Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Solar Eclipse on 21 August 2017

A variety of emotions went through my head in the previous days and weeks before the big event.  Seeing a once, maybe twice, in a lifetime event.  One million extra people visiting the state of Oregon.  Needing to get up well before dawn and driving at least an hour (possibly up to 8 hours one way).  Will it be cloudy or rainy or clear.  Will the entire family be around to witness it. Will I find the right tripod and use the correct camera settings. What will happen around us when the sun gets covered up.  Will I get the one shot that I want!  

On the day of the event, not everything was as we wanted, but the weather cooperated and I was able to get some amazing shots.  With my brother's help, those of us with cameras made sure to take the time to observe things during the 2 minutes of totality and to not just look through our cameras.  Totality was amazing!  We all had goosebumps!  

Below is a short sequence of the moon covering the sun, and the sun reemerging from the shadow of the moon.  Enjoy!

1) It begins. (watch the sun spots throughout the series) 




5) Almost there! 

6) And we have totality!  (look at the sun flares surrounding the moon) 

7) The diamond ring effect. 

8) The sun re-emerges. 





13) The last sliver. 

14) And it all ends.  

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Life stages of a ladybug

Throughout the first half of summer, I was able to watch three of the four life stages of a ladybeetle happen on our dill.  As our dill plants grew and started attracting aphids, a pair of ladybeetles landed, laid eggs, and started a new generation.  Aphids are a ladybeetle's main diet (as well as other small, soft-bodied insects).  It was an educational experience watching the larvae grow in size, then become pupae, and then hatch into adults. Every couple of days I would head out to the food garden and check on the status of these amazing creatures, while watching the aphid population decrease!  (I have labeled the stages below.)  

1) Larva (instar #2 or 3) 

2) Larvae (instar #3 or 4) 

3) Larvae (instar #4) 

 4) Pupae (fore and middleground), Larva (instar #4, middleground)

 5) Adult (foreground), pupae (background)