little undergrowth this Spring - my imagination?


Tuesday 9 April 2024

That was the Eclipse that was (Monday April 8, 2024)

 That was the eclipse that was, the bringer together eclipse:


 that brought the astronomers, the birders, and the composers and conductors together.

Friends ( who are always together, helping others who naturally are friends, too, even when 1000s of Km and a dozen time zones apart.)

The Ad-mins, UC-min, "real", teachers,  lawyer;
The ushers, the popcorn makers and the TV guides to NASA's live streaming,
the countless helpers who did uncountable good deeds,

those who stood and waited, 

 the new traditional story tellers with cell phones and emails to share their experience

And the old:
Grandfather Sun, Grandmother Moon, and Mother Earth
According to the teachings of the Anishinabe culture of central North America,
the first of all the mothers, Nokomis or Grandmother Moon, dwells in the heavens
near her daughter, Mother Earth. From there, Nokomis keeps watch over her children,
gently leading them through the night. Mother Earth nourishes and cares for all her
children in the plant, animal, and human worlds. Just as life comes from Mother Earth,
it returns to her, completing the circle of life. Each day, Grandfather Sun, the
"one who brings morning", gives light and warmth to his children. Together,
Mother Earth and Grandfather Sun provide the gift of life to all.
The heartbeat of Mother Earth is echoed in the drumbeat of the Anishinabe.
Even Wolf, who sings to the Moon, bids us not to forget our beginnings with Nokomis,
our Grandmother.

 When I visited Capilano in June 1999, I was told that it was the Raven who tried to eat the Sun, burnt his beak and scorched his feathers black until he spat out the Sun and let it be free.

The cleaner-uppers

and near the Zenith, the Syzygy - for you scrabble lovers, I think the word is nearly impossible?
You need some blanks?

The sky filled in the blanks with Clouds here - I learned that little Grimsby was spared? They saw totality who were present. Sadly, out out brief candle -

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.


Sunday 7 April 2024

'Twas the night before Totality

 Now it is the day after the night before - the reality is different from what some of us had hoped:

What we would like to see is:

- a camera with an eclipse filter 

 There is a display for several people to see what is happening - like this on Sunday afternoon:

- a pin-hole camera will be set up just outside the front door

People could see the sun on Sunday.

There will also be a low tech solution offered as well:

Also,  there will also be eclipse glasses that people can borrow to look at the sun. Please do not take the eclipse glasses away as there are not enough for everyone.

Just have a look at the sun and put them back for the next person.  - click on the link left for an example. 

Protect your eyes and your camera/cell phone, etc. Don't fry the eyes or sizzle the silicon!

And if the weather is fine count your blessings - WOB

Monday 25 March 2024

A comparison of solar cameras

 In preparing for the solar eclipse in 2 weeks time I have been trying to photgraph the sun through eclipse-type filters.

This my original:

I next compared it to an image taken with the SDO satellite some 1.5 million

kilometers inside the orbit of the Earth, near Lagrange point L1

 It is a collection of photos made into a film, like an animated "GIF".

So I went back to my image, cropped it and stretched certain intensities and the result is  the following:

After a bad day, I am feeling better!

Let the eclipse come,



PS I am using a P1000 Nikon

Saturday 9 March 2024

Wool Gathering

 In Scotland, playing golf often meant searching for the golf ball on the fairway  among tufts of wool shed by sheep who actually were the real players on the course - I certainly was not!


So, today, I was woolgathering - my thoughts . when I spotted somthing that "did not belong" and yet there it was:

There on the marge of Lake Couch was  ... could it be  ... an otter?

Splish, splash, all on a Saturday as per command - director's cut!

Someone say "cute beastie"?

Don't hit me - I know I'm hansom -

Wool o' the Braids,



Tuesday 5 March 2024

The "true" sign of the return of Spring

 Dear Folk and Gentle People,

You want to know when Spring will appear on the ground and not as an event from a white-domed astronomer? Well, listen up

We are not concerned with Punxsutawney Phil

Nor with Wiarton Willie whose accuracy ranges from 90% for the "believers" to 25% which is worse than just random guessing - so systematic - do as I say, not as I do`.


Rather, look for the return of the snow birds, they know.

 (They said I was gullible - a good trait for a wise old bird - and I believed them.)

These are my "snow birds" and they were escorting the equivalent of the groundhog, the Sandhill cranes:



And now Spring has sprung and released ....
Whatever that is?

PS That was yesterday, Mon Mar 4 and the temperature was plus 18°C on 2 independent thermometers about 10m apart - so it must be true?