The sun sets on January.

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Wow.  That was fast.  January flew by.  This weekend is very un-January-like, though – sunny, with temps inching into the 80s.  I took this shot as the sun was dropping last night.  The light through the trees was gorgeous.

We’ve decided to leave the signpost up that I made for last summer’s family reunion.  It just seems right.

Breezy day.

Yesterday we went to the lake and Joel joined us with his out of town visitor, Chris.   We sailed up to the basin and back.  Winds gusting in the high 20’s & low 30’s made for a great day.

This is a shot of Kurt & Kevin on Dancer, who sailed along with us for the day.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My moon shot.

I have much to learn about my new camera.  I was waiting for this rare Christmas Day full moon to see if I could capture a decent shot.   But, this morning the moon was already shrouded in the trees when I got out there.  And tonight it was mostly overcast.

This is the best shot I took.  I’ll keep working on it.  :)   Here it is, folks, the Full Cold Moon of Christmas Day 2015.

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A ride into the Hill Country.

We drove to Wimberly today with Tom and Doray.  They have property there.  We toured the town and their land and made a nice day of it.

Their property is covered with the live oaks that I have grown to love.   They look beautiful no matter which way you look at them.

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I thought this wavy cloud formation was interesting.  A cold front came through early this morning and the skies eventually cleared to become a clear sunny day.

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Accidental hiatus.

I have been side tracked a bit since my last post 3 1/2 weeks ago.

Summary of excuses:

  • Work kept me busy the first part of November.
  • I’m trying to get back to swimming which sucks up about 2 hours of my free time each day that I do it.
  • We took our annual girls trip long weekend – this time to New Orleans.  :)
  • Thanksgiving holidays happened.
  • Decking of the hall (and the boat!) has commenced.
  • Monte got me an amazingly awesome new camera that I have been learning how to use every chance I get.

But, I’m back!

I may share a bit more on some of these moments in future posts.  But for now, here’s a photo from New Orleans – St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square as the sun was heading for the horizon.

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The hunter.

I have some photos from our weekend in Port A that I may sort out and post.  Here’s a shot from one of the pre-dawn firmament beach photo sessions.  The constellation Orion.

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and a cheat sheet:

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Patience wins out.

I packed the tripod for our trip to the coast.  We went to the beach both mornings, while we were in Port Aransas, to once again try to capture a shot of Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus together.

Yesterday clouded up just before Mercury rose.  This morning the clouds threatened again, but danced between the planets.   I took this shot looking above the south jetty on the Port Aransas end of Mustang Island.  The lowest in this shot is Mercury, just above the seeping pink glow of dawn.  Above it is the pair of reddish, smaller Mars just below and to the left of larger Jupiter.  And then above them, and the brightest, Venus.  The other stars above and to the left of the ecliptic are stars in the constellation Leo.

The red and green lights on the horizon are some of the channel markers that guide the ships through the channel between the jetties.

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Gulf or bust.

I’m taking a vacation day today so that we can make a long weekend of it and take a road trip.   We headed south to the coast.

We stopped in Lockhart for lunch, skipping the amazing barbeque on this trip and ate at a lovely cafe on the town square called T&C Cafe – delicious sandwiches – right across the street from the Caldwell County courthouse:

IMG_9268Down past Refugio we spied miles and miles of windmills.IMG_9275

We took the ferry from Aransas Pass to Port A and have been enjoying the waterfront ever since.IMG_9283

It’s kind of rare to find a place to watch the sun set over the water … in Texas.  But our vantage spot from Port A looking west over the ship canal towards Corpus Christi afforded that kind of view.

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Three out of four!

I used a tripod this morning with a long exposure and captured Venus (the brightest), then Mars (smallest, reddish), and Jupiter (just below Mars) together.  If I zoom all the way in, I like to think I can also identify a dot washed out by the dawn near the tree tops that could be Mercury.   If that’s true, I guess I technically have 5 planets in the same frame, if you count Earth.  :)

Factoid of the day:  the origin of the word “Thursday” is “Thor’s Day.”  Thor is the Greek god of thunder, also known as the Roman god Jupiter.  (according to wikipedia, anyway).

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Two out of four’s not bad.

I went outside before dawn this morning, to take the garbage can to the curb.  I looked up in the sky and saw two bright planets shining in the East.

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I fired up my Sky Guide iphone app to get my bearings.  Venus is the one above, and Jupiter is the one below.   I was disappointed to not be able to see Mars, which should have been just above Jupiter, but it must have been washed out by the light of Jupiter.  Mercury had just risen but was too far below my view of the horizon.  IMG_9257

A fun, full, first weekend of Fall!

We’ve been busy!  This past weekend, we made a roadtrip out to west, stopping first at William Chris Winery, where we caught up with a friend of ours that we ran into, by chance;  then we hopped over to Wildseed Farms to pickup a bunch of seed; then made it over to one of our faves, Becker Vineyards, where we had a tasting, a picnic, and checked out their new field of zinnias.  Just beautiful.

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On the way home we headed over to the Real Ale Brewery in Blanco.  We took the river road south/southeast from Hwy 290 to Blanco, and stopped along the way several times to check out the now lazy river that was uncontrollably raging just 4 months ago, tragically sweeping away homes and families over Memorial Day weekend.IMG_9158

At Real Ale, Monte sampled a flight, and I sipped my favorite – Hans Pils.

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Then Sunday rolled around, and we headed out to see the Anderson Mill historical site, near its original location at Cypress Creek on Lake Travis.   The Anderson Mill Gardeners do a wonderful job of preserving the site and its history.IMG_9183We made it to the boat in time to cheer the Seahawks on to their first win of the season, enjoying the recently repaired air conditioning on Nirvana (yay!).

About an hour before sunset, Kurt, Barbara, Dakota and little Leila joined us on the boat, and we motored out to the body of the lake to drift and watch the supermoon lunar eclipse.

Have I mentioned taking photos of the moon and stars on a moving boat is hard?  I didn’t get any good shots.  But I thought this one was kinda cool… you get the idea.

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It was a great weekend, indeed.