Friday, October 21, 2016
We are at Lowell Observatory, in Flagstaff, Arizona. This is a famous, historic observatory, built by Percival Lowell in 1894, to study Mars. He purchased this 24" refracting telescope, which is about thirty feet long, and used the telescope to search the surface of Mars. He thought he saw "canals" on the surface and he made many drawings, thinking that the canals were evidence of life on Mars. But the great discovery was by Clyde Tombaugh who worked here as a young researcher, using a different telescope than this one, and he discovered the planet Pluto in 1930. We got to observe through this 24" telescope, and saw some globular clusters, which were stunning in this instrument, and the planet Uranus. What a spectacular night! The last photo shows people lined up to look through the telescope. Notice the automobile wheels and tires going around the edge of the dome? And notice that the "dome" is not a round dome, as you might expect? There were two brilliant carpenters who were hired to build this observatory, and the automobile tires and the different style of dome, which have both lasted all these years, are the result of their ingenuity.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 11:58 PM
Thursday, October 20, 2016
I am whipped! Sorry I am so exhausted that this is the best photograph that I could come up with today. These tails are the new aircraft livery of American Airlines. Sorry for almost leaving this out! I flew out of LaGuardia to Chicago O'Hare, then after a layover, flew to Phoenix, rented a car, an drove for two and one-half hours up to Flagstaff, where I arrived at 9 PM. Tired of sitting all day long. I did manage to get this at O'Hare, I think. I promise better photographs for the rest of the week. Better, I guess, if you love astronomy and telescopes!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 10:54 PM
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
This is a photograph from the little park where I stop to rest at the end of my bike ride. I never cease to be amazed at the beauty of this landscape where I live! What attracted me was the delicacy of the grasses in the foreground, and what clinched it for me was the late afternoon light that gave everything a golden glow.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:22 PM
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
I thought I would go over to the garden and see if I could find a photograph there. I was so surprised to see that "my" plant which I bought at a nursery several years ago, had all these black pods on it! So here's the tricky part... My sister Joan had one of these plants in her back yard. It has small blue flowers on it when it is in bloom. The plant is now close to four feet tall. Joan can't remember which plant it is, unfortunately. I have never seen the black pods on it before - that must be because the plant needed to reach a certain age. I asked Kathy what she thought the pods were, and she suggested that they were seed pods. So I opened one up. She was right, as usual... :-) I should have photographed some of the leaves. I will say that there are three leaves at each junction on a branch. The leaves are about 1.5 inches long, and look like a water drop, and have smooth edges. Any guesses out there?
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:50 PM
Monday, October 17, 2016
Blue sky, sunshine, and temperatures near eighty degrees! What more could you possibly ask for? Another perfect day for a bike ride! The big problem was trying to figure out how to take a photograph while I was riding. I would love for you to see what I see, with both of my hands on the handlebars, and the road speeding below me. But there is no way to take that photo with my hands on the bars. So I had to do a one-hand picture of my shadow on the road, using my iPhone. But don't worry - I have been doing this for years while driving the car! :-)
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:49 PM
Sunday, October 16, 2016
There are a few galleries at the Museum of Modern Art, where there are windows looking out on Manhattan. It is always fun to see what new views you can see. I looked out this window and was taken by the reflected sunlight off some building, onto the facade of this brick townhouse. It feels a bit haunted or something, so I decided to photograph it. There are other buildings in the photograph, but it is really all about the light and the building in the foreground.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:24 PM
Saturday, October 15, 2016
We were invited to Fred's birthday party tonight. Fred said a few words before cutting the cake and we were all moved. He said that he decided that it would be nice to have a birthday party because he realized that he was thankful for how fortunate he has been in life, and in the wonderful friends he and his wife Marla have. He also said that the older you get the more friends seem like family, and the more family seems like friends. It was such a lovely party, and a tribute to the things that matter the most in life.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 10:37 PM