Friday, October 06, 2006


OK, after a long, hot summer, it's finally starting to cool off here in FL. Well, not so much cool off, since the thermometer in the car said 105 when I got in it this afternoon, but at least the humidity isn't so bad. The upshot of all that means I can get excited about going outside and taking pictures again! So I went down to North Lido Beach tonight and got a whole series of great shots. And since I'm so happy about that, I'm going to share a whole pile of them with you tonight. This first shot above is right as I arrived. The sea oats are just a little past their prime, so they've lost some of their seeds, but they still look pretty good in silhouette. And the lifeguard tower is pretty much always the same.

It only took a few more minutes for the sun to set, and I missed most of it while I was fiddling with my camera. I even saw a bit of a flash out of the corner of my eye that looked like something other than orange, but I missed it. There was plenty of orange left in the sky, though, as this second silhouette shows.

And, after watching this great sunset, I turn around, and get to see moonrise! Yep, it's October, which I think makes this a harvest moon. (Maybe? Maybe not...) Anyhow, there it was, big as life and twice as beautiful. It was even still light enough in the sky that you can see the trees just below. Usually, when I shoot the moon, it's by far the brightest object in the field of view, and everything else is just reduced to black.

I kept bouncing back and forth, shooting the moon on one side, and the sunset on the other. I almost missed this shot as a lady walked her dog into a massive flock of seagulls. They erupted into the air like those films you see of bats leaving their cave for the night.

Have you ever seen pictures where something is silhouetted against the moon? Have you ever wondered how they do it? Well, most of the time I think it's faked, but sometimes you can make it work. I happened to catch the top of this tree against the moon, and they are both relatively in focus. I was maybe a quarter mile from the tree, and the moon of course is roughly 238,000 miles away, so it can be difficult to get both things in focus, and in line. But with some jockeying for position, I managed to get it. I'm sure this wasn't how Steven Spielberg did it in ET, but it's a start. Oh, I neglected to mention that the tip of that tree is something like 60 feet up in the air. It just gets harder and harder to do.

Is that it? Yeah, pretty much. By the time I got back to the car it was pretty dark, but I was happy because I knew I had some good shots in the can. Well, on the chip anyhow. And then on the way home I found gas for $2.17 a gallon! It took less than $40 to fill the tank. What a bargain!

Not Quite Famous

I just noticed that Robert X. Cringely linked to my blog in his latest column! Hard to believe. I'm sure all those people that are sure to come by will look at the one single, solitary post, then move on, but it's still the big time for me. That column gets emailed out to many, many IT people (including me) on a weekly basis, and I think it will go out next week. So I'm about to get some bonus traffic. So far I've gotten a grand total of 6 hits from there, but it's only been out a short while. Just for future reference, my current hit total is 93941. Oh, the page he linked to is here, a story about how we baited a rat trap with Cheeze-Its instead of cheese or peanut butter at work.

I used to watch Mr. Cringely on PBS back in the day (Triumph Of The Nerds, I think, was the show I watched), and have read his weekly column for 5 or 6 years now. It's geeky computer stuff, and sometimes odd tales of his lovelife. I'm so excited, can you tell?

Wait a minute. There are two guys using the name Cringely? I'm confused... I guess the person I remember from TV is no longer the person writing the column. Maybe I'm not going to be so famous after all.

Last Time

Last time I was in Ohio, it looked like this. I'm hoping it's a little warmer up there this time around. Only one week to go!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Dead In Ohio

I'm coming back to Ohio, and hopefully I'll find something more colorful to take pictures of than dead flowers. Not that dead flowers are all that bad. And I guess this is really a seed pod. Look close and you can see a seed or two still wedged in there...

Christmas Is Still In July

I was quite surprised yesterday to find that my Best Of Christmas In July 2006 collection is still available for download at Rapidshare. That means that more than two months later, folks are still downloading it. Well, just under eighty people, but that's still not too shabby for Christmas music released at the beginning of August. So click on over and get it before it's too late. And if you really want, you can get some neato cover art for the collection from my buddy CaptainOT over at his Christmas blog.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Look Ma, No Arms!

Since I'm going back to Ohio, I'm making a list of all the places I need to go shoot. This is a copy of the Venus de Milo that stands in front of the US Courthouse in downtown Cleveland. I took this shot last year from a moving tour bus, then never made it back to try and get a better view. So this is on my list of places to revisit. I know some of you folks reading this are in Ohio, so if you have any places you think I should visit, drop me a line!


OK, it's not quite set in stone, but it's likely enough that I can mention it. I'm heading off to Ohio in a couple of weeks to do some work, and hopefully I'll be in time to see some fall color. We don't really get any seasonal change in the foliage here in Florida, so I'm sort of excited about seeing leaves that turn funky colors before they die. I was in Ohio last year about a month early, but I did happen to catch the tree above that had recently been transplanted, and I guess that shocked it into shedding it's leaves early. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Bonus Page, Part Three

Here's another picture that almost made my weekly calendar, but didn't. This ray was swimming in the water next to the Rod 'N Reel Pier on Anna Maria Island here in Florida sometime last year. I seem to recall he was about 2 feet from wingtip to wingtip, and certainly over four feet in length with that tail. He was in water that was maybe a foot deep, maybe less. I wish I'd had a polarizing filter on the camera when I shot him, as that would have filtered out some of the glare and reflection you see on the water. But you never know what you're going to see, and you can't be loaded for bear every day.

Now You See It...

Take a good close look at the sunset above. See the little bit at the bottom that looks like a reflection of the part above? Well, this is a mirage that is created when a layer of air at a different temperature is trapped at the surface. Sometimes, the net result of this mirage, at the instant the sun dips below the horizon, is a green flash. Yes, it really does exist. I didn't get one Saturday night when I took this picture, but I keep hoping. It helps to be a small distance above the water, and I was right at sea level, so that may be why I missed it. Next time I see this, I'm heading for the nearest seawall.


You get a new monthly picture, too. This is a view of Terminal Tower in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. I was all excited last night when they mentioned this building on Antiques Roadshow, and I knew where it was. I guess the little things just excite me so...

The First Week In October

I'm a couple of days late with this week's picture. I've been a little under the weather for the past few days. But here's a great shot for you from the shore of Lake Erie in Ohio. This lighthouse is in Mentor, I think, right down the road from where they mine Morton salt. From the lighthouse itself, you can see this other lighthouse I posted a couple of weeks ago.