Friday, February 22, 2008

Total Lunar Eclipse & Polished Snow

A total lunar eclipse on the evening of February 20, 2008, began at 8:43 p.m. local time. This picture was taken seven minutes later and the Earth's shadow had made substantial progress in that short time. As the outside temperatures had fallen into the single digits, I decided to shoot my pictures through a firmly closed window. So the flare (and lack of detail) is due to two panes of (dirty) glass. I put the camera (a Canon PowerShot S2 IS) on a tripod, turned off the living room lights and shot away. Totality was from 10:01 p.m. to 10:51 p.m. so when I climbed into bed, I looked up and saw the moon was a muted and rusty red. Just above and to the left was Saturn; just below and to the left was Regulus. I don't remember seeing either when the moon was fully lit. The eclipse ended at 12:09 a.m. but I was already asleep. I did awaken at some point, though, and noticed the moonlight was returning.

Snow and more snow! And for the past day, we've had sleet and freezing rain falling and coating the snow. It almost looks as though the snow has been polished. There are strange reflections everywhere you turn.

Looking across the back yard, the shiny snow reminds me of a foamy sea. The snow seems to lie in waves of white froth. Walking on it is weird as it holds my step for a fraction of a second and then collapses and makes a remarkable crunchy sound underfoot all the while.

Icicles hang from the garage roof and we have to duck down to walk through.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Colder Still!

The Russian sage is covered in ice in mid-February though things aren't as bad as they look. The road, at least, is passable.

Looking back towards the house from the north, you can see that the snow isn't deep. The pampas grass in the foreground is usually torn apart by the winter winds. But not this year. Why not? It's been windier than ever.

A view of the house from beneath the pines along Clayton Road presents a pretty picture with the bare trunks of the trees, the snow and the meager winter sunlight punching through.

One of the first pictures I took with my 'new' (i.e used!) Canon PowerShot S2 IS in the macro mode gives a good idea of the ice the recent storms have deposited. It's a wonder anything is still standing. Though there are a few limbs down, for the most part there was no damage.