Spring House Guests

20190410_111501

Three robin’s eggs in a nest on top of my back porch light. This is the second time since we’ve lived in this house that a robin has nested in that exact spot. The last time it didn’t end well for the robin chicks.

Robin’s Nest Flickr Album

I took these photos using my Samsung smartphone standing on a step ladder inside the house with my arm sneaking around the top of the patio door. I could not see the screen when I snapped the shots. Two of the photos I adjusted afterwards to enhance the visibility and vibrancy of the eggs (which were hidden in shadow inside the nest).

Porthos is lounging in the background (on the step watching me taking the photo above).

Monochrome Mania

A friend and work colleague of mine who also happens to be a photographer started posting snapshots in her Facebook feed last week.  The challenge was to take a photo a day from your life with no people featured in them and provide no explanation.  Oh, and they must be black and white photos.

This intrigued me as my first camera back in the early or mid 70s had been a small inexpensive fixed lens camera that used small rolls of black and white film.  My dad had a dark room at home but I don’t think we ever developed film that I shot in my camera, at least not until I was much older and part of the yearbook staff in high school.

I decided to revisit my youth and took up the challenge.  I also happened to be on vacation this week so I had plenty of time to think of what sites in and around my home would lend themselves to good black and white photography.

Here’s the seven I posted daily on my Twitter and Facebook feed:

Day 1 Day 2
Day 3 Day 4
Day 5 Day 6
Day 7

And here are all the photos I took in the last week that I used as the pool of photos to choose from:

20171015_171041
Autumn 2017

Good Morning Sunflower

I noticed yesterday afternoon as Terry and I were leaving to meet friends for dinner that one of my sunflower plants had bloomed.  We made it home just before sunset when I was able to snap a photo of the bloom (before the birds destroy it getting to the seeds).

20160626_201334

May your Monday be full of summer sunshine and happiness!

Wildflower Garden Update

20160609_055708Last fall, we had some landscaping done on the east and north sides of the house. The south side just had some fill dirt graded against the foundation and a cherry try planted between the apple tree and the fence. We also removed the bothersome mulberry terry from the corner of the fenced backyard.

I attempted to grow sunflowers last summer with limited success.  This year, I decided I wanted a wildflower garden to give bees and hopefully hummingbirds something to enjoy.  I bought a bag of wildflower seed, raked the fill dirt to loosen it and even it out and liberally sprinkled the seed along the entire south wall of the house.  A few weeks later, I’m starting to see blooms, thanks in no small part to nearly ten inches of rain we received in May.

Continue reading “Wildflower Garden Update”

Lunch Walk Sponsored by Spring Flowers

May has been like April was supposed to be – full of showers.  And all that rain is preventing me from taking refreshing lunch time walks (otherwise, I end up walking in circles in the bottom of the parking garage where there’s no signal, no sunshine and no spring flowers).  Thursday saw a break in the clouds (sort of) and I walked east a couple of blocks to visit the Kauffman Memorial Gardens.  I took several photos and didn’t get much walking done for 5-10 minutes.  More like a stroll through the park (click on photo to see the rest of the album).

Lunch Walk Sponsored by Spring Flowers
Busy Bee at the Kauffman Memorial Gardens (click photo for rest of album)

Hope you have a great weekend!

Timelapse Lunar Eclipse Over Downtown Kansas City by Tom Martinez

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkVItkDL4s4?rel=0]

Published by Tom Martinez, Historian of the Astronomical Solemnity of Kansas City, on Apr 7, 2015

The total phase was not seen from KC since totality occurred after moonset. Crystal clear skies allowed for a nice view of the last sliver of moon, however. Music is “Alive” by Jahzzar, http://betterwithmusic.com.

Tom J Martinez PhotoBlog: Comet Lovejoy near the Plieades

http://tomjmartinez.blogspot.com/2015/01/comet-lovejoy-near-plieades.html?m=1

Awesome photo taken by astrophotographer Tom Martinez over the weekend.

I observed the comet several times with binoculars.

Come down to Powell Observatory this Friday night to see the comet and other astronomical wonders.

Posted from WordPress for Android via my Samsung smartphone. Please excuse any misspellings. Ciao, Jon

Hubble’s high-definition panoramic view of the Andromeda Galaxy | Astronomy.com

Mega coolness!

Andromeda Galaxy Hubble Closeup
NASA/ESA/J. Dalcanton/B.F. Williams/L.C. Johnson (University of Washington)/The PHAT team/R. Gendler

Never before have astronomers been able to see individual stars inside an external spiral galaxy over such a large contiguous area.

Hubble’s high-definition panoramic view of the Andromeda Galaxy | Astronomy.com.