Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving animals

Deseret Chuckwalla
My sister and her family came to visit for Thanksgiving and after the Thursday ritual overdosing on Turkey etc., we visited the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum.  We had a nice time walking around and checking out the animals- at left is what I believe is a female Desert chuckwalla that was hanging out in the Mountain Lion enclosure.  Either Mountain Lions prefer chuck steak to chuckwalla, or they are well fed, as this large lizard was quite brave in its choice of habitat.  The kids really enjoyed the cave and the bat ear demonstration as seen below.


The animals are of course the main attraction at the museum and the unseasonably warm weather had them out basking in the Sun and posing for all the visitors. As always, click the pictures to enlarge.

Bighorn Sheep

Prairie Dog
And yes, we even managed a picture of the elusive mother bat.  This is the first time that this animal has been photographed in the wild:

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thimble Peak

Yesterday afternoon I had to run up Mount Lemmon to take care of some business, and on the way down I was treated to the Sun setting behind Thimble Peak.  Fortunately, if I have learned one thing from my friend Paul, it is to take the camera along on these types of outings.   Image below was taken at 5:19 PM (on November 22nd) with an exposure of 1/500 of a second at f/10 with an ISO of 100.  I was using my Canon T2i and an EFS 15-85mm zoom lens, although I am not sure of the exact zoom setting...I am guessing it was in the neighborhood of 50-60mm.

Click to enlarge

Just to the left of Thimble Peak, you can see Kitt Peak National Observatory  which is the flat top mountain in the distance.  Below is a crop of the peak at full resolution.

Click to enlarge

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Been a long time since I took a picture of the Sun!  I am working at home today and while I have been quite productive through lunch, I needed a break...and when I looked online to see what the Sun was up to today I noticed that there are quite a few spots.  Out I ran to quickly set up the scope and snap off an image.

Taken in a hurry, using an alt-az non-tracking mount at approximately 1900 UT, November 13 2012, using my TEC 140 APO and Canon T2i - through a Lunt Solar Systems Herschel Prism.  Seeing was average, but at 1/4000 of a second not a huge issue other than proving difficult to focus prior to opening the shutter.

Click to enlarge

Friday, November 2, 2012

Honor Roll and a bit of humor

This morning I was very happy to attend the honor roll ceremony at Emily Gray Junior High School, where Ian made the honor roll!  He has worked very hard this year and deserves the honor.  While the ceremony was centered on the students, it was pretty obvious to me this morning that it means as much to the parents as to the kids.  I had a seat in the front row so I could take pictures, and the parents around me were clapping for almost every student, even the ones they did not know...maybe it is because I was surrounded by the adults who always sat in the front of class as kids....Anyway, NICE JOB IAN!

As long as we are on family topics, I have to share three pictures that my sister sent me of my niece, Sophie, during her most recent soccer match.  Sophie is in first grade and it is pretty clear that she is a budding soccer phenom.  Team needs a goal?  Get the ball to Sophie who will dribble the length of the field and put it in the net.  While you can see Sophie driving down field prior to scoring the winning goal, take a look at the faces of the horrified parents from the opposing team in the pics...Click them to enlarge...they are priceless!