One Night Only

Tonight: the super wolf moon, fully eclipsed.

The duration of the eclipse, from beginning to end, will be fully visible in the America’s. In Europe, the eclipse will occur in the wee hours of the morning on Monday, Jan 21. The eclipse will not be visible in Australia and Asia since it will be daytime. How much of the eclipse will be observed, of course, will depend upon the weather. Ideally, clear skies offer the best viewing opportunity. Not so good, those still experiencing the coast-to-coast winter storm.

maximum: total lunar eclipse (Sep 27 2015)

This eclipse promises to be one of the best, with its duration in totality lasting for 62 minutes. While no aid is required to watch tonight’s eclipse, a pair of binoculars will greatly aid the process and heighten its enjoyment. A telescope is okay too, especially if your viewing also includes planets and stars.

For more information and times on tonight’s eclipse, please consult Sky and Telescope’s guide here.

Happy viewing!

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Hidden By Winter

Snow and dense fog arrived with the new winter storm in the pre-dawn hours. The snowfall, 2-4 inches. Pockets of dense fog added a glazing of ice and invisibility.

North Ranch: draped in snow, cloaked in fog

foggy aura

Throughout the day, our invisibility would slip away, but roll back in a couple of hours later. Tonight, the fog will persist and may become more dense. The barnyard lights will provide an eerie glow.

Most definitely, it will be a night to stay in with a nice fire in the hearth.

 

Side Note

Megan, who’s renting our house in the old neighborhood, she’s been waiting for snow for most of the day. A winter aficionado, Megan rescheduled her day. To say she was disappointed, well, Megan was disappointed. She’s suggested new weather guessers may be needed.

Winter On The Range

Snow. More snow. And, more snow.

It began snowing in the pre-dawn darkness, Wednesday morning. Three days of light snow. Not terribly much in accumulation, perhaps 3-4 inches by late Thursday afternoon. The cold, not too bitter, staying around 5° F/-15° C during the overnight, around 25° F/- 4° C during the daytime. The skies were partly cloudy at sunrise, this morning. Within a couple of hours, the clouds filled back in and began snowing again.

It does make for some pretty.

Wednesday morning: line shack weathering the snow (JN Ranch/North Ranch, Dec 26 2018)

returning home: wintry, foggy drive into the JN Valley (Dec 27 2018)

Christmastime: candles in the window (North Ranch, Dec 28 2018)

The snow is forecasted to end during the overnight, before returning on New Year’s Eve. The cold is expected to continue for another week.

Sunrise On The Range

The sunrise, coated in heavy frost, revealed by early light.

sunrise on the range (JN Ranch, Dec 11 2018)

Black angus cattle, from the JN Ranch, grazing on a section of their winter range at sunrise. An idyllic scene, the angus don’t take notice of the hoar frost, the sunrise colors, nor the low clouds in the valley.

With the girls, a brief stop to admire before continuing on our way for their instructional riding session.

A Quiet September

… and, not by design.

The month slipped by quietly, with October beginning today. The girls, immersed in their studies while staying sharp with their riding, are taking aim at the Las Vegas Nationals in mid-November. The always busy Laurie and Andrea, busy. Except for a pair of early starts, no one required their special talents in the middle of the night. For myself, a few work projects. One project is on hold pending the arrival of a new printer. My existing HP OfficeJet printer gave out last week, unable to lift a sheet of paper to be fed into the printhead interface. It gave nine years of flawless service.

Similarly, fall began quietly. No chill winds, no large temperature swings, and most importantly, no surprise snow. While the fall colors have gone past their peak in the high country, they are slowly beginning here in the lower elevations. Autumn gold should take hold around mid-month, mostly from cottonwoods and elms. Reds and oranges will mostly come from scrub oak, poison oak and poison sumac.

the fall colors in the old neighborhood (October 2017)

dulled color: gray skies and low clouds

A dull gray, not the best color to begin a new month. Rain, only a slight possibility, from the remnants of Hurricane Rosa. While the overcast gives the impression of cooler temperatures, it has been in the mid-70s for most of the day. Very pleasant. Better yet, not many flying insects hanging by the barn.

In the forecast: Brighter, warmer days. Cool overnights.

Hurricane Notes: Lane

A year ago, it was Harvey. Now, it is Lane. In both cases, it was the safety of family members that became our paramount concern.

Though it wasn’t likely Harvey would reach San Antonio, his rain shield was fairly large. They did have their share of rainfall, but not to the extent experienced by Houston. Like Houston, San Antonio is flood prone. Most of their issues arise from spring rains. Laurie was able to stay in regular contact with her dad, and her sister and brother.

With Lane, it is the extended family on my mom’s side that is in the crosshairs. On Monday evening, I sent a text to my cousin Lori and her family to stay safe. Lori’s father-in-law lives in Hilo, on the Big Island. If you have followed the weather reports, the Hilo side received 30+ inches of rain. Lori, her husband and her mom lives above Honolulu, in Nu’uanu Valley. It is more important for them to be ready.

high above: Hurricane Lane, at Cat 5 strength, as seen from the ISS (Aug 22 2018)
photo credit: NASA via Associated Press

The potential of a significant impact in Honolulu looms should Lane draw closer to Oahu. Their flood control is a network of canals (or spillway channels) which outlet into the ocean. Lane’s impact is forecasted to extend through the weekend with the potential for high rainfall amounts, and the likelihood of flash flooding.

The touchstone phrase in their preparations has been “hoping for the best, prepared for the worst.” May it be the best.

North Ranch: Winter Morning

A winter morning.

woods and cottages in winter white

A new day begins at North Ranch, with a fresh snowy mantle and crystal clear skies. The brisk temperature is noted before starting the day’s work.

Occasionally, the wildlife will make an appearance later in the day. They are well accustomed to the snow and cold, and well experienced in foraging.

passing through: deer on a snow-covered trail