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Faux February. February 15, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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This ain’t February.

I mean, the calendar says it is, but it really isn’t.

Cattle don’t forage on snowless ground here in February:

Bulls don’t paw and grub through the rattling corn stubble:

Mount Holyoke doesn’t watch over fallow fields of flattened grasses as the sun sets:

No, this isn’t February – it’s something else.

It ain’t right, I tell ya.

The top two were reeled in by Ollie, the last one is the work of that scoundrel Elliot.  That boy gets around.

A February Full-ish Moon. February 6, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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I went hunting for a nearly-full-moonrise this evening (the charts all say it’ll happen tomorrow evening, but the skies were expected to be clearer tonight,) and had some success.

I’d gone out yesterday afternoon and taken bearings on the moon at various times, then back-plotted the moonrise and set my compass for tonight’s event.  I wanted to be positioned to catch the moon rising against an interesting horizon, which is always tricky, given that the moon isn’t visible ’till it rises!  That’s not the case with morning moonsets; one can see the moon as it heads for the horizon and get somewhere where the results are predictable.

Anyway, I’d hoped to get the moon rising behind the Mount Toby fire tower in Sunderland, but somehow miscalculated, getting it entirely missing the mountain:

Dang!  Not a bad shot, but so much for my Scientific Method!

Well, with the moon visible it was much less of a crap-shoot to get it breaking the skyline somewhere else, as long as that “somewhere else” had taller hills so the moon would “rise” again.  So I booked it to Shelburne Falls, where the looming bulk of Mount Massamet rose more steeply skyward, and tried again.

Prowling the higher Buckland side, I took a bead on the visible moon:

The palette was entirely different but not at all unpleasant.  So with an eye on the prize, I wound my way down into the village, cruising side-streets to get to somewhere which would let me shoot the moon re-rising behind the Mount Massamet fire tower in the above shot.

With a bit of aggressive driving and a spate of running through peoples’ front yards, I finally got this:

While I’m happy with these shots as blog-fodder, they’re not nearly of printable quality, which has me frustrated beyond words.  I don’t know if Gizmo’s 400mm length just won’t ever cut the mustard, or if I’m doing something wrong here.

I guess more research is in order.