Total Lunar Eclipse

Blood Moon / Total Lunar Eclipse from Uptown Minneapolis

I set my alarm for 2am, but fell back asleep. I woke up again at 3:30am and scurried out with the big lens just in time to catch the moon as it was leaving the umbra and passing into the penumbra. Which I think is more impressive because you can see it half in full sun.

If you missed it, you get another shot at it, we have four blood moons in 2014-2015, a very rare occurrence. If you choose to take that as a sign of the apocalypse, go for it. The next ones are Oct 8, 2014; April 4, 2015 & September 28, 2015.

I found this cool 4-hour video of the full passage of the moon. If you have trouble, sleeping, pop this bay on and enjoy! Actually, it is pretty neat, it was produced by a private telescope-rental company in the Canary Islands. You can use their telescopes from your computer, neat idea, I might have to try that sometime.

Bluejay Singing a Song of Spring

Blue Jay Singing a Song of Spring

The Blue Jays have returned as well. Welcome back to Minnesota little one.

From Wikipedia:
The Blue Jay can be beneficial to other bird species, as it may chase predatory birds, such as hawks and owls, and will scream if it sees a predator within its territory. It has also been known to sound an alarm call when hawks or other dangers are near, and smaller birds often recognize this call and hide themselves away accordingly. It may occasionally impersonate the calls of raptors, especially those of the Red-tailed and Red-shouldered Hawks, possibly to test if a hawk is in the vicinity, though also possibly to scare off other birds that may compete for food sources. It may also be aggressive towards humans who come close to its nest, and if an owl roosts near the nest during the daytime the Blue Jay mobs it until it takes a new roost.

Northern Shoveler with and Itch

Northern Shoveler with an Itch

Adventures from the Bass Ponds continue; I saw a Northern Shoveler for the first time years ago in Lake of the Isles, I thought my eyes were playing tricks with me, such a large beak on a duck! That sighting got me into birding and looking for these less common feathered critters. It ended up being an expensive experience; I’ve spend a pretty penny on lenses. These guys are quite a ways away, I promise I will bring my monopod next time I go.

Juvenile Bald Eagle Overhead

Juvenile Bald Eagle Overhead

The eagles are returning to the cities! He must have seen me because he flew right towards me and showed off his under feathers. I’m still not sure if he is a first, second or third year. If you can figure it out, please comment and let me know. Thanks to Crystal for taking me to the Bass Ponds in search of the early birds of the year! Stay tuned, more birdies coming!

Fireball How-to

Fireball How-to

Behind the scenes of the Dragon Ball photo shoot, you can see Preston and Nick assembling the elements of light. Preston (on the left) is igniting a flammable substance from a can (I know what it was, but in the interests of responsibility, I’m not telling you) and Nick is waving a cool blue light stick to create a ‘force field’ then posing for the strobe light. You can see what the image is supposed to look like by checking out the photos taken by 2 dozen + other photographers that were there (on the far side of the action).