Sunday, March 31, 2024

Happy Easter!


Here's to goslings.

Reflecting puddles.

Blooming orchards.

Spring flowers.

And picnic weather. :-)

Happy Easter!

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Lunar Eclipse Tonight

The full moon of March, tonight's moon, is often called the Worm Moon. In places with cold winters, like here, the ground is thawing and the worms are waking. We begin to see robins foraging on the ground again. Click to enlarge.

Tonight, as the full worm moon crosses the sky, it will pass through the outermost part of the earth's shadow, the penumbra.

The eclipse will be subtle, though. Instead of the dramatic blood red moon we see when it passes through the darkest part of Earth's shadow, tonight will be a mere dimming. You might not even notice the difference. Still, it's fun to stay up late just to go out and look at the sky. 

By Philadelphia time, the eclipse will begin at 12:53 a.m., reach maximum at 3:12 a.m., and end at 5:30 a.m. 

And remember, the words of Ai Yazawa from the magna comic series, Nana (volume 14): "...even when the moon looks like it's waning... it's actually never changing shape."

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Two More Days of Winter

Are you seeing more rabbits lately? It's March, it's almost spring, and the rabbits are calling attention to themselves. They breed in March around here, which makes them more visible than usual as they engage in courtship that involves running, hopping, leaping, racing, chasing, dancing, and other attention-getting activities.

More rabbit sightings. Longer days. Warmer temperatures. Blooming flowers. The change of seasons will become official with the equinox on Tuesday, March 19. We have just two more days of winter. Click to enlarge.

For the occasion, an excerpt from Atlanta in Calydon by Algernon Charles Swinburne. 

"For winter's rains and ruins are over,

And all the season of snows and sins;

The days dividing lover and lover,

The light that loses, the night that wins;

And time remember'd is grief forgotten,

And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,

And in green underwood and cover,

Blossom by blossom the spring begins." 



Sunday, March 10, 2024

Spring Forward


Daylight savings time started last night while we slept. There is still time to set your clock ahead one hour. I personnaly am with those who want to move this event to 4:00 p.m. on the second FRIDAY of March, not 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday. Above, March sunlight casts the shadows of a fence and empty cabanas on the beach at Cape May, New Jersey. 

Note that today the sun will set at 7:02 in Philadelphia. Click to enlarge the sun-drenched white and gold crocuses.

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Dragons and Lions


I promised pictures from last Sunday's Lunar New Year Parade in NYC. Here they are! This dancing dragon looks like he's about to catch the globe that represents the "Pearl of Wisdom." He did not, just continued to follow it on down the parade route through the narrow streets of New York City Chinatown.

Blue dragon!

Pink dragon!

There were also many fancy lions. They travel in lion dance teams with drummers and cymbal players. Lots of noise and fierce dance steps from the lions.

Green lion!

Click to enlarge.

This one isn't really blurry, it's shaking it's feathers, ur... its fur.

Another action shot. The lions are restless creatures.

There was a lot more to see, like this big-headed guy.

Senator Chuck Schumer makes it to the parade every year.

Lots of colorful dancers, floats, marching groups, horses, music, and fancy cars. It is a great parade!

And the location, among all of the restaurants of Chinatown, means that the parade snacks are fabulous and easy to find. There is nothing better than a big plate of hot fried dumplings on a cold NY afternoon.