Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017

August 21. We headed for S.W. Kentucky and soon discovered we weren't the only ones. Bumper-to-bumper on the interstate, yikes! There were times I lost all hope of making it to the path in time but Nancy charted a new course and we made it to Central City with minutes to spare. 
Our location was in the driveway of a strip mine: 37.267529, -87.104159. 
Unless otherwise noted, the solar filter was attached to the camera.

The show was well under way by the time we got the camera up.
Wow - sunspots right from the get-go! 
IMG_0035-cs 13:16 CDT

We were right on the edge of the path, close enough for me. 
Solar filter removed.
IMG_0099-cs 13:24 CDT

Full-res crop for flare detail.
Solar filter removed.
IMG_0100-c 13:24 CDT

Even this out-of-focus shot is fun for the colour, I think. 
Solar filter removed. 

The famous "diamond ring". This is the only picture I did any kind of enhancement with (so far) other than scaling down and cropping. There was an internal reflection I had to remove, also I messed with the levels a bit. Filter still off.
IMG_0103-csL-edit  13:25 CDT

 Solar filter back on. 
IMG_0113-cs  13:26 CDT 

More sunspots.
IMG_0113-cs  14:04 CDT

The obligatory solar-selfie. 
 Didn't realise the phone was in some weird 'enhancement' mode.
Note: big lens shown above not used, the camera below did all the work.

Solar filter mounted on Canon SX60 HS. 

At the same place Nancy found this, wants to know is it juniper? 
Not juniper it seems... help still needed.

Location location location. Just south of Central City, Muhlenberg County. 
We crossed the Green River to get there too!

Did I mention the traffic? I can relate to this comic strip on the subject.
Ages ago I read in an astronomy magazine about someone going to great lengths to spot the last old moon crescent, and then the first new moon all in one day, on a mountaintop in Hawaii if memory serves.
It occurred to me the solar eclipse may be the only time we get to watch the moon transform from old moon to new moon in a matter of minutes.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

2017 Summer Part 2

Getting acquainted with Powershot SX60 HS.
First shots, August 12. It was someone else's lunar photo that drew my attention to this camera's zoom capability. This (mine) is uncropped at max optical zoom (x65).

Also uncropped, this is at max optical plus digital zoom. 
Time to pull out the Moon book and ID some of those craters!

Hand-held, zoomed in on local bunny. I think this is the younger one I often see.
Dragonfly at Diehl Lake, Aug 13. Maybe a bit smaller than what I think of as the typical dragonfly, but I don't recall seeing one of this colouring before. Maybe it's a water specialist. The little blob at left is one of many little insects on the lake surface.

Clouds so wispy on drive home.

Aug. 17, male American Goldfinch.
What has he been eating? I dunno.
Fool disclosure: I melded two images to extend the wonderful background colour on the left. 

This looks worse than it should because it's very low res. and Youtube has scaled it up.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Export, August 12

 Black snake on Dad's house. Uploading video of this, my first with new Powershot SX60 HS (answering the question will it autofocus with video).

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Mystery Bird

July 31 2017 
I have my guess of what this is, but still have doubts. Comments invited.
Didn't I do this last year for the same bird?
Maybe I should call it the deja-vu bird instead!
Bigger than Goldfinch.

 Seems to have come for the suet, which was empty.

August 2: Scale.
A ruler in the exact same spot puts head-to-tail at 5-1/4 inches minimum. 
It was angled a bit (top of ruler closer to us) but I doubt as much as the bird.

 For comparison, similar dimension for a House Finch is closer to 5 inches. Different twig, but ruler photographed at same place as bird. Yes, I shopped the ruler again for contrast.

Bottom line: 
I first thought young or female Scarlet Tanager, but now think Summer Tanager.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

2017 Summer

July 2 
The spectacular Red-headed Woodpecker. It's been a banner year for us with these guys such that I started hoping we'd eventually see kids (*below).

House Wren, for the record. Mostly they stay on the west side where their house is.
July 22 update: after Bluebird clutch #2 fledged, the wrens are persistently trying to move in. I made a little video of their work with sticks, soon to be posted perhaps.

One of the local bunnies. I am wondering if they eat poison ivy. That would redeem them from (suspicion of) eating my baby milkweed!

July 4. Great-crested Flycatcher? Overexposed, sorry.
 Our book has 3 similar that it says are best identified on the basis of song/call.
Downy and Bee Balm.  

Tiny Toad in Gravel Pile.

July 22 - I must have walked right by this little runaway on my way to the mailbox. On return I spotted it and immediately went for the camera. It had remained in the same spot keeping quite still. I snapped some photos then wondered if it was hungry. Went for some worms, still there but quite unresponsive, even when I touched its beak with a worm. Maybe a minute later it decided I was bad news and ran off cheeping.

 Just about that time I became aware of this unit, acting parental and confirming ID: Brown Thrasher. And no, it's not missing a leg, I just caught it mid-step!

What nicely folded wings!
*As I'd hoped, a young Red-headed Woodpecker appears.
A short video sequence of it talking.

(July 29) Comparing wing feathers to those of the adult (July 22):

Wet male Towhee with some kind of feather disarray?

More wet disarray. This may be one I was observing that struck me as being young. 
It seemed lacking in that brash Blue Jay attitude.

July 28: Purple Finch and American Goldfinch, both males.