Best Moon in Awhile (maybe ever)


These photos show what I’ve learned in the past two years.  Seeing was average, with intermittent clouds blocking my view.  The November weather was cool, but very forgiving.  I bounced back and forth between Modern Family and the Moon.

This time, I used every trick in the bag.  1200mm, motor drive, RAW and processed in Nikon CapureNX.

First, black and white (camera mode monochrome):

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Next, color enhanced:

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NAILED IT!


Rain was forecast for today.

Then the rain hit hard last night and into the early morning.

Then clear skies were predicted.

Then clouds persisted into the mid-afternoon.

I left work and saw the clouds part.  I went to a parking lot where I had a clear view of the setting sun.  Snapped together my aging equipment, threw a blanket over my head and the camera so that I could see the image.  Captured with a Nikon D300, through a 1200mm reflector.  Processed using Darktable and Gimp.

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Stunning! Then clouds moved in.


 

Woke up earlier than expected to see it take place.  Estimates were far off, though.  When I went outside to see whether weather had snuffed my opportunity, this is what I saw:

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My youngest came out–escorted by my wife–blinking to comprehend what I was showing him.

I watched, I wondered, and then I shot a few more photos.

And then clouds moved in:ThenCloudsMovedIn

Effort. . .


Here’s the moon tonight.  Digi-scoped through the 1200mm reflector with my Samsung Galaxy S4.  If I can struggle enough, I’ll be up to capture the eclipse. There’s a narrow (very, very narrow) window tomorrow morning to catch a shadow on the Moon in Kansas.  Houses and trees will block my view and will require me to drive to clear skies.  I will need to be a morning person (which I’m not), and I’ll need to be on the ball.

If I’m lucky, you’ll see it here.

Here’s a result from my systems check tonight:

 

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Nearly out of a fairy tale


This black toad hopped around while I was out mowing.  He escaped the whirling blades of death by ducking beneath the fence.

When I went out to put everything away, he was sitting next to this yellow-orange toadstool.

He remained in place for me to snap about ten photos.  It was quiet and time stopped; it really seemed magical.

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KS Spider


This gal has been spinning evening and morning webs in front of our house that are amazing.  Spanning more than 10 feet from porch to the nearest tree, she makes the 2-3′ web twice a day.  In-between, she rests in the flag holder on our porch.

The family says “kill her” sensing danger; however, I marvel at her work ethic and beauty.

She seemed to be sleeping this afternoon and allowed me to get close enough to her for a photo op.  What kind of spider is she?  And is that an egg sac above her?

She catches bugs.  She helps guard our house from invaders.  I believe I’ll keep her around.

 

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