Thursday, February 26, 2015

Plenty of Purple

A short trip to Sax-Zim bog looking to photo some grosbeaks.  I saw one for a split second as it landed on a feed then took off, never to be seen again!  At least the purple finches were compliant.

The pine siskins were bickering over the plentiful seed.

Two female purple finches not getting along.

My favorite pic of the day

The happy couple

This Blue Jay visited a few times but was pretty shy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


The pigeons on campus like to hang out in the scuppers at the building roof lines.  This one was busy collecting pine needles to line its nest.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Gander at Uranus

It was cloudy for last night's triple conjunction of the moon with Venus and Mars, so I was hoping with the descending cold it would be clear tonight for a two separate conjunctions, the moon with Uranus and Venus with Mars.  I drove out onto Grand Lake and parked my car.  I got out and assembled my gear and noticed I was not alone.  There was another astrophotographer on the ice.  I am not the only crazy individual out in the 4 F cold tonight staring at the stars.

Also, my first time photographing Uranus and the Milky Way.  I need to get a wider view lens!

Moon with Uranus; Venus with Mars

Closer view of the foursome

 Venus and Mars

Cresent moon with Earthshine and Neptune

Jupiter with the four "Galilean" moons - Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto

Milky Way

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Dog days of Winter

A chilly -18 F this morning.  My wife left the house first this morning and soon phoned back, "Sun dogs!"  So I hurried the kids into the car and headed to daycare with a few stops along the way for pics.  Because the sun is continually rising and changing its angle with the atmosphere, and the atmosphere is continually changing with wind and clouds, the presentation of this atmospheric phenomena continually changes.  Sometimes it lasts but moments.  Today it presented for a long time, culminating with a halo.

7:46am CST at Munger Shaw Rd
Sun dogs with solar pillar rising up

7:51 am over Caribou Lake
Sun dogs with solar pillar down

 8:09 am from Hwy 53 near Twig, MN
Sun dogs, 22 degree solar halo, and a very faint upper tangent arc that is barely visible

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Frosted whiskers

This pine squirrel was enjoying digging in the snow for sunflower seeds.  At -11 F, he was hungry enough to not mind my proximity.

 Red-breasted nuthatch

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Mourning visitor

There are only a few Mourning Doves in my area, and even fewer in the winter.  They like to hang out at my neighbors; today one checked out my feeders.

Thursday, February 12, 2015


I was practicing getting nice stills of birds in flight and I happen to catch some interesting sequences with my camera shooting in continuous mode.  So I photoshopped the sequences together for some interesting composites. 

High sun and low temps

Bright, partly cloudy, and a few degrees below zero provided ice crystals in the atmosphere for several colorful shows today.

Solar halo

Solar corona

 Cloud iridescence 

Sitting pretty

Some feeder action.  The red-breasted nuthatch even stuck his tongue out at me!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Feathered sunset

The sky was filled with Cirrus fibratus clouds on the way to pick up the kids this evening.