Tonight’s Full Moon

6/12/2014 @ 11:07 PM CST

6/12/2014 @ 11:07 PM CST — 6 second-long-exposure

I popped outside real quick to snap a few photos of the moon tonight because it’s so beautiful. Look closely at the photo above. Can you find the trail of a lightning bug? That was a happy accident. ūüėČ The one below wasn’t one of my favorites (the other two are) due to the slight blur; but it was the only one I snapped at exactly 11:12 pm which was the “official” time that I found for the moon to be at its fullest. “For anyone living in or eastward of the Eastern time zone, it falls on Friday the 13th.” [Source: Tomorrow’s Friday the 13th full moon is so rare, it won’t happen again until 2049]

Full Moon on 6/12/2014 @ 11:12 PM CST

Full Moon on 6/12/2014 @ 11:12 PM CST — 5 second-long-exposure

 6/12/2014 @ 11:14 PM CST

6/12/2014 @ 11:14 PM CST — 3.2 second-long-exposure


The Moon, Jupiter, and a Drive-by Ranger

When David got back from the store, he told me to get outside with my camera. I’m glad he did because the moon was so pretty. Tonight’s waxing crescent moon sat between Jupiter and Venus. Venus had already set below the horizon, but I managed to get a couple of shots of the moon and Jupiter. I believe the two smaller stars above Jupiter are Tau and Alnath. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. I couldn’t resist shooting the above photo when I noticed a neighbor getting ready to leave. I love long exposure shots. Both are full-size and unedited. Click on the photos for the larger version.

Day 350 Clouds Rolling In

Day 350 Clouds Rolling In by pixygiggles
Day 350 Clouds Rolling In, a photo by pixygiggles on Flickr.

I stayed outside for the better part of half an hour at sunset taking photos of the clouds and sky. I really wanted to capture that little sliver of moon, but the clouds were moving too fast. It remained hidden most of the time I was out there, only peeking out briefly. By the time I came back in my fingers were numb. It’s a good thing I came in when I did because a downpour came not even 10 minutes later.

Day 299 Ahead of Myself

Day 299 Ahead of Myself by pixygiggles
Day 299 Ahead of Myself, a photo by pixygiggles on Flickr.

Well, crap, I did it again! I misnumbered back on Day 279 Burgess Falls. That’s the second time I’ve gotten ahead of myself in numbering my daily photos. I’m not going to be too hard on myself over it. That was only a few days after I found out about losing my SSDI benefits; so understandably, I was (and still am) distracted over it. Now, I need to go back and renumber all of my titles to correct my mistake.

Day 190 Highway to Hell

Day 190 Highway to Hell, a photo by pixygiggles on Flickr.

Forgive me for the crude euphemism, but I assure you I have my reasons for giving this photo the title “Highway to Hell.” Driving to the fireworks show yesterday, we had to go over Hurricane Bridge on State Route 56 which is down to one very narrow lane due to bridge repairs. Now, normally I wouldn’t have a problem driving over bridges; but this one was so nerve wrecking because of the close proximity of the barricades on either side of my car and the sheer height of this bridge. I seriously about hyperventilated driving over this bridge and ended up having a full blown panic attack as a result! Mercy! Needless to say, David drove home last night, not me.

Scenic Overlook State Route 56, a photo by pixygiggles on Flickr.

Yes, these photos were taken last night; but technically, they were taken today since it was after midnight by the time we stopped at the overlook. Mother Nature treated us to a second light show after the fireworks. I tried so hard to get some good photos of the heat lightning, but failed miserably. Since the thunder associated with this type of lightning cannot be heard due to distance, it made it incredibly hard to time the strikes properly. The term “heat lightning” is actually a misnomer; however, since it’s the term most generally applied to this phenomenon in my area, I’ll go ahead and use it here, referring you to the article: Heat Lightning a Myth? for more information. I love the photo by¬†Dave Martin in that article. Fantastic capture!

I thoroughly enjoyed our outing last night and found myself wondering if David and I are the only two people who go exploring after dark. We can’t be, right? Everything looks and feels different at night. It is a special time of day and I encourage anyone who can safely explore after dark to give it a try. You might just be surprised to learn that it is the perfect peaceful moment you’ve been looking for.

Day 176 Night

Looking towards the north sky. I’m pretty sure that’s Cassiopeia.

David and I are on a different sleep schedule than most people because he works second shift. Personally, I love being awake during the night hours as it is more peaceful and quiet. Even when David was not working second shift hours, I found my sleep schedule constantly migrating to the late hours of the night. Yes, I am very much a night owl and quite the bear when I wake up!

The downside to this is that it makes it very hard to plan outings. For instance, I would have loved to have gone to the free concert today at Dogwood park; but we would have had to rush out the door as soon as we awoke, especially since we chose to stay up till the wee hours of the morning to take advantage of a power outage. No, not like that, get your mind of the gutter. ;P

At some time between 3:00am and 3:30am, we had a neighborhood blackout. I’m not sure what caused the power outage, but the power didn’t come back on until around 4:30am. We did hear a lot of sirens when we first stepped outside to gaze at the stars, so my guess is that there was an accident somewhere close by. My thoughts go out to whomever was having a bad night.

We could have gone ahead and gone to bed at 3:30am which would have only been an hour or so earlier than normal for us; but we decided to star gaze, something I haven’t done in a very long time – at least, not for a full hour. There is something very special about throwing a blanket down on the ground and lying back to take in the profound expanse of the night sky. Nothing can make me feel quite so small. The universe is an awesome place, indeed!

Last night’s experience was well worth missing the concert today. It gave me the chance to reminisce about one of my favorite childhood memories. I’m sure that I get my love for gazing at the stars and moon from my dad. I remember the quilt that Daddy would spread out on the lawn of our old, country two-story farmhouse on summer nights and him pointing out constellations in the night sky while my sister and I listened intently. After our neighbor had a street light installed at the edge of our properties, this would come to an end; but I’m left with a special memory that I am so glad to have shared with my dad.

Light Pollution from the South – That would more than likely be the lights at TTU.

Straight up, but probably more west than north.

Western Sky

Most of these images were captured using an ISO speed of 800 and 15 second exposure.

Click on any of the images to view larger. Right clicking on the image over on Flickr will give you the option to view the original files (size 4320 x 3240), no edits – straight out of the camera.

It was a happy coincidence that this power outage occurred early this morning because I was wanting some great night photos for the scavenger hunt community collaboration project over at I’m very pleased with these and hope they inspire you to take the time to appreciate the greatness that is our universe. Share the moment with your children for you never know what wonder it will inspire.

Day 88 Engage

Day 88 Engage by pixygiggles
Day 88 Engage, a photo by pixygiggles on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
I was playing with long exposure settings a little bit and thought this was an interesting image. When I have more time, I’ll have to practice this idea more and come up with some more creative uses. It might prove interesting to incorporate this type of movement in more photos.