Saturday, February 8, 2014

2013 in Photos

I know it's already February, but I wanted to post some of my favorite photos I took last year. This post will include those photos, along with some commentary under each one. None of the photos have been posted in previous posts, so you won't have to see any repeats. I took all of the photos in this post using the same camera.


Winter



This is a waning gibbous moon rising above distant city lights. I took this photo late at night in early January. Unfortunately, my camera isn't the best for taking astronomical photos, but the photo is still pretty good considering that fact.



I saw these rays of light beaming down through the clouds when I was skiing at Keystone. I had no choice but to take a picture.



This is a black-billed magpie. I see these a lot in the winter where I live. For a blog post about identifying birds, go to http://greatmst.blogspot.com/2012/07/bird-watching.html.



These two photos are from my trip to Arizona. The thing on the left is a really cool butte, and the thing on the right is a giant lemon I picked myself from one of the many citrus fruit trees there. Fruit may be a minor detail to the trip, but I would gladly go again just for the fruit.



I saw these ducks swimming in a puddle of dirty brown water at the edge of a snowed-over parking lot in the mountains. They looked kind of cute despite their surroundings, so I snapped a few pictures. The one on the left is a male and the one on the right is a female.


Spring



This is a close-up of some nicely-formed snowflakes. In the spring I see some of the best snowflakes from the whole year. Just because it's spring doesn't mean it can't snow!


Summer



I was outside taking pictures in a field when I looked up and noticed the perfect photographing opportunity: an airplane was about to fly within a degree of a hawk. I took my camera, and snapped a picture. Does the result depict an example of evolution? No, I'd say it's more like intelligent design.



This is a prairie dog watching me from his hole. Prairie dogs chirp to warn the other prairie dogs in their colony, and this one was sounding really hoarse after a few minutes of constant chirping. Prairie dogs also like to dig holes everywhere, including dirt roads and gardens, and their chirping can get very annoying very quickly. They are widely considered a pest.



This is my favorite photograph of a violet-green swallow in flight. Swallows fly as fast as lightning, so to get such a high-quality photo I had to develop a whole new bird-photographing technique. Even so, it took quite a few tries before I got a photo as good as this one. In this image, the swallow is swooping away from the camera in a fast glide.



Within a few minutes of taking this photo from in a large field, the two developing cumulonimbus clouds in the photo merged into a single cloud. The new cloud didn't develop very far after that because the sun set and it lost its source of energy.



In the above image contains an IFO. Can you spot it? IFO stands for Identified Flying Object, and applies to any astronomic or atmospheric phenomenon that has been identified. In this case, the IFO is a pileus cloud on top of a cumulonimbus cloud, and although it looks like it might be a UFO, it isn't because I've identified it. Believe it or not, some people really would have reported that, had they seen it. For more information about pileus clouds, see my post at http://greatmst.blogspot.com/2013/02/arizona-road-trip.html/



This is a cumulus cloud floating above another cumulus cloud, casting the other cloud in the darkness of its shadow. This is rather uncommon, because most cumulus clouds in the same area form with their bases at the same elevation. This photo shows an exception, which was probably caused by wind blowing off the hills in the photo. For a post about cumulus clouds, see http://greatmst.blogspot.com/2012/07/cumulus-clouds.html.



This is just a regular house fly, one of my least favorite creatures (second only to the mosquito). I thought it would be fun to take a close-up of the thing, so I did. The yellow object in the photo is a yellow paper folder, not a cracker (as it may seem).



During a break in the rainfall during the Colorado floods, I saw this little sparrow hopping around searching for food in the gravel. Did I take a photograph? Probably.



This is a view of a very large downpour of rain during the Colorado flooding. The photo was taken from a distance of about 1000 feet, a distance which became nothing very quickly as the rain moved in. Once the downpour ceased, I took the photos you can see at http://greatmst.blogspot.com/2013/09/colorado-flooding.html.


Autumn



This is a photo of some bright sunbeams pouring from behind a cumulus cloud. The exceptional brightness of the sunbeams is due to a light mist in the air.


Winter



This is a waning crescent moon. Crescent moons tend to appear in dark blue skies. Both the dark and the light sides of the moon are visible in this picture; one side is lit by the sun, and the other is lit by the planet Earth. When seen from the moon, Earth always has a phase that is the opposite the phase of the moon, so if the moon is full, the Earth is dark; if the moon is dark, the Earth is full. Figure that out.



This last photo shows peaks 8, 9, and 10 of Breckenridge ski resort, from a distance of 10 miles. Breckenridge has 32 lifts and more than 2900 acres of skiable terrain. I was skiing at Arapahoe Basin when I took this photograph. To take the photo required removing my glove, and my hand quickly became numb in the cold weather.


So those are some of my photos from 2013. Want to see future posts? Subscribe now!

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