2017’s Best Sky Shots


Look up! The heavens above us are amazing. This year has been especially good for sky photography. I finally was able to take a presentable photograph of the milky way. I got to see the northern lights again and I saw my second total solar eclipse. I saw plenty of sunrises and sunsets, plus a few rainbows in-between and don’t forget about the clouds, especially the big fluffy white ones. As I said, there were plenty of amazing sights above us this year.

Trumpeter Swans


Trumpeter Swans at Dawn

After I dropped Anne off at school this morning, I drove up to the Riverlands. I got there not too long after dawn. The Mississippi was high, but wasn’t in flood. This seemed strange, since we have been experiencing red flag warning for the last couple of days. These warnings result from a combination of dry tinder, low humidity and high winds, similar conditions to those in California, except for no spark yet. I didn’t see any ice on the river, but the inland sloughs were halfway covered. There was a myriad of swans, geese and other water fowl on these waters. The Trumpeter swans roost overnight on these sloughs, but come dawn they fly off to the surrounding cornfields, in search of fodder. Most of the trails in the Riverlands are closed to the public at this time of the year, giving winter migratory birds plenty of sanctuary, but you can still see plenty from the road. 

Unsalted and Shark Free


Man O’ War

We continue to formulate our travel plans for Florida. As such, the question of what activities are sexagenarian appropriate remains. Anne has unitarily ruled out paddle boarding, kayaking and probably canoeing in any alligator infested waters. My question is does this prohibition include crocodile infested waters too? Then there is the whole question of venturing out into the sea. I would like to do some snorkeling among the Florida keys coral reefs, but then there is the question of oh, sharks. We’ll hire an outfitter for that activity, because we’ll need a boat, but they should also play a helpful safety role too. There is more in the deep blue sea then sharks though. The pictured man o’ war is from our 2009 Florida trip. On that vacation they had washed up and littered the beach, making waking barefoot in the sand an exercise in care.

Then there are the Floridians themselves. For years now, we have been supplied a steady stream of weird Florida news, like…

  • Florida Man Who Had Sex with Dolphin Says It Seduced Him
  • Florida Man Impersonating a Police Officer Pulls Over Real Cops
  • Florida Man Dressed as Pirate Arrested for Firing Musket at Passing Cars 
  • Florida Man Catches Shark That Bit Him, Pledges to Eat It
  • Florida Man on the Lam Butt Dials 911, Is Arrested

You get the idea. Since we will be driving to Florida, of particular interest to us is that Florida has the highest rate of road rage incidents involving a gun.

All these hazards makes one wonder why we are even thinking of going to Florida. Anne grew up swimming in Lake Superior, which is both unsalted and shark free. Its water is also very cold, especially at this time of year. Going south to Florida will be a warm adventure. One that we plan on safely enjoying. I don’t plan on doing anything stupid. Especially anything that is preceded by me yelling, “Anne, look at me…” Because then I would become another Florida man headline. Although, any such headline would make for a great blog post.