Sunday, June 13, 2021

The Magic Tree


I was looking at my favorite tree this morning and at all the ivy surrounding its trunk.  I decided to go get my infrared converted camera and see what kind of a photograph I could take, with my camera that makes everything magic!  So this is the result and I love how it makes the normal, magical.  Please click on this photograph to see it in more detail.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Homework Assignment

I am taking a class given by my friend Stan, through the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York, where I am a member.  The course is called "Advanced Night Sky Photography" and trust me, Stan is the master of that.  I have a lot to learn.  So the assignment was to plan a photograph of the setting moon by using special software and a planetarium program on my computer to plan the shot.  Well, my plan fell apart for some reason, and when I got down to the water this was the best I could do - the moon setting with a telephone pole and trees in the foreground.  I may flunk the course!


Friday, June 11, 2021

Vivian's Running Shoes!

These are Vivian's new Nike running shoes! Aren't they the cutest things you have ever seen?  I can't believe how clever and amazing they are!  She is not even walking yet, so I never saw her even walking in these.  I can't wait until she starts running in these!  They were on the dining room table, so I never did see her wearing them.


Thursday, June 10, 2021

Solar Eclipse at Dawn!


What a day!  I tried to go to bed early last night, but had a fitful sleep.  I set the alarm for 4:00 AM and then a friend came by and we drove to Stehli Beach, in Bayville, about 20 minutes away.  The weather forecast was not good, but we went anyway.  To our delight, it was clear in the morning, with some thin clouds at the horizon.  This is a partial eclipse of the Sun.  At sunrise the Sun was  mostly covered by the Moon itself.  That is the black circle which is giving the Sun "horns."  It was astounding to watch through my telescope and see the two tips of the horns emerge from Long Island Sound.  For about 10 minutes I could photograph the Sun as the Moon slowly moved off the face of it, as the Sun rose higher.  It was a spectacular sight, and even more moving because of the possibility that because of weather we might not have seen any of this!  Click on this image to see it larger, and have your socks knocked off!

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Nice Truck, Needs Work


This truck was parked on Amy & Gus' street the whole time we were in Venice.  It is a cool old truck - a Chevrolet, it said on the back. But I have no idea what year it is.  Perhaps the motorheeads out there will be able to let us know what year this truck is.  It would be fun to see it fixed up, and painted just a little brighter yellow.  How cool would this be to see it all shiny and new.  Of course, THAT would be a lot of work!  By the way, notice the cottage in the background.  A classic cottage in beautiful condition.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

The End of The World!

About 3:00 PM today it got really dark to the north of us.  We have had thunderstorms passing by us to the north for a couple of days now.  They seem to stay on the other side of Long Island Sound.  So I jumped into he car and drove down to Sea Cliff Beach.  The sky was just astounding, it was so gray and the clouds were roiled.  I could not believe my eyes!  This view is looking northeast.  All I could think of was that this looked like the end of the world.

When I looked over to the west the sky was the same, but the formations were slightly different.  I was absolutely stunned by all of this.  I don't remember the last time I saw such an astounding sky. There was such beauty in all the subtle shadings of gray in the clouds.  It was beautiful beyond description.  It almost seems as if even my photographs cannot translate what I experienced.  I am so thankful I got to see this unusual event.

There were some areas in the clouds that were smooth rather than turbulent looking.  This is a detail of one such area., looking to the west.

This photograph shows the rain, in the distance, on the left moving toward us.  I just don't ever remember seeing such formations before.  I took this photograph and then headed for the car.  I was looking at the radar application on my phone, and once again all of the activity was on the far side of the sound, to the north.  We did get a bit of gentle rain for maybe half an hour, but that was it.  What an amazing day!


Monday, June 7, 2021

The Ghost Neighborhood of Surfridge

When taking off from Los Angeles, I looked out the window on the right hand side where I was sitting, and, once again, saw these patterns on the ground, right at the end of the runways on the west side of the airport.  I had seen them before and wondered about them.  This time, when I got home, I looked really carefully at the "streets" on Google Earth, and they did really look like streets.  So I went to one of my favorite places on the web, "Quora," which is an American question-and-answer website where questions are asked, answered, followed, and edited by Internet users.  I asked: "What are the cement "roads" in the land off the west end of the the runways at Los Angeles International Airport?"  Within a few hours I received this reply from a pilot named Mike: "Once upon a time there was an area sort of out in the country near a much smaller Los Angeles called “Mines Field”. As aviation seemed to be the next big thing, it opened as an airport in 1930, and in 1937, the City of Los Angeles purchased the airport to serve as their municipal airport. Aircraft were much smaller, and jet engines were not yet in existence. A community grew up around the airport - businesses, and residences as well. A developer had the wonderful idea that the neighborhood between the end of the runways, and the ocean, would be a great place for a community - and it probably was, for a while. With the introduction of larger and louder aircraft, and then the jet-engine powered Boeing 707, the residents of this wonderful community began to complain about the noise of departing aircraft right over their homes. The friction between community and airport became so great that the City of Los Angeles was forced to “buy” all the homes, and tear them down to end the squabble. The roads you see are from yesterday’s community."  Wow, how amazing is that!  Then I got another reply from Robert: That used to be the neighborhood of Surfridge. In the late 1960s and 1970s, Los Angeles bought all those homes (and a number along the north side of the airport), to make room for runway expansion. About 800 homes in total, and the land is now a butterfly sanctuary."  What an astounding story!  And all this from a view of some puzzling markings on the landscape as seen from an airplane!