Thursday, November 29, 2012

Plentious of Poinsettias

I went with my dad to Frysville Farms, in Ephrata, today to pick out a giant Poinsettia plant for the hall by their apartment.  I'd put a link to their web site, but I don't see one on their brochure.  I wonder if Mennonites do Internet

They had lots and lots of Poinsettias, that's for sure.
This is one end of the greenhouse.

Here is the view looking from the other end of the room.  I was amazed to see those purple plants along the left wall.  We have the exact same plants growing in our planter on Bonaire.  They grow like crazy down there.

Hot Wide Angle Lens Tip

This is the fully manual 14mm lens that I've used for just about all the astronomy photos that I've posted in 2012.  My lens is called a Rokinan, but this Bower is made by the same company.  It works well for astro photos, even wide open at f2.8.  At f4, it is excellent.  I focus using live view.

My hot tip is that B and H photo has it on sale for $299 right now, for most DSLR systems.  The link is for the Canon compatible one, but the other ones are the same price too.  I've got nothing to gain financially if you buy one, but I'm making this plug 'cause I consider this lens an very good bang for the buck. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Moon and Jupiter

Here is Jupiter to the left of the Moon tonight.  I wish I had had a DSLR tonight because the small point and shoot camera is severely limited for this kind of shot.  But it does serve to show how close Jupiter is to the moon.  Jupiter is at about 10 o'clock relative to the moon and is sitting within the sky glow caused by the moon.  It doesn't show up in the photo, but when I was outside with the naked eye, I could see the star Aldebaran to the lower right of the moon.  Clicking on this picture to see the full size version might help.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It Snowed

We had planned to drive from Florida to Pennsylvania during the course of Monday and Tuesday this week.  But when we learned that snow was forecast along our route Tuesday am, we did the whole drive on Monday.
I ate dark chocolate to stay awake.  Sandra drank coffee but slept like a baby.  ha-ha
It didn't snow much today, but it was messy out this am and we were very glad to be snug in my parents' place and not out on the road.

Moon and Jupiter Dec. 28

Sandra and I enjoyed watching Jupiter and the star Aldebaran each evening last week from the clear skies of Penny Farms, Florida.
If you go out after sunset (in North America) on Wednesday, December 28.  You'll find the Moon stationed more or less between Jupiter and Aldebaran.
If it is clear here in Pennsylvania, (snowed today) I'll try to take a picture with the small point and shoot camera I have with me on this trip.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Fall Furlough Fun

We were at the Westover Church in Greensboro, NC the first week of November.  We had a great time with other missionaries and with the friendly people in the church.  We also had a great time with our hosts, Ken and Laurie Pittman, and their dog, who shall remain nameless, to preserver her crime fighting effectiveness.

There are lots and lots of trails in Greensboro.  We did a late afternoon hike on one of them.
The leaves in Greensboro were looking mighty fine that week.

Ah yes, nothing like a little fall furlough foliage fun.
The fall colors were still looking nice the next week at the TWR office in Cary, NC.  Sandra is catching up on some emails in our room.

Cool Wheels


Well, if I ever have to retire to Florida and drive a golf cart everywhere, it is going to be one like this!

Happy Thanksgiving

We celebrated the American Thanksgiving Day with Sandra's family in Florida.  Here are a couple shots of the happy family.
We also enjoyed watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in Hi-Def.  And then the National Dog show,  whoo whoo,  before the obligatory football games.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cool Microscope

I know the name Celestron from their telescopes and binoculars.  I had a lot of great nights under the stars with one of their original orange 8" SCTs with the sand cast fork mount.
Sandra's cousin, Bud Gillan, just showed me a new Celestron Microscope he will be using with his high school students.  It is the Celestron Pentaview LCD Digital Microscope. 
Not to be confused with its less expensive brethren, this scope shows what you are looking at on a touch screen and has a built in 5mp digital camera, with both time lapse and movie recording capability.
If my high school had had one of these, my friends and I would have gone crazy looking at stuff with it for sure.
Here is a photo of a sliver of bamboo, I think.  I looked at all sorts of stuff, like the printing on a five dollar bill, and the torn edge of a piece of paper.  We didn't have any pond scum to look at, boo hoo, but Bud is going to collect some for his students tomorrow.  :)

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

New Startrails Picture

I was just hunting around for TWR stuff on one of my backup hard drives, and I came across a folder full of images I shot at Red Slave on Bonaire, back in March of 2011.  Just for fun, I combined three and a half hours of shots into one image which shows the trails caused by the apparent movement of the stars across the sky.
You can see a time lapse movie that I made from all the images that went into this photo on YouTube.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Furlough Fun

Sandra and I headed to the States last week to visit our financial sponsors and prayer partners.  We got to New Jersey just in time to experience the hurricane.  Here is a shot of our son's roof.
Now we are in Greensboro, North Carolina.  It has been warm and the cars have been very courteous as they passed me on my bike rides.  Here is the view through the skylight in the bathroom at our house.
We are at Westover Church at their Fall Global celebration.  Yesterday the men attending the conference went bowling while the women had a luncheon.
Above, you can see Lynn Everswick, in black, about to deliver his ball.  Lynn grew up in Zimbabwe and is the missions pastor at Westover Church.