Here are a few cell phone photos from our recent trip to NYC. Marilyn sings with the Durango Choral Society and they along with the Artistic Director, Dr. Linda Mack Berven were asked to perform at Carnegie Hall with Linda as the conductor. We were there for six days and five nights.
One day we took a walk on the High Line Trail which has lots of native plants growing along the way.
Even though we rode the subways a lot we never encountered a rat except for this one.
We visited the 9/11 Memorial Museum. It was very powerful. If you decide to go, I would recommend that you spend at least two hours in it. This photo was taken at the outside memorial.
Oculus at the rebuilt World Trade Center site
LInda conducting rehearsal at Carnegie Hall
Tom Miller and Marilyn Outside Carnegie Hall after the concert.
We saw hundreds of thousands of wildebeests and many thousands of them crossing the Mara River and I’ve got dozen of images. Everyone always asks about crocodiles getting a wildebeests so I’ve included one image.
The sight of the large herds stretching from horizon to horizon is awe inspiring and one of the most dramatic wildlife life spectacles on the planet, but unfortunately the Mara is being ruined by the encroachment of livestock grazing and the poisoning of wildlife by the locals.
Four out of seven vulture species found in Kenya are Critically Endangered, while one is Endangered. These birds face a number of threats but the major is poisoning, which accounts to over 60% of their deaths. Over a recent stretch of 2 weeks guides have recorded over 30 vulture deaths.
I’m trying to catch up on sharing some images and events.
Here’s a few images of African Lion cubs in the Masai Mara taken during the photo tour I led to Kenya in August/September of 2017
Unfortunately the Mara is being ruined by the encroachment of livestock grazing and the poisoning of wildlife by the locals. The famous March Price was poisoned by locals a few years ago and these lions are now found further inside the Reserve. There are dozens of new camps and the Mara is overcrowded with vehicles and many are driven by inexperienced guides who care nothing about the well-being of the animals. The Mara is not like it used to be and I am glad that I was able to see it the way it once was.
It was quite an interesting day, but then again every day in Durango is new, different and interesting.
Marilyn woke up this morning before 6 AM and realized that I was not in bed. She noticed a light on in my office, but I was not in there. She then searched all over the house (even in closets) thinking that something might have happened to me. She thought that maybe I had had a heart attack or stroke and had wandered off in a daze. While downstairs she noticed that my old winter down jacket was missing from its hook. She let Duffy out the East door and called me – still no response. Then they went out the West door and finally found me photographing the Super Blue Blood Moon!
It was the first total lunar eclipse since 2015 and the first Super Blue Blood Moon visible from the U.S. since 1866! There was a thin layer of high cirrus clouds and the moon eventually dropped down into thicker clouds and disappeared, but I did manage to get a few okay photos through the thin cloud layer. Canon 500mm/f4.0+ 1.4x, Canon 7D Camera, ISO 1600, -0.33 exposure compensation. f/5.6. Exposures 1 sec. to 0.4 sec.
Then in the late morning we arrived at the Snowdown’s Fashion Do’s and Don’ts’.
Snowdown is Durango’s crazy week-long winter festival. The Fashion Do’s and Don’ts’ is a rather wild noisy event attended by over 600 people. The theme for Snowdown this year is “It’s a Black Tie Affair”. Photos taken with my Samsung Galaxy S5.
Prizes were awarded for the best dressed, worst dressed, funniest costume, best theme and the costume grand prize. I’m not sure which one Marilyn and I won, but we were the last ones announced and we were awarded a $100 gift certificate to Guido’s Pizza Pasta Panini. Guido’s is a restaurant, bar, gelateria and market (gastronomia). Thank you Guido’s!!!!
Then when I got home this afternoon from walking Duffy there were four big bucks in our yard. They did not cooperate so never got all four in one photo. Image taken through the kitchen window (again with the Samsung cell phone).
Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and crotchety–
best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light–
good morning, good morning, good morning.
Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.
Over two years ago, I contacted friends Milt and Kathleen May, living near Driggs, Idaho, and informed them that the center line of a total solar eclipse of the sun was going to pass directly over their house on August 21, 2017 and could we please come and park our camper in their yard. Milt and Kathleen were not aware of the event, but enthusiastically offered up their hospitality. Since then, of course, the whole Teton Valley which is located on the western slope of the Teton Mountain Range – and indeed the whole country – eventually became abuzz with eclipse fever.
Marilyn, Duffy and I drove our camper up through Colorado, Utah and Wyoming with a brief stop in the Tetons. Eventually we ended up in Idaho where Milt and Kathleen were the most gracious and welcoming of hosts. Friends soon arrived from Colorado, Oklahoma and California and a splendid festive time was had by all.
Two days before the eclipse Marilyn, Duffy and I hiked the Teton Canyon Overlook trail starting out from base of the Grand Targhee Ski Area and ended with a grand view of the Tetons to the East.
To photograph the different phases of the eclipse, I bought a 92mm solar filter from Thousand Oaks Optical. This filter fit on my Kowa TSN 833N angled 88mm Prominar spotting scope with a 25-60x eyepiece. I attached a Canon 70D to the scope using a special adapter. In addition, I bought a step up ring so that the filter could also be used on my Canon 100-400mm with a Canon 7D camera.
Here’s first contact taken through the Kowa spotting scope:
Here are a couple of more images as the eclipse progressed:
The following photos were taken with the Canon 100-400mm lens
And this one was taken seconds before totality:
For totality, Marilyn unscrewed the solar filter on the 100-400mm lens while I kept photographing. Here’s a few images of the Diamond Ring Effect (also called Bailey’s Beads) as totality occurred. This phenomena occurs when the moon covers the sun, but some sunlight streams through the craters and valleys of the moon’s surface. You can also notice solar flares in the top right.
Here are a few other exposures taken during totality with the 100-400mm lens
During totality I was also able to take photos with my Canon 500/f4 lens with a Canon 1.4 adapter with a Canon 70D camera.
The last photo also shows another Diamond Ring Effect as totality ended:
Here are a few photos taken after totality showing the moon moving off of the sun’s disc:
And here is a final image showing the last little bit of the moon in front of the sun:
After a delicious lunch, we packed up and headed home since I was scheduled to fly to Africa on the 25th. About 5 miles north of Idaho Falls we hit stop and go traffic. We then became enmeshed in an epic exodus of eclipse viewers headed south on Interstate 15. It took us about eight hours to go 80 miles. We finally ended up staying in our camper at a truck stop south of Pocatello, Idaho.
Here are a few photos taken at a rest area south of Idaho Falls. One photo shows the line of people for the restrooms and the other shows the line of cars on the Interstate.