Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Eclipse From Where I Live

What you see above is about as much of the eclipse as we got around here. It wasn't the complete and total thing, but it was a very interesting experience anyway. And as usual, I don't just have pictures. I will describe my pictures in my little story because that is the best way.

I was lucky just to see what I got to show you here. The weather forecast said it was going to be cloudy here with probable thunderstorms. I planned to try to see it even though I figured I'd only see clouds. But when I went outside the sky was very clear. I was extremely lucky.

I had already planned out my viewing location. I went to a very quiet place I often visit in North Sioux City, South Dakota. I chose it because it is surrounded by cornfields with nothing to obstruct my view. And very few other people ever visit this place.

After I got there I did a few other things for awhile because I was kind of early. But when I finally got into position to look for the eclipse to begin, I saw that it was already well underway. The picture above is one of the first I took after getting my phone camera adjusted enough to see it well enough.

I used my phone camera because I had a filter for it to see the eclipse through. I think it did okay for just a phone. I did have to manually adjust some of the settings though. Maybe I could have gotten it a little better with some practice, but how often is there time to practice this?

It was right after I got that picture at the top that the expected clouds moved in. Now I couldn't see anything through my filter, so I took it off. The sun was now dim enough through the clouds to see with the naked eye. So I took a few pictures before the clouds hid everything all the way. What you see above is the moon moving the other way across the sun. The eclipse was now ending.

It didn't get very dark here, but the light did dim quite a bit. It kind of looked like the day at sunset. As I was driving home the clouds turned almost black, and the sky opened up and we had a huge thunderstorm. I almost couldn't see the road as I traveled home.

I delayed my post that I usually deliver Monday just so I could bring this to you today. I hope you like it. It's not something you see every day. I'm sure you've seen better pictures of this eclipse on the news. But these pictures are from someone just like you. I'll talk to you later.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Just a Turtle On A Log

I visited that pond where I see water birds from time to time. The birds haven't shown up in a while, but I found something just as good. I found a turtle on a log!

Oh, you think, "So what? It's just a turtle." But I don't see many turtles around here. I have seen other turtles in this pond, but these are the first pictures I have of one from here. Who knows? Maybe I'm the only person ever to get a picture of a turtle from this out of the way country pond.

So think about that for a second or two. Now you're not just seeing a picture of a random turtle. You're getting to see something only a few people in the whole world have ever seen. Maybe that makes you special in some way now. You are part of a rare few.

This idea is maybe the main thing I love about nature. It's the thought that I'm the only person to get to see the things I see. That's much better than sitting home watching a ball game or something just like everyone else. No. I want to explore the unknown. And that's what I do every time I'm out there.

Now, this turtle didn't know it was helping to make me unique in any way. It was just sitting there on that log enjoying the sun. I'd guess that it didn't even know I was there. If it did it would have dropped itself back into the water with a plop. That's what they usually do.

And I'll go back to this pond again. Maybe I'll see another turtle. I probably won't feel quite as special about it when I do. But maybe I'll see more than one. Or maybe I'll see something completely unexpected. That last part is why I go. I'll talk to you later.