February 19, 2017
Yeah, like that Gollum.
In the sun, it’s a pleasant meditation on green luminescence.
I know way too little about this thing, where it grows wild, why it evolved such unique leaves. But the sunlight passes over and through it as if they are old friends, and that gives me peace.
A single branch of Gollum jade. Photo by Ed Darrell, please share with attribution.
January 10, 2017
Sandia Peak on a frosty evening, from Mark Boslough
Living with a mountain provides myriad moments that cannot quite be captured on film, but must be filed away in memory to produce a smile at some future moment.
But, sometimes a camera can come close.
That last bit of sunlight at the top of the mountain, on a cold day, giving hope, or assurance, before it is snuffed out for a time by the rotation of the Earth.
The mountain will be there tomorrow. The Sun will return. The moment won’t be the same.
January 10, 2017
I follow Phil Plait to get smart and stay informed about the stars and the universe.
Sometimes it’s just the sheer beauty one finds that wakes you up.
Phil posted this on Twitter, a lunar fogbow:
Plait’s explanations are fun:
Göran Strand is an amazing astrophotographer whose work I’ve highlighted here many times. He has an astonishing skill in making beautiful photographs out of rare and bizarre phenomena.
It’s not just a beautiful photograph. It’s a rather rare phenomenon beautifully captured by Göran Strand, and wonderfully explained by Plait at his blog at Slate:
And here he is once again: That photo above shows that’s quite uncommon sigh: a fogbow! But this being Strand, even that’s not unusual enough. For him, it had to be even more difficult to track down. That’s not just a fogbow, it’s a lunar fogbow!
Fogbows are similar to rainbows, in that they’re caused by water droplets, but in detail they’re very different. In a rainbow, sunlight is bent and reflected inside a raindrop, and sent off at an angle. The drops are big compared to the wavelength of light, so they act a bit like mirrors. Each color of sunlight, though, bends at a slightly different angle, separating them, creating the multihued rainbow.
Plait’s got more good science explanation. Go see.
Strand has photos to sell in various formats. I see in a lot of offices, “inspirational” posters with good photos and occasionally-pithy-but-often-banal sayings and platitudes, hoped by bosses to spur productivity on the cheap. Order up a sizable print from Strand, get the full description of the photo, and mount it in your office instead. You’re likely to discover than genuine natural beauty from awe-inspiring photos spurs creativity and productivity more than the stock photos and stock sayings.
Those photos are starting points for learning, too, teachers. Real photos, worthy of any history, economics, geography, astronomy, chemistry, physics, geological science or environmental science class.
Try ’em and see.
January 3, 2017
Wildlife photographer Nancy J. Warner caught a breathtaking view with dozens (hundreds?) of snow geese taking off, flying directly at her.
Nancy J. Wagner on Twitter: Seeing 1000s of #snow #geese flying towards me was breathtaking. Looks chaotic, but they take to the air very methodically. #Skagit #birding
I’m not familiar with Ms. Wagner’s work, but it seems we should be. Wagner shoots wildlife that would make nice adornments for your home and office walls, truly inspiring.
November 30, 2016
Oh, there’s a little technical wizardry involved in this one, stitching it together.
White Pocket in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona. Brilliant photography and stitching by Dave Lane Astrophotography, via the U.S. Department of Interior.
A more full description from Interior’s Facebook page:
Located in a remote and unspoiled part of northern Arizona, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument is a geologic treasure. For those who can’t get a permit to places like The Wave, White Pocket is an equally stunning place to explore — day or night. Pictured here, the area’s unusual rock formation is crowned by the Milky Way with Saturn, Mars and the Rho Ophiuchus region all visible. Multi-image photo (42 images stitched together in a 6 x 7 matrix) courtesy of David Lane (Dave Lane Astrophotography).
Dave Lane’s work amazes, doesn’t it?
Tip of the old scrub brush to Kathryn Knowles.
October 26, 2016
Nice photo, a starry sky showing part of the Milky Way, and a great tree, probably painted with a flashlight.
But, where in the world is it?
Tweet from Fotos del Mundo, @FerloRuiz
Dear Reader, do you know where this photo was taken? Who should get credit?
October 26, 2016
Your public lands at work, filling you with awe.
From BLM National’s Twitter feed: A full moon 🌕 lights up the sky at Granite Mountain Wilderness, #California. (Photo: Bob Wick)
BLM National put this photo up on September 30, so we might assume the photo is from September’s Moon, as well.