Friday, June 24, 2011

Fire in the Sky

One of the things about living in a neighborhood with tall trees, light poles, and two-story homes is that it makes it very difficult to see the sunset.  Or the sunrise for that matter.  Last night the sunset was probably beautiful, but I couldn't see it.  However, I did get to see the colorful sky that went along with the sunset.  A hint of smoke in the air from the wildfire in NC, the clouds, and the humidity all probably contributed to the colorful canvas overhead as the sun headed to bed for the night.  As James Taylor sang, 'hey baby, the sky's on fire..."

Thursday, June 16, 2011

OBX Sunrise

Due to the clouds on the horizon, the sun was a bit late in arriving last Monday morning.  Notice how the glitter path gets interuppted by the surf in the third photo, and continues onto the moist sand from the previous wave.  Very cool!

Crescent Moon

The wildfires burning in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refugee brought a nasty stench to the environment, but also gave the moon its orange glow.  Double-click the image to enlarge it.

Outer Banks Sunset

The June 4th sunset from Pine Island, NC.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Coming home from Paris we flew over the southern tip of Greenland.  Even from 35,000 feet it looked awfully cold.  And, I must admit, I did say a prayer for protection.  If something happened, I don't think you're going to find a white airplane in the middle of snowy white mountains!  Brrr!



No, not clouds, out-of-focus icebergs!  Enough ice for about 10 million frozen margaritas!

The White Cliffs of Dover

The White Cliffs of Dover stand guard over England's southeast coast, facing towards France, and the European continent.  The cliffs stand close to 350 feet tall and have symbolically guarded England from invasion from the continent for centuries.  The cliffs get their bright white color from their composition of calcium carbonate - chalk - and can easily be seen from 30,000 feet up in the air!

Looking out the Airplane Window

It is amazing what you can see out of an airplane window, if you know what to look for!  The first two photos are of the Belt of Venus.  The Belt of Venus is an atmospheric phenomenon that can be seen shortly after sunrise or sunset.  In this case, sunrise.

The next two photos are of an optical phenomenon called a Glory.  You can sometimes see this when looking out of an airplane window, down onto a cloud bank, when your window is on the opposite side of the plane from the sun.  Glories are caused when the sun's light is back-scattered across a set of uniformly sized water droplets in the cloud.  In this case, the first photo is what I saw out the window, showing a very faint Glory.  In the second picture I "photo-shopped" it so that you can more easily see the colored rings that make up the Glory.  Quite often when you see a Glory from an airplane, you can see the shadow of the plane inside the Glory.

Belt of Venus

Belt of Venus


Glory - digitally enhanced

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