Writing Retreat 2021, day 5

Milky Way and Perseid

Thurs­day, I:

  • Worked some more on “The Slow Apoc­a­lypse” (minor edits in sev­er­al sec­tions, and a new chap­ter in the “What we will lose the fire” sequence, excerpt­ed below)
  • Also worked on the “Praise the Torch” outline—I feel like I’m get­ting close to endgame, but I keep going back and adding things in so they’ll pay off later
  • Watched a truck try to maneu­ver a new cab­in into the cab­in area (even­tu­al­ly they did it, though they had to trim a cou­ple ever­greens back)
  • Drove back out to Spruces for some more Milky Way pho­tos (it was calmer, and I got to lis­ten to the waves on the shore and the occa­sion­al loon)

Jane had fall­en asleep. No, that was too gen­tle a term for it. Jane had col­lapsed into uncon­scious­ness, and soft snores, well-earned, came from her bed. Night had fall­en, out­side, and Mímir paced slow­ly back and forth in front of the win­dow, look­ing out onto a view of parked cars under a light dust­ing of snow, six sto­ries below, the lot illu­mi­nat­ed by great lights, bright white fringed in vio­let, on tall, thin met­al poles. The boy slept against his shoul­der, wrapped in a white-and-blue hos­pi­tal sheet of napped cot­ton fleece.

Mímir won­dered what his dreams might be, if they would even make sense to any­one not a newborn.

From “The Slow Apocalypse”

The two images above were tak­en with my 50mm lens, which results in a much tighter shot than the 11–14mm that I usu­al­ly use for night pho­tog­ra­phy. Both the images above are com­pos­ites; the one with the trees is 2 shots merged into one (you can prob­a­bly see the seam), and the oth­er is a stack of 6 images, man­u­al­ly merged, to try to bring out the detail in a seg­ment of the galaxy.

The image at the top is one of about 200, the only one where I caught a Per­seid mete­or in the frame. (I did see quite a few last night, about a dozen or so, includ­ing three very bright ones. I think the one in the pho­to is one of the ear­li­er ones, and I remem­ber think­ing after it had burned up, I hope I got that on cam­era.)

Series: Writing Retreat 2021

The entire series: Writ­ing Retreat 2021, Day Zero; Writ­ing Retreat, Day One; Writ­ing Retreat, day 2; Writ­ing Retreat 2021, day 3; Writ­ing Retreat 2021, day 4; Writ­ing Retreat 2021, day 5; Writ­ing Retreat 2021, day 6.

Star trails, and a couple Perseids

Star trails, Aug. 11, 2020

I went to my dark spot last night from about 10:45 pm to 11:45 pm or so, and set up my cam­era. I was hop­ing to catch a few of the Per­seid mete­ors, though I knew I was too ear­ly for the peak.

I let the cam­era run for about an hour (the bat­tery actu­al­ly died at about the 0:55 mark, but close enough), and the result is the star-trails pho­to above. I found two bright(ish) mete­or trails in it, high­light­ed below. (The star trail image is bright because the sky was still faint­ly glow­ing with sun­set light, even at 10:45, when I start­ed; the mete­ors below are from lat­er on in the process.)

Earth Day eve star trails

Star Trails

The Space Weath­er fore­cast called for a slight chance of auro­ra and the peak of the Lyrid mete­or show­er, so I packed up my cam­era gear and went out west of town. I let the cam­era snap away for about half an hour before I decid­ed I was tired and came home. I mean, it was a school night, after all.

I got one very faint mete­or and no auro­ra to speak of, but that’s OK, I got some star trails out of it, too. And a truck passed by me on the grav­el road, illu­mi­nat­ing the field for me, so there’s that too.

Nerdy details: 113 images, 15 sec­onds each, 11mm, f/2.8, ISO 1600, stacked in GIMP (no dark frames).