The Planets In The December Sky

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Venus and Saturn dance together in the southwestern celestial sky tonight. (12-11-2019)

I decided, I focus more on the planets instead of the Full Cold Moon tonight. Since Thanksgiving I’m watching the planets in the southwestern sky right after the Sun sets. Jupiter sets shortly after the sun. And with all the obstacles in the way, I’m not getting a good shot of it. The lake would probably be a better spot. It’s flat with no trees and buildings obscuring the view. But Venus and Saturn are still dancing together in the celestial sphere for bit longer. The Dwarf Planet Pluto joins them in the constellation Sagittarius. But Pluto is too far out and my lens is not strong enough to capture it.

Relaxing July Evening

Today was just one of those days, I didn’t feel like doing much. Some days are there for being lazy and do a whole bunch of nothing. But I still went outside to do my daily photography. Kevin found a young toad, when he worked on mulching the west side of the house. A Pearl Crescent butterfly enjoyed some nectar from the blooming Lantana flowers. The Texas sunset was beautiful as always. And I could capture the Moon in some clouds; a very beautiful and dramatic setting, we’ve had this evening.

Clear Skies And Budding Trees

This early evening, it was so nice outside. The skies were clear, the Sun was shining, and the First Quarter Moon was visible. I’ve also noticed, that our Bradford Pear tree buds start to open up. It won’t be long, before we have beautiful blossoms on these ornamental trees, again. I can’t wait for warmer Spring weather, so I can plant more in the home garden and The Colony Community Garden.

Beautiful January Evening (2)

Beautiful skies, we had this afternoon. The wind was strong and brisk, but the Sun was warm. Friday suppose to be warm in the low 70s (21°C), before we drop into the low 20s (-6°C) on Sunday night. Kevin and I need to bring some potted plants, including the Meyer Lemon tree in the garage for a couple of nights. But in the meantime, we enjoy the warmer temperatures, before the Texas Winter comes back.

Autumn Sweet Gum Tree

Across the street, my neighbors have such a beautiful Sweet Gum tree in the frontyard. Every Autumn I wait for the leaves to change their colors, so I can capture photos of it. For the longest time, I had mistaken it for a Maple tree. Due to their seed pots, I got curious and did some research. Soon I found out, I’m not photographing a Maple, but a Autumn Sweet Gum tree all these years.

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UPDATE: One of my followers requested a close up photo of a Sweet Gum seed pod. After digging in my files, I found the photo I’ve captured in 2012. Back then, I picked it up from the ground and looked at it for a bit. It reminded me of a sea urchin or a puffer fish (Mrs. Puffs).

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Autumn Sweet Gum Seed Pod

Travel Journal, Day 2 (Part II): From Page, Arizona To Utah

June 17, 2018

When we left Page in Arizona, we still had two to two and a half hours, before we arrived at the resort east of Zion National Park. Southern Utah has the same landscape as Northern Arizona.

Kevin, the girls and I finally made it to our destination, the Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, in the early evening. After we checked in, we went to our cabin to get our luggage in and have a sandwich for dinner. Sara wanted to go for a swim, so we’ve got her ready and walked down to the pool. While Kevin kept an eye on her, Katelynn and I walked around to check out the area. They have quite a bit of activities for children and teens at the resort. There’s ping-pong, wall climbing, mini golf, a pool … just to name a hand full of activities.

When Katelynn and I came back, Kevin went with Katelynn to the Recreation Center on the property. Katelynn went sip lining, and Kevin informed himself what we could do with the rest of the evening at the resort. He found out, that Zion Ponderosa has a Sunset Jeep Ride, which takes the guests up to a mountain. The area is hard to reach with a regular car. The best way to get up there is in a Jeep or with an ATV. I was definitely in for that. At 8 PM local time, we went with three Jeeps up to this mountain. On top of it, our guide/driver explained to us how this mountain range formed and that the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument doesn’t end in so-called park. It reaches all the way from Salt Lake City to the northern rim of the Grand Canyon. Standing on that mountain, it can be seen perfectly as a staircase. It was very beautiful up there. We watched the sunset, while standing on the roof of Zion National Park. The guide showed us, where the Narrows begin in that valley in front of us. Looking on the other side of the hill, we could see our resort. Shortly after the sunset, we made our way back to Zion Ponderosa. Getting up was the easy part, getting down was a little more adventurous. The trail is much narrower. Sometimes we’ve got a little smack across the face from nature. 😀

Coming back, we walked to our cabin. Katelynn and Sara tumbled on top of the bunk bed, while Kevin and I enjoyed the view on the cabin’s porch. I’ve got my camera set up to capture several photos of the Milky Way. That Sunday night, I was too tired to get a perfect shot. But it was fun seeing so many stars in the sky.

… to be continued …