Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘sunset

Battening Hatches

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In the shadow of the storm that ravaged the middle of the U.S. last week, the prediction for our area this evening is a little intimidating. High winds and December thunderstorms after record warmth in the afternoon have us more on edge than usual.

Any time it rains here in the winter I wince. Everything about it is wrong. It will likely be a night to bring the horses inside the barn to protect them from getting soaking wet ahead of the drop in temperatures to below freezing.

The insolating properties of their winter coats don’t work so well when wet.

How come penguins don’t have that problem? Polar bears? Whatever.

If we had hatches, we would be battening them down today.

Last night’s sky at sunset was just dramatic enough to feel like a hint of what lies ahead. I will be very happy to find out our concerns were unnecessary if nothing significant materializes.

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Written by johnwhays

December 15, 2021 at 7:00 am

More Sky

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We seem to have fallen into a pattern where the sky is our focus for photography of late. Cyndie shared this wonderful sunset view yesterday:

As I enter the final month of commuting to the day-job, this brings to mind the sunset of my career in electronics manufacturing, which next leads to the sunrise of my expanding days on the ranch. This is where I thought I would be shortly after we moved so far away from my place of employment nine years ago.

Back then, I thought I might find work closer to home so I wouldn’t have to drive to the far side of the cities for work. I never planned to keep going back to the old job all these years.

We didn’t really plan on living in the midst of a global pandemic, either, but now that’s what we’ve got.

Leaves me a little timid about guessing what the next few years will bring. For now, caring for our rescued horses and coming up with a different way to keep chickens are two highly likely areas of focus.

And beyond that, a lot of soaking up our glorious views of the always fascinating sky.

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Written by johnwhays

November 29, 2021 at 7:00 am

Evening

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

November 2, 2021 at 6:00 am

Awe

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

August 14, 2021 at 9:36 am

Looking Around

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Our neighbors appeared to be having a pretty big barbecue last night. It was curious because we couldn’t see or hear any human activity around the vicinity of that rather large bonfire. Thankfully, the gale force springtime breezes of the previous few days had calmed significantly.

Between sessions of pounding down fence posts yesterday, I tinkered around with the Ritchie® waterer in the paddocks to see if the last few days of dry weather had dropped the groundwater level below the valve lever. I haven’t been able to turn the water back on and I suspect the valve is seized in the closed position by corrosion.

The problem with solving this conundrum is that the valve is below and behind so many obstructions that it involves a blind reach that would be best facilitated by having one or two additional joints between my wrist and my elbow. When I finally achieve a grip on the lever, the fact that it doesn’t easily turn leaves me frustratedly defeated.

Yesterday, I took a fresh look with a bright flashlight to see if I could figure out a different way to approach the challenge. What the flashlight revealed was that my previous attempts had sheered the line off just above the valve. At this point, I’m really glad I wasn’t able to open the valve the last time I tried.

Time to have the original installer visit with his tools and we will lift the upper portion off the base and repair the valve and water line when it will be easy to reach.

As Cyndie approached the house last night after closing the coop and barn doors, the dark silhouette of the house was nicely complimented by the fading color in the evening sky.

 

I was already inside, watching a bit of NCAA Men’s Final Four basketball. How ’bout that Minnesota kid, Jalen Suggs’ overtime buzzer beater 3-point desperation shot for the win last night! Spectacular.

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Written by johnwhays

April 4, 2021 at 9:38 am

The Value

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

January 28, 2021 at 7:00 am

Painted Skies

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One of many fond memories I have of home during my adolescence is the variety of magazines that showed up in our mailbox. I’m guessing I have my father to thank for this. Weekly, I paged through Time, Newsweek, and Sports Illustrated for exposure to the latest images and trends. I remember exploring Popular Mechanics, or was it Popular Science? Probably both. There was Reader’s Digest and a few along the lines of Good Housekeeping, likely for Mom’s benefit, to which I paid a little less attention.

For a spell, there was Arizona Highways with its glorious pictures of colorful western sunsets. I suppose that contributed to a perspective that Arizona was the place where that happened. Obviously, that perception has carried through to now because that magazine came to mind when Cyndie offered me photos she took of yesterday’s sunset and this morning’s sunrise.

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Beldenville, Wisconsin. Land of painted skies…

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Written by johnwhays

November 14, 2020 at 10:18 am

Looking Forward

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I am looking forward to the sun setting once and for all on unethical leadership,

on hidden financial arrangements of people in government,

on blatant disinformation and deliberate distortion of reality,

on mocking in any form by someone holding office,

on bullying, period,

on misogyny,

on racism,

white supremacy,

homophobia,

xenophobia,

on holier than thou hypocrisies,

on gaslighting,

on selfish disdain for the real suffering of others,

on the belittling of science and those who hold degreed expertise,

on the denial of climate science and the impact of industrialization,

on juvenile petty behavior,

on misuse of funds, privileges, technologies, information,

on complete disregard for protocols,

on profiteering, scamming, swindling, nepotism and cronyism,

on corruption in any form in the United States government.

Why, why would anyone ever support any of that, let alone all of it in one administration over four short years?

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Lest we forget the horrors

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Written by johnwhays

November 4, 2020 at 7:00 am

Purple Sky

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I’ve seen some amazing images of what the daylight looks like in Oregon and California this week with the smoke from all the fires. We don’t have anything like that here, but something gave our sunset some added color last night.

Was it the filter of light all the way from the west coast?

While heat and flames were raging across the states in the west, Minnesota set a record for the lowest maximum temperature on September 9 yesterday. We may have areas of frost by the time the day dawns this morning.

What a difference location makes.

 

Written by johnwhays

September 10, 2020 at 6:00 am

Posted in Chronicle

Tagged with

Night Sky

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Last week, Cyndie and I wandered down the driveway to the high spot beside the hayfield about a half-hour after the sunset to watch the stars come out. We were seeking to view the comet, Neowise as it appeared to our northwest. It was the time of night when the mosquitos were thrilled to welcome our presence.

For that reason alone, I chose to remain standing (and walking back and forth) on the pavement instead of stirring up any additional flying terrorists from the fields on either side.

As the duskiness progressed, I struggled to perceive stars that Cyndie was noticing. The first spot of light I picked out was the planet Jupiter according to the night sky app on my phone. I was surprised about how long it seemed to take for the stars to appear even though we enjoy a luxury of having very little in the way of local nighttime light pollution.

It quickly became apparent to me that my peripheral vision was picking up more specific starlight than my direct gaze. That became my trick to spot Neowise before Cyndie did, just about a full hour after sunset.

It was the tail of the comet that my off-center vision detected. It stood out uniquely compared to the individual dots of light from stars. Once we knew exactly where to look, our binoculars provided valuable magnification to fully appreciate the view of Neowise.

By the time it showed up, we’d been staring at the sky so long my neck was tired, my back and ears were over-stimulated by mosquito irritations, and my eyes wanted to be asleep, so we didn’t linger long enough for the view to glow with adequate visibility for a photograph.

The reward of having looked directly at something passing through our inner solar system which wouldn’t return for many lifetimes (estimated 6,766 years from now) was plenty.

I was ready for bed.

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Written by johnwhays

July 25, 2020 at 10:16 am