The Milky Way, just off Hwy 2

I left the house last night around 11:30pm and head­ed south by south­east, look­ing for a nice dark spot to get some Milky Way pho­tos. I got set up on a grav­el road about 3 miles east of the junc­tion of High­ways #10 and #2, and start­ed snap­ping. Here are some of the shots I liked the most.

I had intend­ed to take an hour’s worth of pho­tos, but my cam­era bat­tery died after about 47 min­utes and I did­n’t notice for a while (I was read­ing in the car). Oh well, so it goes. Here’s the 47 min­utes com­pressed into a few sec­onds’ worth of time­lapse video.

Then, as I was leav­ing, I noticed the moon was set­ting over a small pond, so I got a shot of that, too.

Crescent moon reflected in a pond

The Milky Way, early on Canada Day

Milky Way above the hydro lines

I went out around mid­night to get some pho­tos of the galaxy. My spot about 15 min­utes south of town was dark and qui­et, except the occa­sion­al low­ing of cat­tle and the buzzing of mos­qui­toes. I saw a cou­ple fire­flies too.

Milky Way above the hydro lines
Milky Way above the hydro lines (unedited)Milky Way above the hydro lines
Before and after processing.

Both pho­tos: 20 sec­ond expo­sures, 11mm, f/2.8, ISO 1600. Edit­ed using GIMP.

Last night

The Milky Way

Tak­en on a side road just off High­way #10, about 15 min­utes south of my house, at about 1:30 AM.

14 pho­tos, each 25 sec­onds, 3200 ISO, 11mm, f/2.8. Stitched with Hug­in.

96 images in the time­lapse above, each one 25 sec­onds @ 11mm, f/2.8, ISO 3200. The video took almost an hour to shoot, and, at 10 frames per sec­ond, lasts about 10 seconds.

Writing Retreat 2017

The Office -- writing at my friends' cabin

As is rapid­ly becom­ing tra­di­tion, I spent most of the last week of July in a friend’s cab­in up at Minnedosa. (Thanks, Karen & Ed!) My goals for the week are post­ed here, and here’s how it went:

Beat sheets for the major characters in Translations

I have a com­plete out­line for the POV’s arc, which is the most crit­i­cal as it’s nar­rat­ed in the first person.

Also, I had a major epiphany about the POV char­ac­ter, one that will shake up the last ⅔ of the book.

10,000 words in Translations

I wrote 12,500 words in Trans­la­tions, the bulk of it writ­ten as I sat on the deck, pret­ty much all alone in the cot­tage area.

At least a few shots of the Milky Way

Yeah, that turned out okay.

The Galaxy

Hav­ing access to a car this year real­ly helped me get to the dark places (lit­er­al­ly) so that I could get some great pho­tos of the night sky.

Also, I sold a print of one of my pho­tos to a friend. (Thanks, Bri­anne!) Does that mean I’m a pro now?

Lots of bike riding

Well. My bike’s left ped­al arm has been com­ing loose more and more fre­quent­ly. It’s got to go into the shop. On my first ride in Minnedosa, I had to stop twice to tight­en the ped­al arm, both times on my way up a hill. So after that, feh to bike rid­ing. (At least, my bike in its cur­rent condition.)

For­tu­nate­ly, I had access to a kayak (thanks, Car­la!), so I put in about 15 km of pad­dling time, going up and down the lake.

Stretch goals

I read James S. A. Corey’s amaz­ing Leviathan Wakes, cour­tesy of my pub­lic library’s e‑book pro­gram. I’m now hooked, and need to read the rest of the Expanse saga.

I also re-read the first ⅔ of Gene Wolfe’s sub­tle and mys­te­ri­ous The Fifth Head of Cer­berus, which, I’m not gonna lie, prob­a­bly had at least a lit­tle bit to do with my afore­men­tioned epiphany. (It’s also the first Wolfe nov­el I’ve re-read, and it’s amaz­ing how much less con­fu­sion I feel, how much more I’m pick­ing up.)

And we bought a sec­ond car, which is why I could have a vehi­cle to go gal­li­van­tin’ around the coun­try­side, look­ing for dark loca­tions to get pho­tos like this:

The Galaxy

I think that went well.