I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Saturday reflections

Trees reflected in the evening light.

I'm not sure how I'm going to get used to being out in the world again. But oh it is so lovely.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Astronomy Tuesday

My third and final (for this week, anyway) paper has now been submitted, and I am reveling in the freedom, however temporary. (Since I have a class starting an hour from now and haven't finished the reading, it's very temporary indeed.)

I do remember the Sixties and light shows, though by the time I was actually old enough to go to concerts, light shows were mercifully no longer a thing. But that's what this Hubble image of a small portion of the Veil Nebula reminds me of. Or possibly, what you'd be likely to get back if anyone tried to scan what's left of my brain right now. 

Image Credit: ESA/Hubble and NASA, Z. Levay

Monday, April 5, 2021

Sunday, oops, Monday bird blogging

I was in bed last night, already half-asleep, when I realized that I'd forgotten to post a bird picture yesterday.

My dishwasher failed rather spectacularly on Saturday, leaving me with a bathroom full of wet towels and a sink full of dirty dishes; between that and the three papers I was writing, somehow the birds slipped my mind.

So here's a titmouse. We can always use another titmouse.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Saturday reflections

It's the last weekend of my first official Spring Break in many decades, and I am observing the occasion by writing three papers that are due Monday and Tuesday.

I may also consume a fair amount of chocolate to celebrate Easter and acknowledge the tireless work of delivery bunnies worldwide.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Urban poetry

It's been gray and gloomy this week, but the trees know it's spring. These buds made me smile.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Astronomy Tuesday

How have I never seen these pictures before?

The Soviets sent 10 probes to the surface of Venus between 1961 and 1984. We were still in the middle of the Cold War then, so maybe it was kept secret, or at least not publicized much in the West. I'd heard of the Venera program; I don't think I ever saw any of the images.

This is from Venera 14 in 1982. Because of the intense heat and atmospheric pressure, the spacecraft only lasted about an hour on the surface. We've seen a lot of Mars at this point -- though never enough to satisfy my curiosity -- but I'll bet most of us have never seen Venus. Well, here it is.

Image Credit: Soviet Planetary Exploration Program, Venera 14; Processing and Copyright: Donald Mitchell and Michael Carroll

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Sunday bird blogging


A bird as common as they come, but still beautiful -- a mourning dove hanging out on my windowsill.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Saturday reflections


Here's one more window shot, with at least a little bit of a reflection.

I am allegedly on Spring Break now, although I have a paper and a midterm due Monday, and two more papers due as soon as we're back. So basically, it's a break from classes, not from homework.

But I do plan to take the opportunity to get outside a little next week, and maybe even take some pictures. It's been two weeks since my first vaccine shot, so my body should be starting to crank out the antibodies now. Oddly, this makes me feel more vulnerable rather than less. In four more weeks, I will be as immune as current science can guarantee, able to see friends and take public transportation. It's so close I can't help worrying that something will happen and I won't cross that finish line.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Urban poetry

Here's another look at the view in early spring, as color seeps back into the world.

The trees have been whipping back and forth in high winds all day, making the light dance on my walls. I catch myself staring, hypnotized like a cat.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Astronomy Tuesday

Here's a trio of galaxies, the Leo Triplet,  consisting of (clockwise from upper left) M66, NCG 3628 (the so-called Hamburger Galaxy) and M65.

They're all typical spiral galaxies, but appear different because we're viewing them from different angles.

This morning I am feeling very discouraged about school, and so am fantasizing I am in the equivalent of grad school on one of the many billions of planets in these galactic homelands. Where, I am telling myself, I would react to getting a paper back with zero comments or feedback by assuming that it was an oversight, and not that the paper was so bad the professors can't even bring themselves to discuss it.

Image Credit and Copyright: Francis Bozon

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Sunday bird blogging


Plenty of robins spend the winter here, but I still think of them as a herald of spring.

I was grateful to have them around this past winter, though -- their beautiful song cheered me up on many a gray day.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Saturday reflections


Here's another in my Rear Window series, in which I watch the world through binoculars and zoom lenses.  

Unlike Jimmy Stewart, I don't have the opportunity to see much of my neighbors, and I've yet to see a single murderer making late night trips with mysterious suitcases.

I watch the birds, when they cooperate (three mourning doves on the fire escape as I type.) I watch the sky. I watch the pattern of shadows shift as the sun slides west, and the way the light paints my trees.

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