felis_lupus: (Default)

Spring Moon
Originally uploaded by gshower7
Spring is here, spring is here! It's not snowing (though it's only 26 degrees out...), the sun is shining, and I've got the day off. Life is goood.

I did get outside, too, at 12:30 AM or so (agh, need to change the time on my camera for daylight savings...), with my camera and tripod (and should have worn gloves. Brr.), and stared up at the sky for a little while.

Big bright moon, perfectly clear night. Gorgeous.

The first photo I took also had some stars in it. I will need to play with this fantastic camera a bit more, when it's warmer in the evenings, and there is not quite so much moonlight. I have tried taking star photos and a lot of moon photos before , but I have so much more control over every single setting on this camera, I bet I can get some better ones. This was the 'Chaste Moon', according to English Medieval tradition... It was beautiful. Everything outside was bathed in blue light, reflecting off the snow that still covers the land here.

Stones are poking through, though. I am excited to see my terrace again; this year, I know what I am going to put there (Hydrangea quercifolia, Oakleaf Hydrangea), and will do it, before fall! So pretty... Much soil amending to be done first, and the Battle of the Sumac and Raspberry will continue... I made a good dent last year, but there is much ground to be gained and much compost to be spread.
felis_lupus: (Kirara Smush)

Shoei Butterfly
Originally uploaded by gshower7
It's got butterflies on it! Wheeee!!

Helmet came in today, fits just like it should, makes me happy. Also, it's not exactly "beige", like the book says... it's gold. All sparkly. Me likey.

A am hoping the weather clears off later so I can see some of the Perseids... tonight and tomorrow are supposed to be peak evenings, but it's currently rather cloudy, thanks to a freak thundershower that rolled through a few hours ago. If it's clear where you all are, find a place that doesn't have light pollution and watch meteors with me... :)

For now, though, off to fencing! Inside, probably... dumb rain, making the grass all slippery...
felis_lupus: (Howl)
Couple of cool things happening soon...

All 5 visible-to-the-naked-eye planets will be available for viewing all month long. Venus and Saturn in the evenings, Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter in the wee hours of the morning... I suppose this means I'm only going to see Venus and Saturn. Oh well. I can live with that.

A spectacular Conjunction of Venus and the Moon will happen on the 27th, says the same article. Hope for clear skies (and that I actually remember it will be happening... hrm... the 27th is a Friday. Fine evening to spend in a hot tub, don't you think, [livejournal.com profile] anna_mickel?)

Brand new comet - Lulin - will be visible with binoculars, or possibly just yer eyeballs, in the southwest sky of the pre-dawn hours of February 24. Not really sure what it's going to do... Photo here...* Pretty cool.

All of this will be useless, of course, if it snows. Supposed to get something tonight - 6 to 12 inches of snow, sleet, rain, mess - but I don't have to go out at 3 AM. That still makes me happy.

*Caption for photo is not playing nice with HTML... it reads: Jack Newton and his wife are building a stargazing community 150 miles southeast of Tucson. That Arizona Sky Village was the location from which he made this photo of comet Lulin on Feb. 1, 2009. Image © Jack Newton (www.jacknewton.com), used with permission
felis_lupus: (Howl)
Meteors were lovely from the hot tub. Myself, nicely simmered. I can turn my head again, as the crick in my neck is gone. Saw many nice Quadrantids, in the first wee hours of their appearance. Most were gold, a few nice blue ones, and most were nice and bright. Fabulous. Bed now. Sleep.

What am I?

Jan. 2nd, 2009 09:43 pm
felis_lupus: (Howl)
I took the 43 Things Personality Quiz and found out I'm a
Money Managing Tree Hugging Self-Knower

In addition... 0% of the 23076 people who have taken this quiz are like you.

And a reminder, especially to [livejournal.com profile] nightpaws, and maybe [livejournal.com profile] sprirtwolf, the Quadrantids Meteor Shower is tonight... supposed to peak around 4:30 AM PST, which means it'll be too light here... but you might have a chance at seeing some shooting stars. Supposed to be spectacular. :) We may head out to the hot tub chez [livejournal.com profile] mylisant and [livejournal.com profile] kr4sh anyway, meteors or not. No work for any of us tomorrow. :)
felis_lupus: (Howl)
Tip No. 1 for surviving, nay, enjoying a Maine (or New England in general) Winter: Get a hot tub.

Better yet, get some friends that have a hot tub, or convince/encourage/go along with existing good friends that it would be a great idea to get a hot tub, and have them invite you over a lot to soak. It may be barely 25 degrees outdoors and snowy, but relaxing in said outdoors in a nice and toasty warm bath, while meteors zip overhead is truly a wonderful place to be.

Meteors! The sky finally decided to be cloud-free, and boy was it worth it. A half hour in the aforementioned hot tub was prime viewing for day-after-peak Geminids. Saw around 15 meteors, some faint, others VERY bright and spectacular. Their colors that I've seen can be anywhere from bright white to nearly true yellow, some with a hint of orange. When it's clear out, and one can actually see them, the Geminids are one of the more reliably satisfying showers.

Winter roads... now that they're clear and drivable again, I remember that I quite enjoy driving at night in the wintertime. Snow on the trees on the back roads I drive at least once or twice every week changes the appearance so completely. It's dramatic during the day when the green of the pines shows through the white of the snow, onto the blue sky. Snow covered branches against the black of night turn the road into a winding path through the woods. Peoples' darkened houses can not be seen through the trees, and I can pretend I'm back in the country, where WalMart and HomeDepot aren't 2 minutes down the road, and the stars aren't blotted out by far too many bright lights.

Winding paths through the woods... it's been a long time since I've walked in the woods. Dad and I used to go all the time behind our house; just him, me, pristine new snow, and Butter Rum Lifesavers. Still one of my favorites. :) Time moves on, I've moved out, and the woods behind the house are too quickly being chopped down in favor of "progress" in the form of new McMansions homes. Summer is better for that now. The leaves hide things much better than bare branches.

TEH SNOWZ

Dec. 13th, 2007 03:57 pm
felis_lupus: (Howl)
Snowing again... we're in the middle of a HUGE white blotch on the radar, but it's moving quick. "They" say anywhere from 2-5 inches, which will be about right (more towards 5) if it keeps up at the current rate of fall. It's pretty, because I don't have to go anywhere tonight. Illumination class is canceled due to crappy roads, which is good, but there will also be no hot tub for me, which is not good. :( Also no Geminids (at least what we'll see... they'll still shoot all over the sky, far above the clouds), which makes me sad. Saw a few the other night, was hoping for more.

Grocery shopping is done, lunch has been had with my sweetie (happy birfday old man... you is 30 nao. ;) ), and now it is time to cut the bottom off the Christmas tree (before it's completely buried in snow) and stick it in a bucket of water to drink for a few hours before decorating. I have twinkly white lights. :) Yay!

Leonids

Nov. 18th, 2007 10:09 am
felis_lupus: (Howl)

Orion
Originally uploaded by gshower7
There really is something in the photo there... full view is well worth it, I think. :)

The Leonids were somewhat disappointing last night... I saw 5 or 6 faint ones in 45 minutes or so, then one nice bright streak across the sky as I was playing with my film camera... Played with long-exposure shots on both the digicam and my Canon, this was the best of the bunch off the digital Kodak. Not too bad for a first attempt. I can only do a 16 second exposure, full open f-stops, and 400 speed "film" so it's horribly grainy, but the stars are there! My Canon can do a 30 second (or 'bulb' - hold the shutter open for as long as you want, but good luck eliminating camera shake, even with a tripod. No expensive electronic remote shutter for me...) shot, and I had 200 speed film, so we'll see what turns out... I'm going to take the rest of the roll tonight, then see what I get. :) I may have a roll full of black rectangles, but one shot just might have a meteor streaking through it, if I had the camera aimed right. :)
felis_lupus: (Howl)
Stayed up far later than I should have last night... but it was worth it. :) First, we had a lovely bonfire over at Max & Mickel's. We burned old boxes, which apparently had some very interesting glues used in assembly. I've never seen chartreuse-yellow (think Mountain Dew) flames before. Don't stand downwind, kids...

Second, the Orionids, even before peak (because I just can't get up at 4 AM to see them at peak...), were beautiful. I sat on the back steps at about 12:45, and was rewarded not 5 minutes later with a big, BRIGHT GREEN meteor streaking through the clouds. So very cool. In the 20 minutes I managed to stay awake outside, there were probably a dozen or so that flashed overhead, mostly faint, but two that were nice and bright yellow. I can only imagine what would have been visible if the neighbors would have turned their porch lights off, or if we were just a little bit further away from Portland...

Work today; day 6. ugh. Have the next two days off, thank goodness. Maybe can finally clean the apartment to some semblance of my satisfaction.
felis_lupus: (Default)
Went to Harper's Retreat in NH with Max & Mickel yesterday. Much fun was had. I brought the fencing gear, but didn't end up using it. The majority of swordplay happened on Saturday, and there were twisted ankles and a general lack of enthusiasm to contend with yesterday*, so I hung out on the archery field and took lotsa photos. Some of them can be found here.

Day off today, have to do laundry, repot houseplants, clean kitchen. What fun. :-p Fire tonight, though. Am bringing the s'mores stuff.

Also, this is coolness beyond words: Google Sky *drool*

*edit - I don't know what day it is, apparently...

Stargazing

Aug. 29th, 2007 11:20 pm
felis_lupus: (Howl)
The last three nights have showcased a beautiful full Corn Moon. Someone at practice on Tuesday commented (as I was shouting in the parking lot for everyone to look up at the orange-hued orb rising over the trees... ok, got a few funny looks...) that after all these thousands of years staring at the sky, the wonderment and awe of gazing upon a full moon would have worn off by now. It hasn't. Why? Is it because she's the closest thing we can really see hanging in the sky? Our Luna doesn't burn like the sun, she's just there, pulling at our own internal tides as well as the oceans'. There's just nothing like standing barefoot in cool grass, light breezes playing with my hair, bathed in moonlight. Though some nights, succumbing to the urge to climb up to a rooftop and howl seems like a pretty good idea.

These last nights have got to be in part to make up for the lack of Perseids earlier this month... cloudy during the best day, of course. Also on Tuesday, whilst headed to Uno's for post-practice dinner, a bright, slow falling star started at the top of my windshield and tracked allll the way to the bottom. That one was mine. (Everyone else was too busy watching where they were driving, I'm sure...)

We're not that far out of the city, but far enough that we get a good view of stars here... it's only when I leave home, and go south to my parents', or north, as we did earlier this month to Chewonki campground, that I am reminded just how many stars there are. It is truly a beautiful night.
felis_lupus: (Default)
..but cooler. I love fall. So what if it's a month early. The moon and a couple planets (Venus? Mars? I need to look at my star charts again) were in beautiful alignment at the end of fencing practice tonight, and all was right with the world. Practice was fun, as usual; I managed to fence case without chopping my own arms and legs off as I often have in the past. Am now ready to go down to Carolingia on Sunday and play with my fencer friends there. Yay!

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