Saturday, February 18, 2017

SEWE in Charleston!

You couldn't ask for a nicer day!  We made it to the Southeast Wildlife Exposition and here we see the release of three hawks from the roof of a nearby building...

That flew gracefully...

into a city square where we learned about their behaviors, hunting skills and environmental requirements...  This is a pic from the city square of another type of falcon.

Not to be ignored... a vulture!  They are really very smart birds.

This owl is native to  Africa

The Kite is an awesome bird...

Agile and graceful, this kite swooped in and snatched a treat that was thrown into the air...

Dinner time!
We took Hazel to the dog events... LOL

OK, now pay attention! You see this orange thing? 

Now go get it!

Fun!  Dogs of all sorts were flying off the "dock" to retrieve these floating decoys.

Don't know why a camel was here, but what they heck?  Why not?!
An incredible display of paintings, sculpture and wood carvings were at the Charleston Place Hotel.  
Some of the native birds out on the beach this morning

These guys are beautiful to watch

They glide over the waves and when they see something delicious...

They zoom straight into the sea for it!
A perfect dive!

 Hope you all liked the pics, my pleasure to share!  What a super nice day!


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentines Day!

How fast a year goes by...  Another opportunity to tell those special people in your life that you love and care about them.  Once again and always - All My Love NLO and JRO!  and SEO too!!

This year something a little different...  I've searched for some famous quotes to
share and then took a moment to examine what do these really mean to me...

1. Where love is, God is ...
Leo Tolstoy

2.  "And remember, as it was written, to love another person is to see the face of God."
Victor Hugo

3.  "The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart." 
— Helen Keller 

So a word so often used, I believe, has a very amorphous meaning.  Every now and then somebody famous like those above relate love to a deeper meaning.  These examples actually connect the word to God.  Em hmm, yup.  So where does this depth of emotion come from?  Well my pleasure to share where I think it comes from on this beautiful 14th of February! I believe it comes from 1 Corinthians 13. In 1 Corinthians we can read about these profound attributes. Here is what I take from it, please read Corinthians for yourself and I am sure it will speak to you too.

But first, what of us - if we do not experience, give, share, and receive love?

If we speak excellently, even superlatively but do not understand love, we are just making noise. 

Even if we could tell the future, and possessed all knowledge, but don't have love, we are nothing.  

Even if we make every sacrifice we can think of, but do not have love, we gain nothing.

So what then is love? Well - here is what I think...
Love is patient.

Love is kind.

Love is not jealous.

Love is not pompous or about the self or the ego.

Love is not rude, it never puts itself ahead of others.

Love is not quick-tempered, it does not hold a grudge either.

Love does not make fun of, laugh at or enjoy the misfortunes of others.

Love cherishes the truth.

Love bears all troubles, believes any thing is possible, never gives up hope and endures all troubles too. 

Love never fails.

Whew... love by definition is waaay different than infatuation, fondness, liking or having a favorite...  Love is really something!

Happy Valentines day everybody!  I hope you all have much love in your lives!

To the moon and back!


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Snow Moon as seen from Charleston SC

I just didn't have the energy to hang out on the beach until 3AM to get a shot of Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková, but I did get a great shot of the Snow Moon

Nikon D7100 with a 500mm Sigma lens.  1/1000, F 6.3 and an ISO of 250.  I set up on a tripod and used a remote trigger.
Looks like a great weekend to explore!


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Naval Aviation Museum at NAS Pensacola

Wow, what a great museum!

A pretty awesome static display greets any visitor at the main entrance

The museum is a have to see for any aviation enthusiast

I started my career as an engineer designing stuff for these...

The chronology of technology becomes apparent as you walk through the gallery

There is a Blue Angels display of 4 jets in formation

Naval aircraft a-plenty!

Below a full PBY was this cut away.  My father was a WW2 Navy diver and actually experienced a piece of the hull being blown away.  So getting a chance to see the inner workings of the PBY was really very interesting.

A few gliders...

So cool, this is the passenger compartment of a Ford Tri-motor...

You can actually walk right up and look inside!

The flying boats were so huge.  It was hard to imagine the power to weight ratio needed to make these practical.  Back in the day, they were just starting to figure out how to refine repeatable quality in jet fuel

YAY, yours truly!  Thank you nice lady who took my pic.
One other fun thing in Pensacola is McGuire's.  This double deck bus is out front filled with mannequins all dressed up for the party...
Hope you liked the pics!


Monday, February 6, 2017

The UFO house has a message to tell us all!

Seen on a Florida highway...


On the highway side, the current owners have placed two "aliens" in one of the windows!

On the other end of the barrier island I saw this!  So maybe the ideas IS catching on!

This roadside oddity at first glance falls into the "how strange is this..." category.  But wait just one minute!

Built in 1966 and designed by Matti Suuronen, this structure has survived 41 hurricane seasons!  Yeah it looks a lot like the Jupiter II, but there's something more.

I have always wondered if this structure was studied by the IBHS...  It seems like it is a great structure for coastal locations that get the occasional hurricane...

From our friends at NOAA, these are all the Hurricanes (tracks) that have hit the area since the UFO house aka the Futuro was built!

The coefficient of drag, Cd, has got to be really favorable in this type of building.

F_{D}\,=\,{\tfrac  12}\,\rho \,u^{2}\,C_{D}\,A

Where variables are described here:

Now then, the Cd of a flat surface is 1.28... a large multiplier (think of it as 128%), while the Cd of a sphere is as low as 0.07.  Shazaaam!  As Pfc Pyle would say.  So if your beach home has a SHAPE that allows the wind to slide around it in a favorable way, that crazy fast wind just doesn't create as large a force as if the structure is a box on poles... Even rounding the corners... like a bolt - on ground effects kit that round corners and transition roof eaves, would help a ton! A great project for some architect grad students...  maybe even funded by IBHS... 

Now that doesn't address flying debris, so this isn't as good a solution for inland dwellings, but for a coastal structure up on pilings... seems like a great idea to me.

Sort of reminds me of this visionary idea that came along 20 something years before...

The odd thing to me is, neither introduction of this architecture , both the 1940's nor the 1960's sought to study or demonstrate survivability in coastal weather.  I think they would do great as a beach house, and I think insurance companies would love them too!  The Buckminster Fuller Dymaxion was an idea to provide cheap modular housing in a post war era, the Futuro an edgy modern slick efficient design.  Both missed what could be the disruptive appeal to this design!

I think a ground effects kit for a box type home would be awesome! 

That's all for now!


Saturday, February 4, 2017

More experiments with the DG lens

I've been experimenting with a Sigma 500mm DG lens on some of the birds in the neighborhood...

These are hand held shots with vibration compensation set to mode 1.  Not bad for the magnification!

A manual shot of the local egret...
A hand held shot of the evening moon rising.  I'm really impressed with the SIGMA optics and the lens stability.

Our new dog is growing fast!  This was taken at 1/800s, f/7.1and ISO 250.  The Charleston waterfront fountain is in the background.

The tri-pod and remote are packed and ready for the next trip out into the forest!


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Prognostication pandamonium

The populist groundhog aka "Phil" has proclaimed that he has indeed "seen his shadow."   BUT WAIT!  Not so, says New Yorker Chuck...

Good morning, Staten Island Chuck. Credit Amy Lombard for The New York Times.

Good morning on this semi-sunny Thursday.
“Punxsutawney Phil is the only true weather forecasting groundhog,” the rodent’s website says. “The others are just impostors.”

Well, Pennsylvania: We, in New York, politely disagree. Our state is home to several reputable groundhogs (also called whistle pigs or woodchucks) — including Holtsville Hal, Malverne Mel and Dunkirk Dave — but first and foremost is the revered Staten Island Chuck.

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow Thursday, officials said, prompting a declaration of six more weeks of winter. The groundhog is seen here at the 2013 celebration at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa.
Alex Wong/Getty Images 
So there you have it!  2017 and a country divided by the differing views of our rodents and our politicians...