Delight From the Heavens – Saturn and Jupiter Last Night, August 24, 2021

Before the Moon had fully risen, I was able to take two excellent pictures of Saturn (836M miles/1.3B km), and Jupiter, with its four main moons visible (374M miles/778M km). We are mostly clear of Dixie Fire smoke for the time being. When there are too many smoke particles in the air, the camera cannotContinue reading “Delight From the Heavens – Saturn and Jupiter Last Night, August 24, 2021”

Deer in the Front Yard Today

There is a small local herd of six blacktail deer: one buck, three does, and two fawns. They are quite comfortable on our property, and except for the buck, came onto the front and side yards this morning, as I was trimming the lavender. I swear the doe in the last picture was smiling atContinue reading “Deer in the Front Yard Today”

A Great Horned Owl, Nearly Full Moon, and Hummingbird

I was sitting outside yesterday evening, and first saw a bunny, and then a grown jackrabbit, among the lavender near the house. Very unusual to see rabbits this close by, as they usually stay out in the yard. Then one rabbit ran down by the side of the pool, and an owl swooped in forContinue reading “A Great Horned Owl, Nearly Full Moon, and Hummingbird”

Dixie Fire Sunrise Today and Last Night’s Moon

‘Orange’ is the operative word. We are smoky again today, though the forecast for tonight and the rest of the week, is for south and southeast wind, which blows out the smoke. Our power shutoff was cancelled, though the backup generator is all set. Please enjoy these unusual pictures of our celestial neighbors:

Discovering a Family of Blacktail Deer Near Nance Pond Today

I was walking near the pond down in the canyon today, and decided to explore a small stream that runs from the pond. This area was impassable before the fire, and now has a far lower profile of mostly berry brambles. As I approached the stream, a family of blacktail deer emerged from a copseContinue reading “Discovering a Family of Blacktail Deer Near Nance Pond Today”

A Local Blackout Across Nance Canyon Last Night

A car hit a power pole last night, on a road just across the canyon from us, and blacked out that neighborhood in Paradise. There were generators and lights on during the repair, which was completed in a few hours. The Dixie Fire smoke gave it an eerie quality. Here are three views from ourContinue reading “A Local Blackout Across Nance Canyon Last Night”

Just Picked Yellow Cling Peaches

Here is pretty much our entire crop of yellow cling peaches, picked just now from our dwarf tree – the first time in six years we have had fruit from this tree. Works out to half for us, and half for the critters. The sky looks tan and smoky today, but it doesn’t smell badContinue reading “Just Picked Yellow Cling Peaches”

Saturn and Jupiter Last Night

The smoke in the atmosphere can be useful when photographing distant planets, as it filters out the glare. Here are Saturn (800M mi/1.3B km) and Jupiter (450M mi/745M km) from last night. Jupiter has three obvious moons showing, though it looks like the outermost one may be two, orbiting close together. Enjoy!

The Dixie Fire Yesterday and Today

Clear yesterday, and smoke haze today. Our southern wind is supposed to clear things out later. The Dixie Fire is now 322K acres, and the active fire front is about 50 miles away from us now. Here are four pictures of 1) the fire front seen from Paradise, 2) a tanker helo, 3) the sunContinue reading “The Dixie Fire Yesterday and Today”

Finding a Satellite in Geosynchronous Orbit

Last night I was taking pictures of the Milky Way, and decided to zoom into the center and see what it looked like for a 30s. exposure. Of course the star trails all became quite long as their position shifted relative to the camera lens, over the 30 seconds of the exposure. Except for aContinue reading “Finding a Satellite in Geosynchronous Orbit”

International Space Station and Saturn Over Paradise

The ISS hit a peak of 80 degrees last night, almost directly overhead, and I captured a very clear shot. Then I took some good pictures of Saturn, also brightly visible last night, and made a composite of the ringed planet and the ISS for the second photo posted here. The ISS travels at 18KContinue reading “International Space Station and Saturn Over Paradise”