Lucky Star Zooms Between Orion and The Pleiades

I don’t often set the alarm for 2:45am, but when I do it’s stellar!

Man! 2020 so far has been a year of unprecedented bizarreness where real life has taken on the feel of a science fiction story.

It’s only fitting that something good has come of it. I mean, afterall, we gotta do things differently up here on the mountain ridge!

Got outta bed, downstairs and in my boots before the cat knew what’s up. Had the camera set up earlier in the evening ready to try my luck.

Would the clouds stay away? Would it become too foggy too soon for me to see the stars?

I can’t believe I was lucky to get a good view of Orion and The Pleiades between these large oak trees at 3 o’clock in the morning. I should stay up more.

Here’s my lucky star!

Night view of the stars around Orion and The Pleiades with a meteor streaking between the two constellations.
Orionid meteor streaks between Orion and The Pleiades constellations.

That’s it! The image above is the camera’s jpg trimmed down to size for posting here. Taken with Canon T4i camera with wide angle lens EFS 10-18mm, 25 sec., f/5.6, 1600 ISO using a tripod and timer. Looking southeast, 3:41am, 23Oct2020.

Trees of the Forest on the Mountain Top

Wandering around the woods looking for signs of Spring isn’t likely to bring out the posies, but many cool things abound in nature. You just have to look for them!

Trees. I love trees. Would love to have a greenhouse, but can’t bare to cut down enough trees on the land to make it a reality.

Here’s a couple shots of trees. Just trees.

The Old Leaning Tree Has No Bark
The Old Leaning Tree Has No Bark

The Widowmaker Will Eventually Fall to Earth
The Widowmaker Will Eventually Fall to Earth

Woodpeckers and other critters that hunt insects will soon get to work on the horizontal tree branch and the bark will fall away.

Until another wind storm comes along to bring it down, the half-a-tree could be a widowmaker if it fell on someone walking under it.

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Icy Crystals Like Feathers Inside A Bay Window

It’s not too surprising that the garage windows freeze up with ice crystals when it’s super cold outside. It doesn’t get cold enough in the garage to freeze a bowl of water for the outdoor cats, but it’s not heated either.

What is surprising is that the bay window in the Great Room gets frosty. You know it’s cold outside baby when the bay window freezes up moisture on the inside!

Frosty Window On A Frigid Morning
Frosty Window On A Frigid Morning

Without plunking down a sum of coin for a set of thermal curtains to keep out the cold, we came up with a lightweight method of insulating the window side of the great room. It was an inexpensive way to ‘make curtains’ without covering up the bay window completely.

The Great Room has hardwood flooring and lots of wood trim plus a huge beam that runs the length of the room. We loved the wood look and hated to cover it up with curtains or take away the lovely sitting area for the kitties (and us!) to look outside by hanging a large swath of material in front of everything.

Two one-inch thick Styrofoam sheets were glued together to boost the insulating properties and then fabric was cut to fit and glued to the boards, as we call them. The fabric-covered boards are like lightweight curtains that can be left in place to block out the cold (or the sunlight and its heat in the summer) or moved one at a time to allow as much or as little daylight into the room as desired with maintaining an enjoyable temperature in the room.

On the coldest mornings you can see how well the boards insulate the room from the cold. Move aside one of the boards in the early morning, and if its down into the teens outdoors there will likely be ice crystals on the inside of the bay window.

Frosty Window Feathers
Frosty Window Feathers

I thought it was pretty dry indoors, but moisture from the room is obviously high enough to allow ice crystals to form.

Last year in January (8 Jan 2015) the conditions were right for capturing photos of a heavy frost that formed on the window panes.

Frost Is Fleeting
Frost Is Fleeting

The ice crystals looked like compound leaves, fern fronds, and feathers.

It’s very interesting to study the crystals. You can see many shapes among the chaos of seemingly random geometries. Faces, birds, leaves and lots of other things can be imagined in the frosty images.

Photographs had to be taken before the sun peeked over the trees for when that happened the sunbeams hitting the window melted the ice.

It was fun while it lasted. Reminds me of the fleeting nature of life…and so many phrases we use to describe that, “Do it now. Press on! Just do it. Move it! Move on.” You get the idea.

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Dirt Lane Posted ‘No Trespassing Allowed’

Private property in rural areas is often posted with signs to let wanderers know that one more step means they’re trespassing on somebody else’s land.

Not something to be taken lightly in places where hunting is the outdoor activity of choice. Ya, be on your best behavior where so many people own shotguns.

Posted Sign Says No Trespassing Allowed
Posted Sign Says No Trespassing

I liked the image because of the posted sign warning trespassers to beware. That, and the dirt road going up the mountain, begs one to ask, “What’s going on up there?!”

The drab colors of this early winter shot screamed for a black and white finish.

Creepy thoughts abound when Halloween looms…what smart kid would walk up this lane at dusk hoping for a treat when they got to the top?

The posted sign that’s nailed to an old oak tree warns,

Name ___________________
Address ________________

Around these parts don’t think that ‘prosecution’ always involves the authorities either!

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