Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rehabbed Peregrine Release

  One of the two surviving Peregrine Falcon chicks from the Mostly Birds (but not always) afterhours headquarters was reunited with its parents today. It had been under the care of raptor rehabilitator Dave Hogan since around June 9.  That day the bird either fell or was overconfident in its flying abilities and ended up in a parking lot unable to take to the air.  As the daylight waned and the nocturnal predators started to stir,  the uninjured bird  was spotted by a utility worker on a smoking break(crank up the Philip Morris PR machine "Smoking saves a life" ) .  After a few phone calls the uninjured bird was collected by folks from Wings Paws & Prayers Wildlife Rehabilitation.

Dave Hogan coaxing the fledgling from the open cage
First flight
Mom bird watching from a favorite perch
Mother and Fledgling reunited,
  Chris Becher , South Eastern Michigan Peregrine Coordinator and volunteer Barb Baldinger were on hand to oversee the release and try to get a photo of the adult male Peregrines leg bands.

   Next week Dave Hogan plans to return the nest mate of today's released bird.  It somehow singed its wingtips in its ill-fated maiden flight.
Nest mate photographed 2 days before mishap.
Mom bird
Dad bird

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Venus Transit Version 2.012

   Woke up this afternoon to partly cloudy skies but soon the clouds thickened and looked to be threatening rain.  The rain never came and as promised by the Clear Sky Chart website, LEMP Clear Sky Chart the clouds parted shortly after the 6:05 PM EDT start of the last Venus transit until 2117.  I packed up my Celestron C-8 telescope and couple of cameras  and headed out to Pt. Mouillee State Game Area Headquarters to photograph and videorecord the event.
    Thanks to Dana, Robert, Emily, Donnie for coming out to witness the event with my wife and I.  Emily actually ran into her cousin out there who happened to be there fishing.

  Here is a video I shot as the Sun and Venus began to disappear behind the treeline.

  Because my scope was tracking the Sun during the recording of the video, it along with Venus appear nearly motionless as the trees on the horizon rise to cover them. Not your typical perspective of a sunset .  Of course the sun doesn't actually rise and set, the horizon does.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Venus to transit Sun on June 5, 2012

   On Tuesday June 5, 2012, the planet Venus will  transit the Sun.  A transit is when a planet or satellite passes directly in front of the Sun and appears as silhouette on the solar disk.  I took the above photo on June 8, 2004.  How rare is a transit of Venus if one just occurred in 2004?  While the transits occur in pairs 8 years apart, the pairs are separated by 105.5 years if the preceding pair occurred in June and 121.5 years if the preceding pair occurred in December.  The next pair after Tuesday will start in December 2117. 
   Tuesday's transit starts at 6:05 PM EDT and will only be half over when the Sun sets here at 9:00 PM.  Weather permitting, I plan on setting up my telescopes and cameras at Pt. Mouillee State Game Area Headquarters parking lot.  Anyone interested in seeing the event can stop by and take a look.   Or you can wait 105 years until 2117.

    I'll be this guy.