Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Morning Meteors of the Perseid Kind

I went out both Friday and Saturday night this past weekend for an early preview of the Perseid Meteor Shower. This image highlights many of the meteors I saw Saturday night on a very early morning sky.

This weekend (August 12-14) will be the peak of the shower. NASA has put together a page featuring some of my photos to help plan your Perseid viewing experience. You can see it here:

And the BBC has blogged this new 2011 Perseid image here:

Monday, June 20, 2011

Iridium Flare Over Lake Dillon

Iridium Flare Over Lake Dillon, originally uploaded by Fort Photo.

I managed to catch a bright -3 magnitude (-7 at center) Iridium Flare on Saturday night on a camping trip at Lake Dillon to celebrate Father's Day with my in-laws. The flare occurred at 22:53:37 and can be verified by the Heavens Above website Iridium Flare calculator here.

This is my third Iridium Flare to catch by luck when doing some night photography. For those new to them, Iridium Flares are caused by a constellation of highly reflective communication satellites (Iridium system) that regularly and predictably glint off the sun.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Seeing Forever For Over One Hundred Years

A perfect vanishing point road bathed in the golden last light of the day leads to a century old farm near Carr in northern Colorado. I'm sure in other parts of the world that hundred-year old farms are probably common, but in state settled so late they are a pretty big deal and rare.

Big changes are coming to this area though, recent oil finds in the Niobrara Shale Formation have set off an oil rush, the likes of which we have not seen in NE CO in my lifetime. It's still a bit too early to tell how big this is going to get, but I've seen figures indicating billions of dollars in oil development is likely on the way. For those of you in Colorado, now would be a great time to begin documenting a boom as it happens.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Elegant Trogon Sighting!

Elegant Trogon Sighting!, originally uploaded by Fort Photo.

I've been hoping to see an Elegant Trogon ever since my parents moved near Madera Canyon in SE Arizona, and on our second visit Madera delivered! We even got to hear their awesome odd frog-like song that goes Ko-ah, Ko-ah. What a spectacle of a bird!!!

These tropical birds only make it into SE Arizona (prefering "Madrean sky islands") and a small patch of SW New Mexico-- making them very special and rare in the United States. For nesting they often use old woodpecker cavities (there are plenty of these in Madera). In the U.S. portion of their range they migrate and don't often return until April, so this was a lucky sighting indeed!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Cathedral Park Spires in Autumn

Cathedral Park in Teller County, CO is well known to the locals for its fantastic rock spires. I was impressed with how the depth of the valley was revealed from this elevated point of view.