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Tag Archives: dark skies

It rained off and on all day yesterday and poured down hard in the evening. It rained so hard I could not see lights across the valley for a while. I don’t mind that. But then, I woke up at 2 am and the sky was clear and full of stars. I laid there for a while and finally talked myself into getting dressed, gathering my camera gear and going out in the dark. The dogs were confused and wanted to go out too but then they wanted in. Ken was out of town for work.

The moon had already set. The stars were uncountable. The night was dark. I ventured down the driveway and up the road a bit. I heard sounds of animals moving in the brush and hoped that none of them were cougars or angry deer. For the most part it was quiet except for the occasional vehicle on the highway down below. I saw a few shooting stars but none crossed my images.

When I was done, sleep eluded me for the longest time.

I’m still working on the process of processing these night sky images.

 

The girls and I camped for five nights at Natural Bridges National Monument. It has a tiny campground, is off the beaten path and is truly a dark skies place. There was no lighting visible from the campground or the tour loop around the natural bridges except for an occasional distant car driving on highway 95. There were lots of aircraft flying overhead and sometimes I had to wait for the jets to get out of my planned image. Once, two planes flew parallel to each other, going the same speed and direction. I wonder what that was all about. Anyway, I am still learning how to do this and how to process the image files so these are works in progress.

It’s interesting that many of my recent blog posts which are, admittedly, few and far between these days, are about the night sky. Or hikes. But certainly I seem to be paying more attention to the night sky. I’ve always appreciated dark skies not illuminated by artificial lighting. But why more photos of the night? It’s never been something I’ve pursued. Maybe it’s because at night, I don’t see the devastation that came from wildfires the last two summers? Or maybe as I age I gain a greater appreciation for the infinite reaches of the space outside our own atmosphere? Or maybe I just don’t sleep as much as I used to!

Anyway, for whatever reason, here is another set of images from the Aurora Borealis. It’s best to watch the slide show but you never know when you get to the end!

There is a chance that the lights will continue this week but I am feeling sleep deprived so this might be the last of the night postings for a while.

Last night’s power outage made for a darker than usual night. No moon and no hazy skies also provided good looks at stars and meteors and even the northern lights! We are lucky to have less light pollution than a lot of places.

The dogs thought I was nuts standing out there in the dark and they went inside to bed. I was only up til midnight when it seemed like the aurora¬†faded away. This morning I learned that they were even more dramatic in the wee hours of the morning. A girl’s got to sleep sometime!

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