Monday, April 15, 2024

NOW QUIETER

What do you do after a half century, when the joints are getting creaky? We went to brunch at our favorite French restaurant. The staff got wind of the occasion and gave us the most exquisite chocolate mousse at the end of our meal.

So now, briefly, back in the routine. I might as well mention it at this point: our daughter, Ellie's mother, died just before the end of the year after, as they say, a long illness. We waited to have the memorial service until winter weather and Easter had passed. It took place on Saturday and was quite beautiful. Family and friends came from coast to coast. Now, life continues for the rest of us. But Carolyn and i wanted to do something to mark our occasion. We arrive in Madrid on Sunday.                      

Sunday, April 14, 2024

GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY

A long time ago - everything is a long time ago now -  I was in my middle year of law school. It was St. Patrick's Day and I had only change in my pocket. My roommate and I decided we could not sit at home despite our lack of funds. There was a bar near the university that had cheap beer and pinball machines. It was crushingly crowded and I was literally pushed into the other person in this picture. I grew up in an apartment in New York. She grew up on a farm in Kansas. We were married 50 years ago today. It worked. It really did.

And the adventures we have had. Some people want to sit on a beach in Cancun or buy trophies in luxury shops. Not us. We went to Tibet, here at Everest base camp at 5,200 meters / 17,000 feet. And Tierra del Fuego and Fairbanks and Bangkok and Alice Springs and Cairo. And Paris, over and over again. Wow, did I luck out. She's the best.                

Thursday, April 11, 2024

SKYGAZER

The sky was getting dark early Monday afternoon (I have not edited the color of the sky in this photo). Granddaughter Ellie, clutching her beloved cloth lambie, stared at the sky with rapture. When totality arrived she let out a whoop. She may remember the day for the rest of her life.

I need to take a break from the blog for a few days to attend to some family matters.                 

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

AMERICAN ECLIPSE WATCHING

The truck stop where we pulled in for eclipse viewing. One after another, drivers of big tractor-trailers pulled in to watch the show. Several more arrived after I took the top picture. As soon as totality passed they were back on the road. The western view had the necessary emblems - McDonald's, the American flag and British Petroleum.               


Tuesday, April 9, 2024

FAILURE - AND SUCCESS

We scouted traffic online before heading out yesterday morning. Traffic on the Interstate running south from St. Louis appeared to be in gridlock. We decided to head east into Illinois, stopping at a large truck stop parking lot about 55 miles / 88 km away. Plenty of room. I set up the tripod and got lots of ordinary photos of the moon gradually covering the sun.

Just after I took this shot the plate that connects the camera to tripod's ball head decided to come loose. It was the critical moment. I couldn't get it tightened fast enough to get the eclipse filter off the lens for totality. No images of it at all. So I put the camera aside and just looked. I saw the diamond ring effect. The sky was less black than seven years ago, more like sapphire. The wind calmed considerably but the temperature didn't seem to drop that much. Instead of making images, I had the experience.

Most important of all, my granddaughter, Ellie, was spellbound. It was the most fascinating experience of her young life.                     

Monday, April 8, 2024

FINGERS CROSSED

It is a privilege to see a total eclipse once in a lifetime; we have two in our part of the world in seven years, This picture was taken in 2017. Our family plans to drive about an hour and a half southeast of St. Louis today to get close to the center of totality. The forecast looks good but there are no guarantees. Report tomorrow.                         

Sunday, April 7, 2024

SAY CHEESE

Nothing wrong with phone cameras these days. Under the right circumstances you can get some very good images. Most of us have heard the saying that the best camera is the one you have with you. Nevertheless, I'd rather have my Fujifilm at my side.

Getting everything ready for the eclipse run tomorrow. The weather looks great. St. Louis will get 98-99% totality but not good enough. We will drive about an hour and a half southeast, where totality will last four minutes. Got my -20 stop solar lens filter. Hope we can find a space.