Sunday, December 30, 2007
Here is the full story on the Bonaire Insider web site.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
I cheated and used a bit of fill flash on this one to fill in the Moon shadows while Bob set his sites on the the lights of Playa.
Here is an attempt to expose for the lights of town, as well as the moonlit areas of the island. I'll probably play with these images some more to see what variations I can come up with.
There was a cruise ship in port that day. Cruise ships often leave shortly after sunset, but this one stayed around until late that night. To the naked eye, it looked like a big building covered with Christmas lights.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Christmas morning found Sandra doing some last minute Christmas light repairs.
We didn't set up a fill size Christmas tree this year because our six month puppy would have probably knocked it over. So we had a mico mini tree on the table.
We visited with some friends in the afternoon, and then in the evening we went to the Christmas Buffet at the Divi Flamingo hotel. We enjoyed the buffet A LOT and will probably do it again next year. Entrees included baked fish, yummy turkey with all the fixings, baked ham, and rib roast. We tried them all of course.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
But we're both feeling much better now. I might even venture out on an easy bike ride tomorrow. I think it will take me a couple weeks to get back up to speed though.
I sold all my Minolta camera gear on eBay since my last post. My six auctions ended late on a Sunday night, everyone paid promptly, and my dad graciously packed and shipped the stuff right away. By the Friday, everyone had received their goodies. The guy who won my Maxxum 28/2 lens was particularly happy. I'm not surprised. The 28/2 produced cleaner star shapes in my astro photos at F2.8 than my Canon 24/2.8 does at F4! The Maxxum 100/2.8 macro was also better wide open at F2.8 than my Canon 85/1.8 is at F2.8. Bob Lassiter has Canon's 100/2.8 macro, and he says that I can try it out under the stars some time.
I saw the International Space Station pass right in front of the Sun on Saturday morning. I tried to get set up to image it with my telescope, solar filter, lap top computer, and web cam, but didn't get it all hooked up and functioning in time. Now I'm usually so busy trying to get pictures that I don't even see the event at all. Yesterday was a different story and I am happy to report that the ISS looked really great in my ETX 90 and 26mm eyepiece as it zoomed across the Sun's disk.
I was out this evening taking some pictures of the beautiful Full Moon / Mars pairing and saw the ISS pass by at about 18:55. It was too hazy to get any useful pictures of the ISS but it was fun to see that it was right on schedule, ha-ha. The ISS will be also be visible, here on Bonaire, a couple more evenings this week according to CalSky dot com. As I've mentioned before, the Calsky and Heavens-Above Web sites are worth their weight in gold if you want to know what is going on in the night sky at your location.
At the left side of the picture is the constellation Cassiopeia, it is below the Cass. label and is pretty much lost in the clutter of stars. The double cluster between Cassiopeia and Perseus is above the "D" in the label. Comet Holmes is to the lower left of the "C" in its label, and is above the central part of Perseus. Then way over on the right side of the picture is the Pleiades, located to the upper left of the "P" in the label.
The lower picture is a little larger and doesn't have any pesky labels in it. There is another comet in the sky right now, not too far from the site of this picture. It is much dimmer than comet Holmes, but we'll look for it later this week when the moon isn't up.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
During the hot and windy spring/summer months, I often see them soaring on thermals and on wind pressure waves associated with some of the ridges and valleys in Washington Park. One bird, soaring near Yuwa Pass, shot up vertically like he was on an invisible elevator. I definitely was suffering from wing envy that day.
During the cloudy and windless fall months, I usually see these birds hanging out on the ground.
I saw four last week as I cycled through the park. Three of them scampered into the undergrowth when they saw me, but this one flew up onto a nearby cactus. He really has two legs, but spent a lot of time perched on only one.
I saw five Cara Cara yesterday. One was flying and four were hanging out on the ground.
Here is a 100% crop from the first picture.
This is a 100% crop of another image.
Some flamingos performed for me too. A couple were so nice as to fly right past me while traveling from one pond to another. I'll post flying flamingo pix sometime soon. I like the contrasting colors in this picture.
I also saw a bull and a few cows in the park last week, in the same area that I saw them once before. But no bovine pictures in the blog. I didn't stop to dig out the camera from my backpack, 'cause I wasn't sure if I could pedal as fast as the bull could run, if he turned out to be camera shy.
Monday, December 03, 2007
Here we see the birthday boy with his wife Sue.
It looks like a photographer feeding frenzy. Notice the kids waiting in the wings before their own feeding frenzy!
Sunday, December 02, 2007
I took this picture Friday night. It is the first chance I've had to take a "real" astro-phot0 of the comet. Previous images were stacks of 2 second exposures. This one is a stack of one minute exposures, and better shows how rich the central Persius area of the sky is.