Mammatus Monday

August is the month for mammatus clouds. I posted similar clouds on August 1, 2018. These mammatocumulus clouds rolled in well after sundown the other night. While I was out photographing the clouds, I ran into a skunk. The skunk was a sassy little guy. He ran up to within a foot of me and stamped his little paws. It was too dark for the wide-angle lens to focus on him. I took a few steps backward, and he ran up to me and stamped is front paws. This happened several more times. He never turned to spray, just kept running up to me like a challenge or maybe he wanted to play. When I shined my phone light on him to try and get a photo, he ran under the car.

Wild Summer Skies

Looking southeast from South Bend

When I was out at Beaver Point just before sunset last night, I could see the clouds were really wild looking to the southeast, and I would get much better photos from the south bend about a quarter-mile downriver. I hightailed it south and along the way heard the owlets peeping in the cottonwoods between 4th of July Point and South Bend, but I could not see them. I got down to South Bend in time for some spectacularly wild clouds with the half-moon hanging behind them. On my way backed I looked for the owlets, but could not find them in the trees. There was still a lot of color in the clouds when I got to the Tangle Heart Tree, but the color had pretty much subsided to the east when I got to Shehanne’s tree on my way back home.

Looking east over the Rio Grande a the Sandias from South Bend.

A half-moon peaking through the Tangle-Heart Tree.

The last of the color looking north from the Tangle Heart Tree. Can you see a face in the clouds?

Shehanne’s Tree in front of a fading eastern sky.

 

Western Skies with Neowise

Tristan texted Laurie last night that she could see Neowise in the western sky. We went out to look, but we could not see it. I got the binoculars, and Laurie finally found it. It showed up very well in the binoculars. Tristan said it was directly below the bottom star in the big dipper. The comet makes up the apex on an equilateral triangle with two stars from Ursula Major, I believe. You can read more about how to see Neowise at https://www.nasa.gov/feature/how-to-see-comet-neowise/

I dragged out a tripod, got focused on the Big Dipper, turned off autofocus, pointed my leans in the general direction of the comet, and check shots until I saw it on the screen. There were clouds in the eastern skies that were reflecting the city’s light making it so we could not see the comet with our naked eyes. After we found where the comet was, focusing on it was a real challenge. I can’t simply set the lens on infinity and shoot like I could with the old manual focus lenses. These photos give you a decent idea of what it looked like.

Critter Update

Daddy Owl silhouetted at dusk

Last night there was not much of a sunset, but daddy owl flew up on a tree well after sundown so we could see him in silhouette. He stayed on the tree until I was able to walk around where I could get him in profile in the afterglow. An Osprey flew overhead and then a beaver was out basking in the twilight on the east bank of the river.

Daddy Owl in profile at twilight

Osprey overhead

Beaver basking in the twilight

Beaver on the east bank grooming at twilight

Red Sky at Night…

A thunderstorm rolled through around round 8:00 pm. We didn’t think there was going to be much of a sunset, but the skies began to clear as the sun slipped behind the horizon which produced a wonderfully red sky as darkness crept in all around us.

Lunar Eclipse 7/4/2020

The peak of the eclipse at 10:30 pm MDT.

There was a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse tonight, July 4, 2020. The moon was so bright, I couldn’t see any changes to it besides the clouds drifting by adding a little drama to the scene. It was rather anticlimactic, but I photographed in anyway.

The tracker on my screen showed the coverage at the peak on the eclipse.

A cloud drifting by at 10:07 pm gave an eclipse look to the moon.

9:40 pm clouds striping across the moon.

9:45 pm cloud eclipse.