Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Flagstaff Fire Update

  I'm getting ready to fly back to the Midwest, so I have been working hard to pack as much as I can in to the back of my truck in case things turn terrible while I'm gone.  We are still under a pre-evacuation and there is now active smoldering on the East face of Bear Mountain.  The firefighters have dug trenches and cut trees in preparation for a preemptive "back burn" if it starts moving down the face.  Some thunderstorms are moving through but mostly just rumbling, threatening lightning and gusting winds instead of bringing much needed rain.  Here's hoping these black clouds start dropping their moisture because we really need it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Flagstaff Fire

Flagstaff Fire that flared up from a lightning strike on June 26, 2012.  I'm currently packing the truck and under a pre-evacuation along with pretty much everyone in South Boulder.  Hopefully the firefighters can get it under control, but we are prepared to leave at a notice.  The woods are tinder dry and we really need rain.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Hummer

Ruby Throated Hummingbird
  The front range hummingbirds have been in high gear so far this summer guzzling nectar at an amazing rate.  There have been a handful of males fighting over the feeder set up in our garden bed and every once in a while I get to set my camera up and take some shots.  I can probably move even closer now since they no longer fear me while I'm harvesting lettuce just below them.  They really are amazing flyers and fearless for being so small.  A male went out of his way to pick a fight with my cat and made her look silly as she instinctively launched herself in to the air, missing badly and landing in the garlic patch.
Here comes company...

This is my nectar!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Galaxies up Next

  Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is Incredible.  It's a photo of 2/3 of a galaxy cluster known as the Leo Trio in the constellation of the same name.  It just boggles my mind that this stuff is out there in the night sky for us to see.

  With the Transit of Venus over and done with for my lifetime, it's about time I get my tracking mount up and running for extended deep sky imaging.  Plus, with an 8" telescope on my horizon, it will be even more fun to start going after these faint jewels of the night.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sunset Transit Photo

Transit of Venus at Sunset over the Rocky Mountains
  Been working on a couple of photos now that I'm mostly done with my video of the transit.  This is one I really like of the Sun right before setting over the Rocky Mountains.  I was so happy that the sky stayed clear enough to see the Sun on the horizon.

  Also, this is in a pretty remarkable set of photos on the Astronomy Picture of the Day Venus Transit Gallery.

Upgrading Video

  I'm currently uploading all of my videos over to YouTube.  My Transit of Venus movie can now be seen in all its 1080p high def glory.

Science Friday Venus Transit Contest

My Transit of Venus photo on Science Friday Photo Contest

  I've been struggling through the intricacies of getting my videos to show up on Google search.  For how easy people keep saying this is, it really isn't.  I guess that's why web optimization is such a big business these days.  But, the root of my problem is that I just found out all my embedded Vimeo videos use the new header page that (finally) allows them to work on mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad, but which amazingly make them invisible to the horde of Google spiders crawling the web for search mapping.  Google isn't too concerned with the plight of Vimeo users since they own YouTube, but I would think that Vimeo would be working harder at rectifying this.  But, the good news is that while following my video stats this morning to see where people are actually able to find my stuff, I saw a new blip on the radar coming from the Science Friday website!  Booyah!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

and the Daily Camera

My photo in the Boulder Daily Camera
  I was also emailed today that my photo had been included in this Sunday's edition of the Daily Camera.  Awesome!

Bad Astronomy Blog

My videos on the Bad Astronomy Blog

  Phil Plait, a fellow Boulderite and author of Discover Magazine's Bad Astronomy Blog has posted on my videos!  He also sent me a message:

I tweeted a link, and you may be amused to know Mia Farrow liked it!

Friday, June 8, 2012


 The Transit of Venus. I Finally finished putting together my video of the transit on June 5, 2012. It was a lot of work aligning a lot of images that were especially troublesome because of the 25mph winds during the transit. I got some good footage though, including video of an airplane flying across the Sun during the event. I hope you enjoy it. I had a lot of fun planning and executing this shoot.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Transit of Venus and an Airplane

  It's going to take me a while to get all the footage sorted, but I thought this short little video was worth posting right away.  Pretty cool.