First snow, big deal?

“Does it snow by you?” — as my Milwaukee German ancestors would have put it. Today, the 9th of November the day I was born, I would answer: “Ya, hey, she’s snowin’ now.”

My son was born in the summer, so it’s hard to picture a winter baby — you wouldn’t go out as much, but those first few months tend to be intimate and intense, whatever the weather. Anyway, my late mother looked out upon an urban landscape in Chicago, and may have an early dusting of snow, like today. I thank her for my life, although I really didn’t like her all that much — kinda cold, distant, self-involved. Or maybe that’s me!

Well I’ll accept the freak snow as my first surprise gift today — may it make me a more prudent planner. And yes, Love, we’ll get your snow tires on ASAP.

135/365 – A day for nature

Red bud, the most beautiful tree.

Eastern Redbud, North America's most beautiful tree. (Cercis canadensis)

It was the third morning in a row I wanted to record the redbud tree.  One day,  it was raining; the next, I didn’t have the camera and was late.  Today, I pulled over on one of Madison’s one-way arterial street and contemplated this tree.  My impression has been of the magnificent tree glowing in the morning sun — then I saw the telephone pole, the streetlight pole, and wires and whatnot.  Oh well, that’s the context and it makes the tree’s beauty even more valuable as a contrast to urban grit.

98/365 – Moon versus Man

Full moon competes with our lights.

Full moon competes with our lights.

Time was the moon would be the brightest thing at night.

If you get far enough away from a city, that’s still true. But it was remarkable last night that despite the flood of parking-lot kleig lights, the moon held forth. 

I also liked the TV tower with its red warning lights, as some sort of industrial challenge to the moon.

85/365 – First robin of spring in Madison

Isn't' it cute?

Isn't it cute?

Now it’s offically spring — I saw my first robin.

No way to tell if it was a male or a female, the plumage is just a little duller on females, the encyclopedia says.

I spotted it on my noon walk in the office park, and had to stalk it a bit.  It hid in some bush branches, and I hid behind a large electrical box.  As it came out to spot more worms (they hunt by sight), it forgot about me.

Later in the walk, I saw four more, all very wary.  Makes me think these are long-distance travelers on their way to the northern tundra where they won’t see humans.  That sounds good, some days.

30/365 – An hour late

Crescent moon and Jupiter

Crescent moon and Jupiter

Note to self: Don’t try to shoot the moon with a small digital camera.  You don’t get much.

I hope you saw the new moon this past week.  It has been sharing the early evening sky with a very bright Jupiter, which is probably also a crescent, but I didn’t have a telescope handy to check. (My attempt to zoom in is below.)

Just about every month, I seem to spot the new moon, which I used to call the fingernail moon when I was much younger.  Okay, I still call it that.  It’s always a surprise to see it again, hovering over the horizon. 

My Egyptian friend told me that in Arab countries, where they use a lunar calendar, the new moon signals that it is time to get paid. “Hey, where’s my pay?  Can’t you see the new moon?”

The new moon and first quarter are also a higher energy time for me, usually.  I sleep less and stay active all day.

Well, I’m an hour late, so it’s really Saturday already, but why can’t I count my personal “day” to be from when I wake up to when I go to sleep?  I can do that — I can do whatever I want: It’s my blog.
I’m doing taxes most of the day tomorrow, hope the people are nice, or at least not too crazy.  Oh, and people, do NOT bring two-year-olds to the tax office!

Okay, here’s my streaky moon/Jupiter shot.  I couldn’t hold the camera still enough once I zoomed in.  But I like the shot anyway.