Saturday, December 29, 2012

The End of 2012

The new edition of the Mayan Calendar has hit shelves just in time for New Years, this one features cats.

The near full moon the last couple of nights has produced a moon ring. I've seen these several times and always thought of the folklore about impending rain, snow, or ice. The amount of stars trapped in the halo is the amount of days to the next storm.

I noticed two this week. The first being a fairly bright ring and on the eve of some expected precipitation, although it never showed.

This was one of the brighter moon rings I've seen and the first time I noticed the rainbow effect.  It faded before I could get to the wide angle lens.

This ended up being a difficult 16 shot panoramic that I could never get the physics correct on.  I took these with my fixed Nikkor lens and even with the wide angle, would have had problems catching it all.

Then three days later, a similar effect with a full moon.  That's Jupiter in the upper right corner.

1-3 inches of snow are rumored for New Years Eve in a couple of days and will prove an interesting end to an interesting storm chasing drought plagued year.

In the next couple of days, I'll post my favorite shots of this year.

Thanks for riding along.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Haunted Kansas

The full moon is fading, the candy is plentiful, and October has ended.  Not much to report in the Midwest weatherwise, so I've been visiting old haunts of late.  When I say haunts, I mean the local haunted places in town.  I did a series on another blog about local haunted places and took pictures.  This may become an annual October event.

Crumm Castle in Riverside

Crumm Castle in HDR

Theorosa Bridge near Valley Center
The Strange Red Orb, why is green in front of it?

Bel Aire Water Tower


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Tricks of Light and Magic

Look Ma, no tripod!

Look for the skull

Green Lantern

As the party lagged on and one group decided to do one thing, we took the kids (the adult ones too) gave them helium balloons and glow sticks.  This was the outcome.

Cell phone wanders by

Sunday, October 14, 2012

There Used to be A River Here

The Wichita area gets about 29 inches of rain annually.  For the last couple of years, heat and drought has not been kind to the area.  Wichita had a couple days of rain, but the Arkansas River is still dry.  With current total we are not bone dry, but only at 24 inches for the year. Even kneeling down in the sand for a picture, I noticed it was dry.

One small area of water, and a guard daring anyone to come close.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Falling Stars and City Lights

This last weekend was the return of the annual Perseid meteor shower.  Some rates included seeing up to 100 meteors per hour.  Unfortunately a small system moved in Saturday night causing cloud cover.  The site that I thought would have been light free apparently went through a mighty makeover and there was light pollution everywhere.
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 Heading back I took an HDR shot of Hillsboro's mean streets.

Dust on the lens, not a ghost.
The next night, I went a little closer to home and ended up in a fairly good spot.  A couple local grain elevators and cities caused some light pollution, but I could make out the Milky Way's faint arm.  A strange orange colored thunderstorm (I'm guessing heat lightning) pulled my attention to the North.  In the photo below, you can see it between the three trees.

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One of the clearer space shots I've done.
 The last shot of space came out the best.  No shooting stars but lots of stars and a galaxy to boot.  I'm still playing with settings and thing I need to lower the ISO.  I also wish there was a great dark spot close to home so I could go out and wonder more often.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Drought and A Little Relief

Last month we received 0.22" of rain.  Cracks are staring to form in the soil where the grass has given up the ghost.  July tied for the 4th hottest in our history.  2011 was the 2nd hottest.  So as we are waiting for dustbowls and locusts a small cold front fired through last night.

Corn or what's left of it
At least something is growing

I thought I heard something and went outside to look, a bolt of lightning hit less than a mile from the house.  I miss lightning but in conditions like this, CG (cloud to ground) strikes can cause bad fires.

Starlight, moonlight, city lights

Moon breaking through