12:53 AM

For the second late night in a row, battery problems interrupted a chance to photograph the waning moon’s rise over quiet, and peaceful Barnegat Bay, on New Jersey’s Atlantic Coast. So, it was my I-phone put to the test, …to the capture, without having to manage a myriad of options with the comparativily heavy and awkward SLR camera and attached lenses. Instead, it was a few rare moments, out there in the silent night, simply taking in and savoring the tranquility.

Thanks for Viewing. Click on the image for a closer look. M 🙂

In Search of Pluto

A tale from over fifty years ago!

Using this 10″ (255mm) reflector telescope, and a simplistic chart published in Sky and Telescope magazine, I would try to confirm seeing Pluto, …a difficult star-like pinpoint at the edge of visibility. Observing from my suburban town only twenty miles (32 km) N.W. from the brightness of New York City, proved challenging.

A second observation from a considerably darker location was planned as Pluto would have slightly changed position amongst the same stars. But it didn’t happen as unfavorable weather conditions persisted for several weeks.

ABOVE: As seen in the eyepiece, …a rough drawing of visible stars in the area of where I believed Pluto was located. The arrows, particularly “G,” indicated possible candidates. I estimated magnitude 14, (the published approximate magnitude, or brightness of Pluto,) was about the faintest I could see at the time.
ABOVE: Compare the sketch to this same very small area in the constellation Leo, as shown from “Google Sky,” a searchable photographic atlas available free on-line, and certainly not available back then!

Did I see Pluto? Maybe, or maybe not. I recently concluded there was not sufficient evidence for me to comfortably confirm a sighting.  But re-visiting this event from an “armchair viewpoint” so many years later, was …an interesting way to pass the time during this pandemic year.

Special thanks to “Cosmic Focus,” an advanced amateur astronomer/imager from Australia, for providing the incentive to re-visit this quest, …and guiding me to to the current charting resources available today. His wonderful captures of Pluto and a keyway to a remarkable WordPress site can be found here or https://cosmicfocus.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/pluto-the-previous-planet.

Thanks also for viewing. Comments are always welcome, and you can zoom in for a closer look. M 🙂

Resilience in the wake of Hurricane Isaias

About one month ago Hurricane Isaias brushed our area with 70 mph wind gusts carrying an abundance of salt water onto vulnerable trees and shrubs. Our Red Maple Tree suffered a significant loss of foliage facing the east side.

BELOW: One week after storm, 8/4/2000

                       BELOW: Five weeks after storm, 9/8/2000 

Below: Normal view at this time of year, (from a previous year.) Original leaves would already have been losing color saturation.


Thanks for viewing.  Comments are always welcome. Zoom in for a closer look.  M 🙂 (The old car was included to show
something more interesting than an old tree!)

 

Adventure to Primitive “Judges’s Shack” on the Dunes – IBSP, NJ

      During this Pandemic Summer:  a Sea Doo ride across Barnegat Bay at dawn to Island Beach State Park and the resident shore birds and ghosts of the 100 plus year old fishing shack still guarding the dunes overlooking the Atlantic      Notes: The “Judge’s Shack” is the last remaining fishing shack on the ocean side, originally built over 100 years ago. It is about a mile south along the beach from the bay access path. The adventure started at sunrise, across Barnegat Bay. Except for the first image, the images are in chronological order. And yes, the sea gull in the 4th image, is YAWNING! Wake Up time!

Thanks for Viewing. Comments are always welcome, and zoom in for a closer look. M 🙂



Comet Neowise, 4:45 AM, 7/14/20


          Finally! a clear morning, …and there it was! Thank You to my neighbor for providing the roof feature, although they don’t know about it yet. And Thank You to my patient wife for letting me back in the little upstairs deck door after I locked myself out!

As usual, thanks also for viewing. Zoom in for a closer look and comments are always welcome.  M 🙂

 

Pre-Pandemic Shenanigans

A TALE OF TWO HOODED MERGANSER FRIENDS

ABOVE: “Well, what silly antics do you want to pull today?”

ABOVE: “Hmmm, let me think!”

ABOVE: “How’s THIS!”

ABOVE: “AND …THIS?”

ABOVE: “Thank you, thank you! You can hold the applause, …there’s MORE!”

ABOVE: “You put your left foot out…”

ABOVE: “You put your left foot down…, and spin all around…”

“I think you’re …just a bit weird!” 

 

Thanks for viewing. Zoom in for a closer look! M 🙂

 

Strength!

        Sitting here at home during the Corvid – 19 Pandemic, I looked back on an image taken ten years ago, on Mother’s Day, May 8th, 2010. It was right out of the camera, with really nice lighting and conveyed a simple thought about …strength from above, the highlighted cables holding up the mighty George Washington Bridge. Today we reflect on the strength of our first responders and health care workers; and the universal pause for Mother’s Day, as we endure this most unprecedented time.   
Thanks for viewing. Zoom in for a closer look, and comments are always welcome. M 🙂

 

Fly-Over Salute to First Line Heroes

Most of the country, and particularily cities like New York, continue in a state of shut-down due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Today, a most welcome and meaningful show of support was heralded simultaneously by the Navy’s Blue Angels, and Air Force’s Thunderbirds, seen below flying from just south of the George Washington Bridge, to The Freedom Tower in lower Manhattan.
I joined about 30, mostly masked onlookers atop a basalt outcropping near Goffle Road, Hawthorn, NJ, to witness the event some 15 to 20 miles (24 to 32 km) distant from Manhattan. Close-ups are seen through ground haze, and a 600mm  lens.


Thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome, and zoom in for a closer look. M 🙂