Just a few

June 18, 2018

Thought we’d share a few pictures of the moon and perhaps a
critter or two. The two above are from the moon on Saturday as
it wasn’t much more than a sliver. The second picture above also
shows Venus off to the right.

Sunday during the heat of the day I noticed this beetle just
hanging around on a shady leaf. Not sure what he was doing on
the rose bush and also sure I wouldn’t like the answer.

One of the feral cats was around all weekend so we kept him
and his friends watered and fed. This one now comes up and wants
to be petted.

I knew it was hot out yesterday when I saw this guy hopping on
a nearby roof. He didn’t hang around long either before he was
seen in a neighbors tree.

Finally, last night’s moon. With temperatures staying above 90
degrees at 10 o’clock last night, we’re glad a little cool off
is on the way tomorrow. The high is only supposed to reach the
mid 80s and if there is a heat index it wouldn’t reach triple
digits.

Enjoy our Monday as that means we got the weekend out of the
way. Now for coffee and leftover pizza.
Comments are always welcome.

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June 15, 2018

The June solstice is coming up on June 21st and marks the
longest day of our year and natures signal that summer has
arrived. If you like to celebrate and don’t have anything on
your calender for that day, the solstice occurs at 5:07 a.m. CDT
here in the U.S. of A.

Don’t know about where you’re at, but here on the east coast of
Iowa we’re starting 4 days with highs in the upper 90s today and
heat indexes over 100. Sounds a lot like summer to me.

We will also be able to see the young moon, a waxing crescent,
just after sunset in the western half of the country. It’s a
sight to see. And there’s a bonus this time around. In the west,
about 50 minutes after sunset, the Moon, Venus, and Mercury can
be seen though June 16.

So we’re into the part of our year where sunburns, exposure to
poison ivy and poison oak, and people complaining about the heat
become commonplace. Those complaining are the same people who
were wanting things to warm up in January.

Enjoy our Friday as it has to be 5 o’clock somewhere. Now I
need a gallon of coffee and a few Snicker’s.
Comments are always welcome.


Aprils end

April 30, 2018

With one more day the month of April will be no more and we will
see the beginning of May. For some reason this made me think of
our pine tree with two tops. About 40 feet above the ground the
split begins and the tree top is as shown.

When the tree split 20+ years ago we thought the end was near
after a lightening strike, but it still survives. And when the
wind picks up it almost look like the two sides are dancing. Yet
the tree stays green and the cones keep dropping.

Some volunteer trees sprouted up in an adjoining lot and the
loss of some afternoon sun hasn’t stopped the tree either. It
has stood through droughts and downpours, cold winters and hot
summers, and yet it stands. The tree sways a lot more than it
used to and needs a trim but then so do I.

I watch this tree a lot because through all that it’s still
around to provide shade in the afternoon. If trees could talk
I’d gladly listen to the tale. Somehow I have a feeling a smile
would grace my face after said tale was told.

Oh yeah, the full moon last night. The squirrel of silliness
put a hex on my camera but I’ll share a couple pictures that
aren’t half bad. Near moon rise the trees and houses were in the
way and later a hazy sky made an perfect shot hard to get. We’ll
try again tonight.

Enjoy our Monday as it’s the last one we get this month. Now I
need more coffee and hear some leftover pizza calling my name.
Comments are always welcome.


Sunday moon

April 29, 2018

Last nights moon looked close to full but tonight at 8:58 pm
the Full Pink Moon arrives. The moon will not be pink, the name
denotes the the appearance of the “moss pink” or wild ground
phlox which is an early bloomer.

This moon is also known as the Spouting Grass Moon, the Egg
Moon, and the Fish Moon. As you may have guessed these names
were used by early Colonial Americans and they learned the
names from Native Americans.

To the Native Americans the Full Moon names helped the tribes
track the seasons thus the ‘named’ full moons. These Native
Americans didn’t have calendars sitting around so they kept an
eye on the time by watching the seasons change and lunar months.

Not all tribes marked time in the same however. To some tribes a
year consisted of 4 seasons while others used 5 seasons to mark
the year. Other tribes said the year contained 12 moons while
different tribes defined the year as 13 moons.

And according to folklore, the period from the full moon to
the last quarter of the moon is the best time for weed killing,
thinning, pruning, mowing, cutting timber, and planting below-
ground crops.

Now the we know a little more about tonight’s full moon we hope
you get a chance to get a look at it. If the night isn’t cloudy
we might get a picture. Enjoy our Sunday as the race is at
Talledaga and the weather is great.

Comments are always welcome.


Of full moons and unicorns

March 30, 2018

I had good intentions of doing an early post today but our
computer decided it didn’t want to work. So there I was, ideas
flowing from my brain like rainbows over a field of daffodils
and unicorns. Rabbits were scampering, deer eating fallen apples
from a nearby tree, and songbirds twilled from every branch.

That made me think of the full moon tomorrow night and Easter
on Sunday. The full moon tomorrow will be the second, and last,
blue moon this year. That hasn’t happened since 1999 and it
won’t occur again until 2037.

And Easter falls on April Fools Day this year. That begs some
questions. We all know about the Easter Beagle who leaves eggs
and treats under the kitchen table as we snooze: but will he
pull a trick and not leave treats this year?

The Easter Beagle could be a prankster who leaves eggs filled
with broccoli this year! It’s too horrible to think about. Of
course we haven’t had a visit from the Easter Beagle since the
kids moved out, but with our luck he’d stop by with eggs filled
with green vegetables. The wife would like that while I’d be
searching for the candy.

Yes the post is late again even though I tried. If you must get
mad at someone try the unicorns, rabbits, deer, birds and the
Easter Beagle. Enjoy our Friday as that means Easter weekend is
here. Now I’m headed for more coffee and the leftover pizza I
spotted earlier.
Comments are always welcome.


Twofold

February 2, 2018

This post will cover two completely differet subjects and we
hope you enjoy them both. First we’ll share a link to some
pictures of lunar eclipse and then we’ll mention a new engine
that may be a game changer.

As a teaser we’ll share this photo by Mike O’Neal taken in
Oklahoma that is the first picture on the EarthSky website.
The pictures are among the best we’ve seen and may even make you
smile.

Now on to a different kind of engine that is getting tested in a
Ford F-150 pickup. Estimates are this two-cycle, three cylinder
engine with six pistons and no spark plugs, should bring gas
mileage up to 37 mpg highway and 33 mpg combined city and
highway driving according to Achates Power and Aramco Services.

Claim is gas engines now use 25% of a gallon of gas to move
the vehicle with the rest wasted to heat. This new engine would
up that to 45% of a gallon to move the vehicle. The control of
this engines response curve is done by modulating pressures
through both a supercharger and a turbo.

There is a 4-cycle version and other companies are doing
research also. Being old school it seems odd to have a three
cylinder engine using 6 pistons and two crankshafts. But hey,
if it performs as promised and is reliable why not?

Enjoy our Friday. Now I need some coffee before I grab the
camera and head outside.
Comments are always welcome.


Eclipise thoughts

January 31, 2018

Knowing I wanted to get up early to see if the moon was visible
I went to bed at 1 am. After a good nights sleep I got up at 5
am to see if the TV weatherman was right. He was not. When he
threw his darts at the weather map last night and predicted a
cloudy morning I almost overslept.

Although I didn’t see any orange in the moon the first part of
the eclipse was visible and I took a few pictures before the
moon went behind a row of trees and disappeared. So we’ll share
them in case you didn’t see it.

The above photo was taken shortly after 5 am as the moon was
already caught in a tree. At this point I thought it would be
the only one.

At around 5:30 am, after walking a block down the alley, the
eclipse started. As mentioned it did not look red. I walked
back to the house to gulp down a cup of coffee before venturing
out again.

Walking the block back down the alley produced this picture
which still didn’t look red to me. And I kept hoping the clouds
would stay away.

This last one was taken around 6 am and was the last clear shot
to be had before distant clouds and the treeline got in the way.
By the time the moon did turn red it was a hazy blob caught in
those trees.

But we saw it and took the pictures. If I had a photo editor
these could probably be made to look red, but that isn’t what
was seen. Still feel blessed we beat the odds and got see a part
of the eclipse anyway.

Enjoy our Wednesday. Now I need more coffee and a Snicker’s.
Comments are always welcome.