Wednesday, December 30, 2020

November Sunset from CJ Brown

 I'm just getting around to processing some sunset images shot from the CJ Brown Marina overlook. 
The steeples of St. Raphael Church can be seen in the setting sun. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Jupiter and Saturn Conjunction 12/21/2020

 One of the biggest astrological events this year is the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn on December 21.....the Winter Solstice.
This event happens about every 800 years, but 400 years ago it occurred during daylight hours and thus was not visible.  
While many folks were calling tis a "Christmas Star," it was not. However, it may have been interpreted as one in years past. 
My initial thoughts were to try to photograph the conjunction from our property, but the horizon is not easily visible. This conjunction was low on the horizon, and only visible from just after sunset until Jupiter drops below the horizon at about 7:30pm. Prime time to photograph being about 6:30. 
In order to visualize the horizon, I decided to try a couple locations at Buck Creek State Park on 12/20/2020 when we had clear skies. I found that at all of my potential locations did not have clear views, and decided to photograph from Old Reid Park using the ponds as foreground. 
This landscape view, using the Olympus EM1 Mark3 and Leic 8-18mm lens, shows the location of the conjunction in perspective to the waning crescent moon.  

Using switched to the Olympus Zuiko 300mm lens. The Olympus Starry Sky autofocus mode allowed me to lock focus quickly and accurately on Jupiter and Saturn. 

We returned the following night at about the same time on 12/21/2020....the Winter Solstice. 
Skies weren't friendly, with almost complete cloud cover. We decided to stay for a bit, and about 6:30, the clouds broke for about 15 minutes. 

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Moon-Saturn Jupiter Conjuncture

 A conjuncture of the Moon, Saturn and Jupiter took place last week....November 18-21. 
I planned this shoot in Photo Pills....I wanted to capture the conjuncture with the CJ Brown Dam in the foreground. 
I'm pleased with the image. It's a double exposure....exposure one was a 4 second exposure to capture detail in the lake and foreground. The second exposure was a 1/20 second exposure which was spot metered on the moon. This was to be able to capture some details in the moon's surface as well as to get the earthshine of the dark aspect of the moon. 

Screech Owl at Buck Creek

Our familiar friend has returned again to Buck Creek State Park.
Actually, he is likely there year 'round, but in the winter months we see him roosted in a tree. This is the 4th year we've seen him (maybe her) in this location. Always a treat!!

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Buck Creek State Park

 A little afternoon drive at Buck Creek yielded some nice encounters.....

Thursday, October 22, 2020

October Camping at Hocking Hills State Park

 We camped at Hocking Hills State Park for a few nights to enjoys the fall colors. 
I wanted to visit the John Glenn Astrology Park, which is only a few miles from the state park, but the weather did not cooperate, and we didn't have clear night skies until our last night. Rather than drive, we stayed in the campgrounds and shot some night images. 
The crescent moon was showing some earthshine, and Jupiter was visible as well. 
This shot is a double exposure using the Olympus EM1 Mark3 and the Panasonic/Leica 8-18mm lens in Starry Sky mode. 

Hocking Hills Birds

A few Hocking Hills State Park birds.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Water Sports on a Windy Day

I stopped by the beach area at CJ Brown this windy afternoon looking for migratory birds.
Instead, I found some different birds....and airborn they were!
The beach waters were being used by some kite-boarders to fly high and fast across the water. I was amazed and in awe of their skills! Here are a few images, and the full gallery is here (if you guys see these, you can open the gallery and download any you want). 

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Kool Dude!

This is a new one for me....the Orange Assassin Bug, Pselliopus barberi. 
I found him at Kirby Preserve, in Clark County, on Goldenrod.
He reminds me of a Beetlejuice Bug. 

Kingfisher Fishing

 I stopped at the First Christian Church grounds, where there's a pond that turns into a mudflat about this time each year. I draws shorebirds, and I wasn't disappointed....there were several.
My best find though, was this Belted Kingfisher. Because of the shallow depth of this pond, the fish are quite small. Enough so that the Kingfisher would dive, grab a small fish and immediately hover for another dive as he swallowed his catch. 
I was able to capture some action shots using the Olympus EM1 M3 and Ziko 300mm F4 in C-AF Tracking mode. 

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Eastern Hornet Fly

 This is the Eastern Hornet Fly, Spilomyia longicornis, from Kirby Preserve in Clark County yesterday. The Hornet Fly is a species of syrphid fly (Hover Flies and Flower Flies). They are harmless and don't sting or bite.They are great wasp mimics, utilizing coloring as a protection by appearing to be a wasp or bee....something called "Batesian mimicry." Sources state that "some species even go so far as to wave their front legs in front of their face to mimic the jointed antennae of the potter wasps." I think that's what this fellow was doing. Didn't fool me a bit, though.

National Trails BioBlast

 Thursday and Friday I participated in the BioBlast hosted by National Trail Parks and Recreation "Parks for Pollinators."
The goal was to record observations of pollinators and document them in the iNaturalist app. 
I've been using iNaturalist for a couple of years, and had over 900 observations. During the BioBlast, I added 64 observations. Here's some favorites....

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

August Full Moon

Our scenery here at our home is rather limited. Rather than drive to get some moonrise shots last night, I decided to use the cornfield behind our house. 
This shot is at the moon was rising, silhouetted by the woods about a mile across the fields. The red color is due to earth's atmosphere, which filters out the blues; leaving the reds visible.  

This image is a double exposure.....I wanted to capture the corn tassels glistening in the moon's glow. Unfortunately, there was no way to do that without blowing out the moon. So, there are two shots here stacked. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2020


Some garden Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds. They are molting right now and look a bit shabby, but still fun to work on tracking skills!

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