Eclipse! Fun watching, little success photographing

December 21, 2010

Joni Mitchell warned us:  Clouds get in the way:

Lunar eclipse 12-21-2010 - beginning, with clouds - Photo by Ed Darrell - IMGP5738

A clouded view for openers

A long eclipse — more than an hour of almost-total coverage of the Moon’s disk.  Clouds came and went, with a few good viewing times.  With the naked eye, the view was spectacular.  Through the 200 mm Pentax zoom, not quite as spectacular, even with the tripod mount.  Photographing eclipses takes some skill that I don’t yet possess.

Solstice eclipse - clouds took a break IMGP5760 - Photo by Ed Darrell

Clouds took a break

Eclipse totality, with clouds - IMGP5778 - Photo by Ed Darrell

Eclipse totality

A better shot, near the end - IMGP5798 - photo by Ed Darrell

Eclipse nearing its end

Near the end of totality, where the shadow slips away from the full Moon, a bright white light provides a dazzlying view that confounds the light meters.

Bright sliver as eclipse totality ends - IMGP5813 - Ed Darrell photo

Celestial orange, tinged in silver

Ending eclipse with more of the sky - IMGP5822 - Ed Darrell photo

Step back, see a few of the starts, even from inside Dallas city limits

Bright light at the edge of Earth's shadow - IMGP5844 Ed Darrell photo

To every Earth shadow, there's a silver lining to confuse the built-in light meter

Blood-tinge gone, Earth's shadow retreats - IMGP5881 Ed Darrell photo

Blood-tinge gone, Earth's shadow retreats (all photos by Ed Darrell)

Eclipse over, clouds again fog the view - IMGP5884 - Ed Darrell photo

Eclipse nearly over, clouds again fog the view

Longer lens, better tripod next time.  (Heh.  We should live so long.)


Monkey Day 4 Stone Hearth

December 21, 2010

What the heck is Monkey Day?

The 108th edition of 4 Stone Hearth is up at This is Serious Monkey Business.

A sample:

Over at her blog, Barbara J. King writes about The Cognitive Watershed and Nut-Cracking Monkey Pushback wherein she explains one of the finer (and, in my personal opinion, coolest) aspects of primatology, nut-cracking, and uses bearded capuchin monkeys (Cebus libidosus) to exemplify these foraging techniques. Pretty timely as the holidays approach, eh?

DNApes has also got a fantastic article that’s been hitting the news recently about Monitoring the Health of Endangered, Wild Chimpanzees. I’m particularly interested in disease ecology in primates, so this article was a special treat for me given that it looks at the potential for retroviral diseases in chimpanzees and the risks posed to hunters as a result.

How did humans get HIV, anyway?

Does it seem to you we have fewer blog carnivals coming to town these days?


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