I had two posts alerting readers to the Saturn and Jupiter Great Conjunction of 2020 (LINK and LINK), but I realize many people were not able to see it because of weather (or other reasons).

I figure I would do a couple of posts sharing the photos I took of the event as luck smiled upon me and I was able to shoot a number of nights, including the night of the closest approach (December 21st). The two previous posts shared some of the photos, but these posts will go into a bit more depth.

We begin a month prior to the event. November 18th, to be precise, and to be even more precise, November 18, 2020, at 6:15:58 pm (18:15:58) local time (Central/Chicago time).

November 18, 2020, 18:15:58 — Marion, Illinois
Nikon D7500, Sigma DC EX HSM 17-50mm 1:2.8
Photo: 50mm 1.3 sec. f/5.6 ISO 100

I’m including the shooting data as much for me as for anyone else.  The photo was taken from my driveway and the garage lights are illuminating the neighbor’s trees.

The “V” stories voting round is really struggling to keep up with previous rounds. However, this is understandable given the time of year and all the stuff going on.    

For them who still take the time to read our stories and vote for their favorite, thank you in advance. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge V-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Tuesday, January 5, 2021.

So, on Christmas day I had the opportunity to get a few close-ups of birds I don’t see at my house.

Look to the left . . .

That is a White-breasted Nuthatch (LINK). It may not be recognizable at first glance because people are probably used to seeing it hanging head-first on the side of trees and feeders. Occasionally, even hanging upsidedown under branches.

The “V” stories voting is still stalled as people recover from their Christmas stuffing . . . and get ready for their New Year’s Eve drunken reverie. 

For them who take the time to read our stories and vote for their favorite, thank you in advance. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge V-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Tuesday, January 5, 2021.

So, I stopped my car not ten feet from this seagull, turned off the car’s engine, rolled down the window, and waited to capture a sequence of photos showing the gull launching into flight.

Below are the photos I shot as I waited for the gull to take flight. it never did, by the way, and I just got tired of waiting and left.

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the bottom-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

That coyote was photographed at Little Big Horn — yes, that Little Big Horn — with my Nikon D100 and Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR lens.

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow click HERE<<link  When you click the link, it will open in a new window and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button/symbol at the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos as this will pause the slideshow.

Nota Bene: because of the size of the originals, these cropped photos are the same size as what you will be in SmugMug. SmugMug does a better job of showing the photos, but know that you won’t get a larger version than what you see here if you click on the photos or view the gallery and chose so see them full-size.

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

This post documents our September 14, 2017, visit to Ketchikan, Alaska, a long-delayed continuation of my documentation of our 2017 Alaska Cruise. Current and previous posts relating to this cruise are HERE(link).

There’s a gallery at the end of each post and a SmugMug gallery HERE(link). Photos in SmugMug can be viewed full-size. Note that the SmugMug gallery will eventually contain all the photos from Ketchikan; those from this post (Part 2) and those from previous Ketchikan posts.

You can click on the photos in the body of this post to see a larger-but-less-than-full-size-version. If there’s a panorama, I’ll link the full-size files but be warned . . . they’re typically huge. Huger than people have ever seen before. Don’t click on those links unless you’re enjoying a biggly Interweb connection. Also, if you have biggly Interweb but you’re reading this on a phone — which is sad — VERY SAD — I wouldn’t bother with the full-size photos because they are HUGE; huger than anyone else’s huge photos. 

Ketchikan welcome sign

In four days, the Alphabet Challenge “T” Stories voting round will end. I post the reminders because there have been late-round voting surges which seem tied to the deadline approaching . . . probably people who enjoy the thrill of working to a deadline.

. . . although this isn’t really work, or shouldn’t be . . . .

If you’re a reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge T-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until noon, Chicago time, on November 27th.

As usual, let me know if something goes wrong with the voting . . . and today I decided to process a few more Nikon D100 photos, but transitioning from flowers to other stuff.

Those look like Black-eyed Susan flowers but they’re actually a wildflower that looks similar. Or, maybe they are Black-eyed Susan from seeds that had been blown into a natural setting. We’ll never know.

With five days to go, the Alphabet Challenge “T” Stories voting round heated up into a frenzy of votes and drastic moves in the standings of individual stories. It’s good to see the activity pick up a bit as we approach the end of the voting block. Perhaps we’ll top the record set last week (but still far from the once-hoped-for 100 votes mark).

If you’re a reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge T-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until noon, Chicago time, on November 27th.

As usual, let me know if something goes wrong with the voting . . . and today I decided to process a few more photos of flowers captured with the D100.

Stella D'Oro daylily painting

That’s a Stella D’Oro daylily. Artified, of course.

With six days to go, the Alphabet Challenge “T” Stories voting round is progressing nicely. I suppose I should start thinking about my next story.

Meanwhile, if you’re a reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge T-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until noon, Chicago time, on November 27th.

As usual, let me know if something goes wrong with the voting . . . and today I decided to process a few photos of flowers captured with the D100.

Dogwood tree flowers turned into a framed painting.

That’s a peach tree blossom, I think. Artified, of course.

Usually, Alphabet Stories voting rounds seem to pass quickly and I find myself scrambling for a story. But, the Alphabet Challenge “T” Stories voting round is only halfway done and it already seems like it’s been running for a long while. Heck, I still have eight days before I need to write something.

My advice to readers is . . . don’t be like me. Get your reading in early and lock in your vote, preferably well ahead of time.

If you are a reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge T-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until noon, Chicago time, on November 27th.

As usual, let me know if something goes wrong with the voting . . . and today we’re looking at two panoramas from our 2006 Utah Tour (LINK). The panoramas are from photos I shared on that post (although I didn’t present any panoramas there).

Arches National Park

That’s a panorama composed of four photos taken in portrait mode and stitched in Photoshop.

The Alphabet Challenge “T” Stories voting round is progressing nicely. Not blazingly, but steadily. Strangely, I’m getting a lot of visitors to the blog. It doesn’t seem to translate into additional votes, comments, or even ‘likes’ . . . which leads me to believe these new visitors just took a wrong turn on their way to somewhere else. 

. . . I hadn’t noticed the increase (I rarely check my stats), but for a few months now, I’ve been averaging better than 70 visitors per day. Again, they come, they see, most leave no trace, but I’m glad they’re stopping by, even if they don’t interact.   

If you are a reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge T-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until noon, Chicago time, on November 27th.

As usual, let me know if something goes wrong with the voting . . . and today we’re making our way back to November of 2018. We knew we were leaving the Big Island at the end of the year, so we made it a point (when not packing and shipping our few belongings) to visit the places we liked.

 

mural by Margaret Stanton, "The Cane Cutters" - 1998

That’s an actual painting, not something I whipped up on my computer. It’s a mural by Margaret Stanton, “The Cane Cutters” — 1998. It’s in the town of Honokaʻa, in the Hamakua district on the northern portion of the Big Island of Hawaiʻi.

The Alphabet Challenge “T” Stories voting round is moving along at a glacial pace, but it is moving, and for that, we are grateful.

If you are a reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge T-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until noon, Chicago time, on November 27th.

Let me know if something goes wrong with the voting . . . and here are a couple of artsified Nikon P900 photos.

That’s from a photo that did not turn out well . . . but that I thought might make a decent painting rendering.

This is the third day of the Alphabet Challenge “T” Stories voting round. After a very quick start, we hit dead calm. No new votes. lots of views, but those are likely people using readers and not actually reading anything.

. . . there go my hopes of a 100 votes round . . .   

If you are a reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge T-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until noon, Chicago time, on November 27th.

As usual, let me know if something goes wrong with the voting . . . and here are a few Nikon P900 photos.

Magic Sands beach in Kona, The Big Island

Most people get a pleasant reaction from scenes like the one above. I think deep in our evolved nature, we have an affinity for water.