Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Super Blue Blood Moon in northern California

I'm not sure why I woke up so early this morning, but I was up and reading various things on my smartphone and was reminded about today's eclipse of the moon. The eclipse was supposed to start not long after I was reading about it, and thinking that the maximum in my area was going to be at 4:51 am — which is actually when the total phase of the eclipse was going to start — I rushed outside with a headlamp and my phone to see if I'd be able to see it. While out there, I got the first photo, above, which is the moon looking like a tiny red ball. The time was 4:49 am.

Seeing how spectacular it all looked, I ran back inside and got my Nikon with its 18 to 200 mm lens and grabbed several shots while standing in snow and leaning against the camper in the front yard. I didn't realize the eclipse would be happening for nearly another two hours, so I took photos only of the early part of the red phase, which is the total eclipse phase.
The above photo is how the moon looked, without enhancement, at 5:07 am, about 20 minutes before the maximum stage of the eclipse, at 5:29 am, when the moon was at it's closest to the center of Earth's shadow. Read more here.

I went back inside and tried to go back to sleep.
Here I've enhanced the photo a little, but a 200 mm zoom doesn't really do that well with moon shots, so you should head on over to Geotripper to see some better photos by Garry Hayes, along with explanations about what the heck the terms "super" "blue" and "blood" refer to when describing a moon.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Twelve (or Ten?) Months of LFD (2017)

I'm doing the year-end meme wherein I compile the first sentence of the first post of every month. Meme rules are as follows, as per DrugMonkey (2014):
Post the link and first sentence from the first blog entry for each month of the past year.
I also add the first photo from the same first post. Previous takes on this Twelve Month meme at LFD were posted for 2008, 2009, 20102012, 2014, 2015, and 2016.'s the year 2017 for LFD:

It's been icy cold in the far northlands, with temperatures hovering not too far above zero for several days.

It was a late fall day, and I stopped along Route 447 to see if I could get close to some of the brilliantly colored trees along the Truckee River a few miles north of Wadsworth.

I planned to have this descriptive section as part of the last post—the one about being packed and ready to leave town—but this "little bit" grew and grew, and eventually it had to find its own home.

I was looking back through some photos and realized I had some of the Roan Cliffs from the spring of 2006.

What is this?!!1?1!?
It all started when I was trying to find out what rock formations and rock types I was seeing while making the long trip to work and back out near Elko.

I'm moving slowly on this mini-series about the Humboldt River while working essentially 12-hour days and while (hopefully) recovering from some long-lasting bug I caught on the road or out in Elko more than two months ago.

Returning once again to my spring mini-series about all the rivers and lakes that are at higher levels than I've seen in quite awhile (most recent post), I decided this time to show a few pics of the Truckee River, which I drive by quite frequently.

August: Nothing.

It's been a busy summer, such that I really haven't had time to get much blogging done—and I had so many good posts planned!

This is a classic road song with "road" right there in the title, courtesy once again of MOH.

November: Nada.

December: (links to this post).
I'm doing the year-end meme wherein I compile the first sentence of the first post of every month.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Road Song: Copperhead Road

Steve Earle: Copperhead Road (lyrics)
Album: Copperhead Road, 1998

This is a classic road song with "road" right there in the title, courtesy once again of MOH. I can't say that I have any particular memories around this song, but the music video is quite evocative with respect to the eastern backwoods (which I remember well from my years back there), Vietnam, and what might be protecting the younger John Lee Pettimore III's current crop, which isn't moonshine.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Road Song: On the Road Again

Canned Heat: On The Road Again (lyrics)
Album: Boogie with Canned Heat, 1968

I haven't updated my road song list for quite sometime, in fact my post list by "road songs" indicates that I added the last new one in August, 2015, more than two years ago!! One The Road Again, not to be confused with the song with the same title by Willie Nelson, is an oldie from the Woodstock days, one I had pretty much forgotten about until MOH reminded me of it last week. In my mind this is old time hippie music to go along with Tupelo Honey (Van Morrison), Sugar Magnolia (Grateful Dead), and Creole Belle (Jesse Colin Young).

Sorry I can't guarantee that music videos I post will remain online. Enjoy while you can! 😊

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Wandering Amongst the Granite Knobs in the Northern Sierra

Granitic knobs in the northern (way northern) Sierra.
It's been a busy summer, such that I really haven't had time to get much blogging done—and I had so many good posts planned! But it's been really difficult for me to do much of anything while working essentially twelve to fourteen hour days (depending), and on days off I've been working around the house, gardening, and attending to other things besides writing.

Nevertheless, MOH and I have found time to get out and about a couple times; these photos were all taken on a particular jaunt of ours back in early July. While traversing from west to east across the Great Basin Divide, we unexpectedly drove by some lovely exposures of granite—well, probably it's technically granodiorite.
It was just barely past spring at our elevation of 5500 feet.
Pinemat (Ceanothus prostratus) takes over a stump.
From our parking area beneath tall pines next to a spring, we wandered up to the the closest knobs.
The view southward from our "Granite Hill."
From this perspective, it's easy to get a feeling for the magnitude of several wildfires that have burned through this area in fairly recent years. At least two, maybe three, fires were evidenced by different tree heights.
Upward we climb.
I think exposures of granite and other granitic rock are fascinating, and it's hard not to stop and stay all day, even when the day is a scorcher.
A wildflower has taken hold along a fracture or joint.
This bouldery countenance reminds me of the tufa formation "Old Woman with Basket," also known as Stone Mother, on the east shore of Pyramid Lake.
Looking off to the north, as the last photo does, it's easy to see at least two plantings of Ponderosa Pine, which followed two or more forest fires. As the trees grow, forest managers come along and thin the trees.
This tree was five to nine years old when cut, depending on how one should count the rings.
Here are a few of the great mafic inclusions we saw while wandering around.
Some vertical joints within the granite.
A cobble got stuck in one of the vertical joints.
A swarm of inclusions!