Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Suddenly There Were Arcs!

I know I have mentioned over and over how bleak and dreary the skies have been here. For an atmospheric optic lover like myself, it has been downright miserable. I run out every morning hoping for at least a hint of something that sunlight has brought to the persistent cloud cover, and every morning it's just been BLAH...until Monday. Oh my, the sky was blue with a scattering of wispy clouds.

I saw this.

It's a upper tangent arc. It wasn't the best I had ever seen, but I was dancing for joy. Oh when an upper tangent arc makes your day, you know you're crazy hooked on optics. I went out back to put the chimney between me and the sun, so I could get a better look. That's when I noticed a parhelic circle shining by the sundog (to the left of the chimney by the corner of the house). Do you see it too? I'm sure it's there.

I looked higher in the sky and saw a supralateral arc that was much more visible to my eye than it was to the camera's lens. It was a faint faint circle high above the upper tangent with an even fainter hint of a circumzenithal arc. It was there. I saw it. I danced some more.

Here's a view I found on the internet that shows where these arcs can be found in the sky.  
 Pretty cool stuff. If I had a bucket list,  seeing a sky just like that would definitely be on it.

Later in the day I noticed a 22 degree halo in a rather blue blue sky. It surprised me, and I was glad that the day of atmospheric optics continued until the clouds blew back in from the coast. I can hardly wait until next time.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

date night

when we bought our house last year the seller’s agent gave us a gift certificate to a local restaurant. 7 months later we got around to using it. walked to town. had a wonderfully enjoyable meal and a pleasant walk home. we decided that it was a date night.

one of the two food markets, wildberries, we go to has a nice deli section. we get veggie eggrolls there. maybe two weeks ago we saw some prepared food that looked good, mainly risotto primavera, so we got a whole dinner’s worth of various goodies. as we ate our delicatessen food at home with our own music and wine we decided it was a date night. we just did it again.

our dinner selection. yes that is raw salmon. there was pricey cooked salmon. i cooked my own.

ready to nuke

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Out of Focus Goslings

Too far away to photograph, too cute not to.

Monday, May 16, 2016

It's been pretty quiet here with all the persistent cloudiness and cool temperatures. So, we celebrate the little things that come our way, like this pair of Bullock's Orioles that migrated from Mexico to spend their summers here. They seem to like hanging around our neighbor's vacant yard. I took these photos through our dining room window, so not the best, but their colors do shine through.

The male stays in the trees across the yard and farthest from our window.
The female likes the weeds and berry vines in the overgrown and neglected yard. I hope we get to see their successful offspring before they head south for winter.
We did get out to the local nursery to buy a lot of flowers starts for the front yard. It's been work getting the old grassy sod up, but Roger has been ripping it out, one flower bed at a time. We just started on this new heart-shaped one. The freshly planted flowers are Lobelias in cobalt, red, and white. Really looking forward to seeing these bloom. We also bought a six-pack of Sweet Williams (Dianthus) and Forget-me-nots (Myosotis) to plant in the center in honor of my father.
While we were at the nursery we went over to their koi pond. You could tell the fish are very accustomed to company, they swam right over probably looking for some food. I liked the view of the fish and the reflection. I thought it was an interesting perspective, like an abstract reality. Amazing what you can see at a nursery.

And, I want to thank you all so much for your birthday wishes. Your kind words and thoughtfulness  made the day celebratory and special for me. I really loved it, and I thank you.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Vera, Chuck, and Dave

Old woman photographing the old wharf in the rising fog
If you were ever a fan of the Beatles then you know what the title of this post means. Ah, yes, that gray-haired woman in the above photo is me, and I celebrate my 64th revolution around the sun today.
The old wharf in the rising fog
I always thought I’d feel older when I turned 64, but I pretty much feel the way I always have. My dreams haven’t changed much and neither has my outlook on life.
I still ridiculously hope for some cosmic awakening so that everyone will see that we humans are all one species on one beautiful whirling planet in space.
The stories of Gods and country borders are simply too old to be relevant anymore, and yet… and yet they persist.
I still believe we need to work together to spare the planet our endless appetites and protect species from our pretense of dominion.
I will always cherish the era I came of age in and am utterly grateful to have danced at Woodstock; built my own cabin when I was 22 years old; crossed the country by car more times than I can remember; even to have loved and lost, but to have also let myself to fall deeply in love again for the past 28 years.
I am happy to have come to know the names of flowers, butterflies, moths, lizards, and birds, and to have stumbled on my true love of photography and atmospheric optics-- all in the past decade. Once I turned my eyes on the world around me, I found out just how beautiful it all is, whether I'm looking up or down, near or far. In every direction is something that warrants appreciation.
The benefits of discovering the macro setting while the roses are in bloom
Getting old(er) has been interesting, and I intend to keep at it. And next year, if all goes as planned, I'll be eligible for Medicare. Ah, the perks of old age.

When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
If I'd been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I'm sixty-four?