Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Eve - Eve Breakfast

We, at TWR, had a Christmas time breakfast at Eddy's Restaurant, just down the road from the office.  I had a nice early morning bike ride to work up an appetite.  (it is dark at 6am these days.  I could see Jupiter and Sirius all the way to Karpata)  Eddy and Sonia used to have a catering service back in the day, but have been operating this restaurant at Sand Dollar for a number of years now.  Their food is a yummy as ever.

I've noticed quite a few big holiday events taking place at Eddy's this year.  It is a great place for a party. 
Check out the real live Poinsettias! 

Brandon did the master of ceremonies thing and thanked us all for our hard work this year, and said that we'd have to work even harder in 2014 because of the 50th anniversary, TWR Partners conference and other events and projects.  But we didn't mind 'cause he was feeding us!

Besides all the usual breakfast buffet items like Sonia's made to order omelets, we were treated to some European and Latin American Christmas specialties.  They were VERY tasty indeed.

On the other hand, while we were all standing in line to get a custom crafted omelet, Brandon made a beeline for the APPLE JACKS!!

New Bonaire Bird Book

A little over a week ago, a new bird guide book was released by the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance and STINAPA Bonaire.  Besides telling about the birds of Bonaire, it provides some information on the best places to observe them.  Sounds good to me.
The introduction was held at Addo's Books downtown.  By the way, there is now an Addo's Toys just around the corner from the book store.

The book was introduced by Elsmarie Beukenboom, who later graciously signed copies for us.  Hmm, I wonder what a first edition, autographed at the introduction event, will be worth on eBay...  Oops, it's not "mint" any more, I was looking at the birds.

But wait, there's more!  Jerry Ligon gave an illustrated talk about Bonaire Birds, and signed books too.  Congratulations and a hearty thank you to everyone who made this event and this book possible.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Greeting from Radio Trans Mundial

Has the Christmas rush got you in a tizzy.  Wait until you see our TWR - USA Hispanic ministries department in action in this cute Christmas Greeting and video clip.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

TWR Africa Salutes Nelson Mandela

You can read what TWR's International Director for Africa, Dr. Emmanuel Mbennah, had to say from our Africa Regional Office, located outside Johannesburg.

Ministry Report from the Field

I write from time to time about the enthusiastic listeners to TWR Bonaire that live on a certain large island to the north of us.  Our TWR representative there recently made a trip to some remote areas on the eastern edge of the country.  Here are some excerpts from his report.

"Just last week, we travelled to meet listeners and have a preaching workshop at xxxxxx, the eastern municipality of our country.  People live across the mountains in humble and very small wooden houses. It is a very isolated and deserted area, almost entirely without running water. Houses do not have bathrooms or anything like that. Roads don’t exist in some areas.  But thousands of people live there!  The good news is there are churches everywhere and almost every person has been a TWR listener for many years. Many of them became Christians just by listening to radio programs. They also have electricity service and have radios (TV and DVD players, as well. How it is possible?).

In some places there are modest but good church buildings, but the majority of churches meet in homes, led by new pastors, many of them without seminary training. You can see a church or a home isolated on the mountain, but at night, it is exciting to see how the people get down from their places with flashlights and you can see a crowded temple or home church every night everywhere. It is really marvelous!!

Thinking about the way that people live, it is exciting to know that even though they have almost nothing, the Gospel has reached them giving salvation and hope. They were very excited because of our visit. “Nobody visits us ever”, they said constantly. “It is unbelievable to have people from TWR visiting us!” They came to see me and touch me. They were proud telling me: “I am a TWR listener, do you imagine what it means to listen the word of God every night in that mountains?” Although they have radios, TVs and DVDs players, they are really forgotten and abandoned people with a lot of need.

How many people live on the mountains?  It is impossible for me to say. But I thank God for being a part of a ministry which is touching and reaching people for Christ everywhere."

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

United Airlines Update

Susan, at the Bonaire Insider, has dug up some information on the upcoming United Airlines schedule changes for their flights to Bonaire from Houston and Newark.
On one hand, these last minute changes have wreaked havoc with some of my friends travel plans.  On the other hand, United has added some more flights during the peak season, which can only be a good thing for those of us here on Bonaire, and those of you who want to be here on Bonaire.

Here is a link to the Bonaire Insider article.  It includes a handy dandy PDF chart showing what flights are flying on what dates.

For example:  from Newark, it looks like there are both Saturday and Sunday flights (at the new daytime time slot) every week from January through March.   It looks like there is also a Monday flight on Jan. 6.  And there are also Friday flights during the whole month of March.

Monday, December 09, 2013

USA Sunday Mail Deliveries are BACK!

Whoo whoo, our son, Richard, just mentioned that he received some stuff from Amazon from the USPS on Sunday this past weekend.
Here is an article telling about Amazon's deal with the US Postal Service.  Ordering Kindle books provided instant gratification.  Now the pesky weekends no longer get in the way of almost instant gratification for other stuff too.  At least if you live near New York City.

New United Airlines Flight Schedule to Bonaire

My brother just got tickets to visit us in March.  I was amazed when I saw that his flight from Newark, left at like 9am, and not 11:55pm.  I went online and found out that the March flights from Houston are daytime flights too.  Looks like the redeye specials are a thing of the past.

Our son, who is coming here in January, just got an email from United saying his flights have just been changed to the new schedule too.  So my guess is that the new United changes are happening pretty much at the start of the new year.

So if you are heading here or planning to head here, be sure to keep the new schedule in mind when looking for connecting flights to Newark or Houston.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

International Bible Church happenings

We had a clean up day at the church recently.  Lots of people turned up, had a great time, and got a lot of sprucing up accomplished.

The IBCB added three new Elders to go with the two who were already serving.  Here is a view of their installation, thanks to Rick Veldman, who remembered to bring a camera that week.  Pastor Doug is on the left.

We recently had a service of appreciation for Pastor Baran and Felicia, recognizing and thanking them for their years of service with the IBCB.  I don't have any pictures at the moment, but the audio from the service is available on the church Web site.  The audio clip begins with the installation of the elders and then continues with the tribute to the Barans.
Pastor Baran and Felecia continue to have an active counseling ministry at their home in Nikiboko, and Pastor Toto is still the voice of the church radio program, heard on BON FM (102.7) on Sunday afternoons at 4:30.  Some of the radio programs can be heard on the church Web site as well.

We had a men's breakfast this morning.  Dave Pedersen cooked up a hearty breakfast, and Pastor Doug shared a tongue in cheek lesson on the Top 10 Ways Fathers can Exasperate their Kids.

When is a Dog Not a Dog?

When he's a chew-toy Hog.

Another Bonaire Sailing Prodigy

I recently wrote about Bonaire's world class windsurfers.  They started young and have been at the top of their sport for some time now.  They recently started a "Children of the Wind" foundation to help facilitate the development of the next generation of young windsurfers.  Way to go guys!

I didn't get out to take pictures of the 46th annual Bonaire International Sailing Regatta back in October.  It was a smaller event overall, than it has been in previous years, but the Sunfish and Optimist fleets, in particular, had a great turnout from both Bonaire and the region.

There was close racing too.  The battle for the overall win in Optimist-A came down to the last race on the last day of competition.  It doesn't get much better than that!
And the Optimist-A fleet forms the setting for today's story.  In 2011, Yorick van Blerk won the Optimist C-class.  Last year, Yorick graduated to Optimist-B... and he won again.  This year found Yorick sailing against the big boys in Optimist-A.  And guess what?  That's Yorick in the middle with the first place award.

The Optimist-A races followed one of the yacht racing courses; starting by Klein Bonaire, coming in to the Regatta house in Playa Pabou, and then heading way out to the Southwest Corner of Klein Bonaire, before beating back upwind to the Plaza Resort.  This ambitious race course was made all the more challenging because we actually had WIND for the regatta this year.  They were recording solid 20 knot winds out by the SW corner of Klein.  And the seas in this region are not sheltered by Bonaire.   If you've ever been out there in a boat, you will probably remember just how huge those swells can get.  It was truly extreme sailing for kids in teeny tiny boats...  tiller in one hand, bailing bucket in the other, and the main sheet gripped with one's teeth.

So congratulations to Yorick van Blerk, for bravely battling the heavy conditions, and for making it three straight wins in the Optimist class.

Here is a shot of Yorick in action at an earlier race, under calmer conditions.  I don't have any sailing shots from this year, because Yorick's dad, Johan, was kept busy helping repair the broken rudders and other carnage in the Optimist fleet caused by the high winds and heavy seas.

Sunday, December 01, 2013


TWR Bonaire will be celebrating 50 years of broadcasting from Bonaire in 2014.  I think the official anniversary events will be in August.

The Bonaire water and electricity company, WEB, is also celebrating its 50th anniversary, as evidenced by this giant logo that recently appeared on one of the water tanks in Hato.

WEB will be doing some community projects as part of the anniversary celebrations.  Their first effort was to renovate the well at Dos Pos. 

They repaired the windmill and spruced up the whole area.  It looks great!

Fixing up this well, which supplies water to many in the Ricon area ties in really well with WEB's mission.

Brandaris (again)

I took a camera along on my bike ride yesterday am.  The sky was clear, the winds were low and the scenery was beautiful.  Here is a shot of Brandaris.  If you search my blog on "Brandaris" you'll find that this has been a recurring theme.  Kind of like that Devils Peak in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."

Dec 1 Sky Show

The Moon was stationed between Saturn and Mercury this morning.  Here are a couple pictures, as seen from the TWR offices.
The object to the upper left of the Moon is Saturn.
The star almost straight up from the Moon is Alpha Libra - Zubenelgenubi.  Alpha and Beta Libra were once considered to be the claws of Scorpius, the scorpion.  Now they are part of Libra, the scales.
Mercury is below the moon, about two thirds of the way to the horizon.
I can spot Mercury in these small images, but it is easier if you click on them to see larger versions.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Venus Setting

I was out to see if I could get a picture of the Small Magellanic Cloud.  I did, but you really have to know where it is to be able to spot it.  It is really really near the horizon as viewed from Bonaire.  So I'll not post it for now.

I snapped a few shots of Venus setting in the West too.
Directly to the left of Venus, about half way between Venus and the edge of the frame, you can (barely)see the globular cluster M55.  You'll need to look at the full size image to spot M55.
The lights on the horizon are two tankers waiting to dock at Bopec.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Bonaire Sky Park

I saw comet Lovejoy this morning at about 5:30am.  A big cloud bank swarmed up from the horizon while I was grabbing my camera to try to get a picture, so no photos.  Comet Lovejoy is easy to spot with binoculars.  Just follow the arc of the Big Dipper's handle for a short distance.  I'm wondering if I can get M51 and the comet in the same shot.  That would be cool.

Over to the South-East, the clouds were much thicker and I was not able to see Saturn and Mercury's very close pairing.  Comet Ison is even lower in the sky than the planets, so I'll have to wait until early next week when it comes back from its trip around the Sun. (assuming it survives)  I did see Comet Ison last week though.

It has been pretty rainy and cloudy here, but sometimes in between the clouds, the sky has been gloriously clear.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Rainy Season

October has been breezier than usual, so we haven't done quite as much sweating and sweltering as is sometimes the case.  It hasn't been too rainy either.  Lots of sunrise showers, but pretty dry most of the time.
According to our friend, Donna, our Republic /  Hato area had about 1.8 inches of rain during the day yesterday, and 2.7 more inches overnight.

But we've had loads of rain the last couple days.  I've got some plastic pans in the attic under a few leaks we've discovered in our new roof.  :)

Here is a shot from right in front of our house this morning.

And the view on the way to the office.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Full Moon Walk in Washington Park

If you are on Bonaire, don't miss the Full Moon walk in Washington Park on Friday, October 18.  Be at the park entrance, ready to go at 6pm.  Admission is free.
They suggest bringing a flashlight, sturdy shoes, and any snacks or drink that you might need.
Sandra and I went on a full moon walk in the Park back in 2009 and enjoyed it immensely.  Here are a few pictures from that event.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

World Champion Windsurfer

Last week, in Germany, Bonaire's Kiri Thode was crowned Windsurfing World Champion in the Freestyle discipline.  Bonaire's Tonky Frans finished third and Taty Frans was sixth.
The guys returned to Bonaire last night to a hero's welcome.  There were so many people at the airport that the whole road from Bel Nem, past the airport to the Stadium, was packed bumper to bumper with cars.
Here is a link, I hope, to a facebook video documenting some of the excitement at the airport last night.
An award winning video documentary titled "Children of the Wind" chronicles the story of these guys.  Sandra has it on BluRay and she's bringing back home with her in a week or two.  My parents watched it already and really liked it, so I think I can heartily recommend it here.
Pa Bien guys!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

3 Planets

Saturn and Venus were pretty close together in the evening sky earlier this week.  And Mercury got close to the star Spica.  I went out shortly after sunset on Tuesday and was able to spot the three planets, but not Spica.  By the time is was dark enough, Spica and Mercury had descended into a haze layer.  Binoculars would have made it easier, and they showed up in the photos I took.

This first shot is a wide angle view.  Saturn and Venus are pretty easy to spot.  Especially since I've labeled them, ha ha.  If you look at the full size version, you can also see Mercury if you know exactly where to look.  To help you know where to look, I've included a second cropped photo which zooms in on Spica and Mercury.  Once you figure out exactly where they are, then maybe you can go back to the first shot and find Mercury, and maybe Spica.

Here is the zoomed in crop of the above picture.  Spica and Mercury are to the left of the palm tree, about half way up from the bottom of the frame.  Mercury is brighter than Spica.  I actually enhanced Spica a little to make it easier to spot.  It was dimmer than this actually.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Update from Our Listeners

The work involved in operating and maintaining the station here on Bonaire is never ending.  For a glimpse into why we persevere, check out the following paragraphs from a report we received this summer from Alberto Gonzales, our TWR partner in Cuba. 

"I went to preach at an event for Christian disabled workers in the city of C******.  There were pastors, missionaries or home church leaders, some of them blind and with other physical problems, but anyway serving the Lord with joy. When I was presented to the people, quickly many identified themselves as listeners of TWR.  There was Luis R., a blind man with his wife.  (pictured left and center, with Alberto-right)   I hugged this blind brother and his wife who was crying besides him. It was a very touching moment and all the people were excited and clapping.  He knew complete passages of my books that his wife had read to him and the topics of the programs of TWR.

But the biggest surprise was still ahead…  I****, a Roman Catholic catechist, whom I had seen the previous day imparting a biblical study in another room of the building, got up and said:  "Pastor, when I saw you yesterday night while you passed by and I was teaching, I hadn’t any idea who you were.  If so, I would have invited you to enter to my class because yesterday I was teaching to my Bible Study group your book "Living the Gospel".  Since we have been studying your book we have become your listeners and TWR programs every night..!  Our knowledge of the Christian faith has improved and changed completely from then on. Can you send us more material to use in our class?" 

I was not prepared to hear something like that..!  The impact of TWR in Cuba is a lot more than we imagine.  So, I gave to the group the audio CDs of the four books of the serial "Living..." and a DVD with more than 600 programs of “Messages of Faith and Hope.”   Without a doubt, the Holy Spirit is moving in a very special way in Cuba and He is using TWR Bonaire to reach all the corners of the Island, winning people for Christ and encouraging the believers to a better knowledge of the Word of God.  In our office, we continue receiving an average of 200 letters each month from listeners and people requesting biblical materials.  Many of them are new believers.”
It is great to hear from our listening audience.  People usually correspond with our regional offices, rather than directly to us on Bonaire.  But I’ll take second-hand reports, like the one above, any day!  And now you are hearing it third hand.  J   I hope you are encouraged by what the Lord is doing through the broadcasts as well.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Moon and Venus

The Moon and Venus made a beautiful pair in the evening sky tonight.  The star Spica was to their lower right and the planet Saturn to their upper left.

The Moon actually appeared to go in front of Venus as seen from locations South of us.

This picture shows the Moon, Venus and Spica.  Saturn is out of the shot to the upper left.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

More Bonaire Panoramas

I've mentioned the Bonaire panoramas Web site before.  Bill Heatley just sent me a link to a brand new one they shot at the top of Brandaris, the highest point on Bonaire.  We've had some really clear days (and nights) lately, in between the thunder storms.  I had been wishing I could get to the park to climb Brandaris, but now I don't have to!
Check it out.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

New Swanson page on TWR.ORG

We now have our own page on the TWR Web site.  There is not much there except our quarterly news letters from 2012 and 2013, in PDF form.
Over the years, stuff generally shows up on this blog before it appears in the newsletter.  But during the last year or so, since I haven't been blogging that much, you'll probably find TWR ministry related stuff in the newsletters that never appeared here.
So check it out if you get a chance.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Milky Way Time Lapse Video

On Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, I shot pictures of the Milky Way passing behind the TWR antenna towers.  I made the Tue. night exposures at ISO 3200 and the Wed. ones at ISO 1600.  I like the Wed. results better, so here is a 28 second video made up images shot between 8pm and 2am on August 7.  Each image was exposed for 34 seconds and there was a four second pause between shots.

The original video is at 1080p resolution, so if you have a HD screen and a fast Internet connection, be sure to click on the size buttons on the bottom right part of the frame so you can see the higher quality versions.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Perseid Preview

Tuesday and Wednesday nights were pretty clear here on Bonaire.  So I was out late taking pictures.  The Perseid meteor shower peaks this coming weekend, but I've seen a few nice ones already.

One bright Perseid was low and slow and went right behind the TWR antenna towers.  It even showed up in this image.  But seeing it live was better!

Friday, August 02, 2013

Kibrahacha Trees again

We had some very heavy rains this past Saturday.

A few Kibrahacha trees seem to have appreciated it and have burst into bloom.

Here is the view looking east from the TWR offices.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Mountain Bike Fun Race

Frank Bohm, from the Freewieler bike shop, has been organizing a number of bike races this year.  He has been able to line up different sponsors for the different races.  A big thank you goes to the folks at FLOW for sponsoring this month's race.  And thank you, Frank, for the pictures.

I was able to participate this past weekend and had a great time, except for the three occasions that my wheels got totally locked by mud that got jammed between the tires and the frame.  Mud is not usually a problem here on Bonaire.  :)

There were 34 riders in total, which is awesome for a Bonaire bike race.  24 of the riders did one lap around the 17km course, and 13 of us did two laps.  You can't tell from the pictures, but there were quite a few female riders in the group.

Most of the course was on dirt roads or double track, with a couple short technical climbs thrown in as well.  The first half mile or so was on the paved Lagoon Road.  That is the scenic Bonaire landfill in the background of this last shot.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Super clear Skies

We had some heavy rains Saturday and a little bit Sunday morning.  The skies were crystal clear on Sunday and on into Sunday night.  Sandra's cousin, Bud Gillan, saw a great green flash at sunset time.
I set up an equatorial mount and camera in our back yard and shot a bunch of images of the area around zeta Ophiuchus.  There is a monstrously huge, but faint H-II emission region there. 
While those automated five minute long exposures through a h-alpha filter were happening, Bud and I drove out to the south end of the island to see the Milky Way.  It was truly awesome, as good as it gets here on Bonaire.
Here are a couple shots of the Milky Way stars with the lighthouse in the foreground.  It is the same one minute long exposure, one version has been sharpened more than the other.  You can click on them to see them bigger.  That yellow glow on the horizon is Venezuela.  You can use Google Earth to identify the cities, some 70mi. away.  The streak in the lower left corner, that looks like a meteor, is actually an airplane.  We did see some great meteors last night, but I don't know that I caught any of them in a picture.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Milky Way and Lighthouse

A bunch of us were out looking at the Milky Way with my 20x80 binoculars the other night, and a friendly guy came by and took some pix of the stars behind the Willemstoren lighthouse.  This was something I'd been meaning to do for years, but never got around to it.  But now I was inspired and we went back the next night and had a go at it. 
Here are two versions of the same shot, one or the other might look better to you depending on how bright your screen is.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Short Milky Way Time Lapse Video

I've assembled some 250 or so images of the Milky Way, from Tuesday evening, into a short time lapse video clip.  You can see the clouds and cars zoom by, and you can see the stars slowly move from east to west.
Here is one frame from the video.  Note the bright meteor to the right of the towers.  And you can see the "coat hanger" asterism at the top edge of the image, near the left side.  You'll need to see the picture full size to spot the coat hanger.  (which is rotated clockwise from vertical by about 120 degrees).

Here is the video clip.  If you have a fast internet connection and/or a HD screen, you can view this on YouTube at 1080p resolution.  I watched it at 720p and it looked pretty good compared to the very downsized version I have here.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Summer Milky Way at the TX Site

Back in October I took a couple pictures of the Milky Way setting behind the TWR antenna towers and made them into posters at Short Run Posters.  I particularly like their 18x24 inch UV coated posters at $5 a pop.  I've got a number of Bonaire scenes hanging on the walls of my office.

I've been hoping for a clear night or two this summer, while the Milky Way is positioned high in the southeast.  Tuesday night was relatively cloud free, but somewhat hazy.  I shot a ton of pictures which I hope to assemble into a short time lapse video clip.  I also combined some of the shots into an image that shows the motion of the stars across the sky over time.  You can see the stars near the south (right side) starting to curve around the south pole, which is below the horizon.  And you can just tell that the stars towards the north are starting to arc around the north pole.  The bright fuzzy patches right in the middle of the frame are the milky way star clouds.  The yellowish streaks towards the lower left are Bonaire clouds.

On Wednesday evening, the skies were wonderfully transparent, but there were quite a few clouds passing by.  I patiently waited for a few hours for a break in the clouds, and got a few shots that I think will be keepers.  Here is a first look at one of them.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

3 Planets - Tue, Wed, Thur

This is a follow up to my recent post with pictures of Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury's close encounter in the evening sky.

If you look back to the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday pictures,  you'll see that Jupiter was to Venus's upper left, but was getting lower in the sky relative to Venus each succeeding evening.  Mercury was on the right side of Venus and was moving higher in the sky every evening.  Mercury was also losing brightness, but I don't know if you can see that in the pictures.

Well, this trend continued on into Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  In these three pictures, Jupiter continues to drop lower and Mercury continues to rise.  The pictures here are un-cropped frames made with the same camera and 85mm lens that I used on Sat, Sun, and Mon.  You'll probably need to click on these pictures to see the larger versions, in order to spot the planets near the middle of each shot.

Jupiter has moved to the lower left of Venus by the Tuesday image below.

Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury form a crooked line from lower left to upper right by Wednesday, as seen below.

The line made by Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury is straighter and more vertical by Thursday evening, as seen below.  Jupiter had almost dropped into the haze by the time is was dark enough to get a good picture.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Busy Weekend on the Water

The wonderful waters around Bonaire are going to be a busy place this weekend, from the tippy top of the wave crests all the way down to the deep dark depths.

The 9th annual Prokids Windsurfing event will have sailors zooming around on the water's surface.  Its pretty windy these days, so it could be good....

And a research submarine will be conducting surveys at those all so mysterious 60 to 300 meter depths.  They'll dive at the town pier, the WEB pier and the Cargil pier this time around.  Wonder if they'll find any hand blown bottles downtown, that we missed back in the day.  You know, if I were going to take a submarine ride, I'd pick Karpata and Slac Bai.  Those reefs seem to keep on going down forever.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Waiting for the Planetary Parade

I set up early at my shooting locations, and was treated to some nice sunset colors on Saturday and Sunday.  Here we see the Aquaspace glass bottomed sailboat heading back to town .
Venus is a little to the upper left of the dark U shaped cloud.  Jupiter is to Venus upper left right at the top edge of the frame.

Here is what the sky was doing while I was waiting for the planets to appear Sunday evening.  I can see Venus and Jupiter in this image, but you might not be able to spot them in this downsized for the Web version.

3 Planets Sat Sun and Mon

We went out and saw Venus, Mercury and Jupiter on Friday evening.  I've taken pictures on Saturday, Sunday and Monday evenings.  You can easily see the planets moving with respect to each other from night to night.  I also was interested to see that the orientation of the planets with respect to the horizon appeared a little different than the simulation from Sky and Telescope, which was set up to show the skies much farther north and west compared to Bonaire.
These images are all full frame, (un-cropped) so the positioning of the planets from evening to evening can be directly observed.
The first image is from Playa Lechi, across the street from the TWR office.  The second shot is from the south end of the Plaza Resort, and the third shot is from a TWR house across the street from the Divi Flamingo hotel.

Here is what the planets looked like on Saturday evening.  Venus is at the bottom, Jupiter is well to Venus' upper left and Mercury is to Venus' upper right.  the planets are a little to the right of the middle of the shot, and in the blue sky just above the band of grey clouds.  The planets form an isosceles triangle pointing to the upper left.  You'll probably need to click on the image here to see a bigger version.

Here is what the planets looked like on Sunday night.  They were closest together on the 26th.  I shot this somewhat later than the Saturday image, so the planets are lower in the sky and the sky is darker.  The planets were getting into the haze at this point  This planetary equilateral triangle was quite striking to the naked eye, if one happened to look to the west at the right time of the evening.  It is still Venus on the bottom, with Jupiter to the upper left and Mercury to the upper right.  The star to the right of Mercury is Beta Taurus and the star to the upper left of Jupiter is probably Zeta Taurus.

Here is what we saw from our front yard on Monday evening.  We've been living in Playa Pariba for a few months while our Hato house is undergoing renovations.  Venus is still at the bottom, with Jupiter to the upper left and Mercury well to Venus' upper right.  The planets are in the large blue gap between the trees in the middle of the frame.  They form an isosceles triangle pointing to the upper right.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

New Annotated Aerial Images of Bonaire

A big thank you to Susan Davis at The Bonaire Insider for alerting me to a new feature on the InfoBonaire web site.

There are 15 new aerial photos of Bonaire with click-able labels identifying many tourism related points of interest.  I don't think that the online version of these areal photos shows any more detail than what one can see in the latest Google Earth images of Bonaire, BUT these new images are not taken from directly overhead, like the Google Earth ones.  And they shot the pictures at the right time of the day so that the sun is in a favorable locaton.

That all makes it easy to orient oneself and identify roads and buildings on these new images.  I enjoyed looking at them.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The May Planetary Parade

If you have clear skies right after sunset any evening between now and the end of May.  Be sure to look towards the north west horizon to see Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter grouped close together.

The configuration of the three planets will visibly change from night to night.
You can read all about it and see nightly illustrations of what you can expect to see at Sky and Telescope's web site.

If we ever have any clear skies here on Bonaire, sigh, I'll try to get some pictures.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

One last Kibrahacha gasp

We had some serious torrential rain earlier in the week, coming from a backwards direction too.  It triggered a couple more Kibrahacha trees into bloom.

The one pictured here bloomed a week or so ago.  Sometimes only some of the branches of a tree bloom, and later the rest of the tree blooms.  Pretty cool.  You can just barely see green leaves at the top of the tree, among the yellow blossoms.  When I rode by this tree on Thursday, it was all a deep green color.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Sunset at the TX Site

Sandra and I zoomed south Saturday evening to see if we could watch the Sun set behind the TWR antenna towers.  We were a little late, but we still got to see a nice sunset and I got a couple pix. (and got eaten up by no see-ems)  You can click on the pictures to see a larger version of them.

There was some heavy duty haze and cloud action, which kept the Sun's disk from being too bright.

Then we spotted the evening KLM flight coming in to land, so I snapped some more pictures, as the sun dipped below the horizon.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Kibrahacha Trees II

Just in case you haven't had your fill of Kibrahacha tree pictures.  Susan Davis has posted some very nice ones on the BonaireInsider web site.

The weather forcast here is calling for rather stormy weather coming up from Venezuela.  If the whole island gets some good old tropical downpours, it will no doubt encourage the rest of the Kibrahacha trees to burst into bloom.  At which time I'll have no choice but to go out and take some more pictures.  ha-ha

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Upgraded Sports Facilities

A lot of work has been done over the last year or two to upgrade the athletic facilities here on Bonaire.  A number of sports fields now have night lighting.  I can attest from personal experience that it is a lot more fun doing sports at night than under the broiling Bonaire sun.

Three soccer fields, that I've seen, have artificial turf surfaces now as well.  I'm not sure if there are any others that I haven't spotted.  I grew up playing softball on the grass, so playing on Bonaire's hard packed dirt fields was quite a change.  I'm sure playing soccer on these new fields is waaaay more fun than on the dirt.

Here is shot of the Rincon soccer stadium, with its new artificial turf surface.