The Great Conjunction

Jupiter and Saturn at conjunction

Sat­urn met up with Jupiter tonight, in case you had­n’t heard about it on the news.

It was cloudy here, but only part­ly cloudy, so I decid­ed I’d take a quick run out of town with my cam­era equip­ment, to see if I could get any photos.

I stepped out­side and dis­cov­ered I did­n’t need to go anywhere—it was vis­i­ble from my dri­ve­way. So I set up there, and snapped some pho­tos of Jupiter + Sat­urn in between the clouds.

Jupiter and Saturn at conjunction
Jupiter and Sat­urn at conjunction

In the box­es, top-left to bot­tom-right, are Cal­lis­to, Io, and Europa. Ganymede is too close to Jupiter for my lens to sep­a­rate it.

The half-moon looked love­ly, too, so I got some of the sun­shine reflect­ed off it, too.

All the pho­tos were tak­en with my 55250mm lens, at 250mm, f/5.6, vary­ing times and ISOs.

Hollow Bean 2020

Blue Moon through the maples

On this windy Hal­loween evening in this pan­dem­ic year, I hand­ed out can­dy using tongs and wear­ing a mask. Our Halloweeners:

  • a lit­tle wee lion
  • a brown bear
  • an angel
  • what appeared to be an Ewok in a parka
  • a gang­ster
  • a goth
  • a Stormtroop­er
  • a croc­o­dile
  • a vam­pire
  • a nurse
  • a lit­tle wee dinosaur who told me “Hab­by Ween!” over and over
  • a zom­bie
  • and a princess in pyjamas

…for a total of 13.

Weird­ly, that’s four more than we had last year. I don’t know what that might mean.

Hap­py Hol­low Bean. B. good.

Clouds

Clouds in the afternoon

I made a time­lapse video of the clouds while we were at the farm last week­end. It’s about an hour, with pho­tos snapped every 10 seconds.

And since it turned out so well, I did anoth­er one yes­ter­day, out my upstairs win­dow. Longer this time—there are about 4½ hours of clouds in this one.

Slaughterhouse-Five: the graphic novel

As beau­ti­ful, haunt­ing, fun­ny, and bru­tal as the orig­i­nal nov­el. The art is amaz­ing, and com­ple­ments the sto­ry perfectly.

My review on Goodreads

I first encoun­tered Kurt Von­negut, Jr., when my room­mate in first-year uni­ver­si­ty was read­ing Galá­pa­gos in an Eng­lish course. I read the nov­el and decid­ed it was garbage¹. It just kind of… end­ed. I did­n’t see the point. Von­negut, I decid­ed, was overrated.

Years lat­er, I decid­ed to give Von­negut anoth­er try, and I read what is, in my mind, his most famous nov­el: Slaugh­ter­house-Five. Maybe it’s because I was old­er, maybe it’s because it was a straight-up anti­war SF nov­el, maybe it was because I knew bet­ter what to expect, but I loved it. I went on to read sev­er­al oth­er Von­negut nov­els (Cat’s Cra­dle, Break­fast of Cham­pi­ons, Time­quake), and I’ve loved each one. Von­negut’s nov­els are dif­fer­ent, I think, because they don’t gen­er­al­ly have a vil­lain. They’re just… the way things are.

So it goes.

And then I heard that Ryan North, of Dinosaur Comics, was involved in a graph­ic nov­el retelling of Slaugh­ter­house-Five, and I knew I had to have it. So I pre-ordered it from McNal­ly Robin­son, and it arrived last week.

It’s great. The two-page spreads of Dres­den are, respec­tive­ly, beau­ti­ful and hor­ri­fy­ing. The sto­ry flows like a Von­negut nov­el, and the art com­ple­ments the sto­ry so, so well.

High­ly rec­om­mend­ed for fans of Von­negut’s nov­els, graph­ic nov­els, or anti-war stories.


¹ When Kurt died and went to Heav­en², I re-read Galá­pa­gos, and this time I thought it was great.

² At a memo­r­i­al ser­vice for Isaac Asi­mov, an athe­ist, Vonnegut—also an atheist—said, “Isaac’s up in Heav­en now,” because it was the fun­ni­est thing he could think of to say. So it goes. So it goes.

All right, autumn can be pretty

Autumn Leaves

Those who know me know that I much pre­fer spring and sum­mer to fall. I love the new growth of spring, and I would much rather wear shorts and T‑shirts than long johns and parkas. Autum­n’s begin­ning brings with it the threat of inevitable win­ter, and it makes me some­what melancholy.

But I will grudg­ing­ly admit that ear­ly autumn, before the cold sets in to stay, has its own charms.

Con­tin­ue read­ing “All right, autumn can be pret­ty”

Series: Bike Ride Photos

The entire series: Down by the riv­er; Bike ride birds; The ex-gar­den and the weir; Snap­shots of a ride; Across Town; Black­bird; North Hill cam­pus; Lilacs and coun­try roads; A pop of colour; Back lane flow­ers; More Breniz­ers; The riv­er is high; A bird and a reflec­tion; Rideau Park; Writ­ing Retreat 2020, Day 7; Writ­ing Retreat 2020: The Num­bers; Storm dam­age, sun­flow­ers; Eleanor Kidd gar­dens; Scenes from today’s ride; All right, autumn can be pret­ty.

Image Hill; fog

Milky Way from behind a tree

Last night Kath­leen sug­gest­ed I check out Image Hill for some astropho­tog­ra­phy. Since it was only five min­utes’ dri­ve from the farm, I checked it out.

I got about 25 min­utes’ worth of star trails (I set my timer for 30 min­utes but my cam­era bat­tery had oth­er ideas). 

Star Trails at Image Hill
Star Trails at Image Hill
Con­tin­ue read­ing “Image Hill; fog”