Right Steps & Poui Trees


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A Night of Moon Gazing – #LunarEclipse2022

There was a total eclipse of the moon last night (Sunday, May 15, 2022), which was visible to us here in Jamaica. I love staring at the night sky and decided to watch the eclipse of this Super Flower Blood Moon. Wonderful name!

The sky was very overcast, which wasn’t promising, but I got this clear picture of the full moon early on.

Clouds kept obscuring the moon…

…at times almost completely blocking it out.

However, every so often, there was a break in the clouds and there was a clear view of the shadow covering more…

…and more of the moon.

Sometimes I could see the shadow encroaching, even though the clouds…

…until there was only a sliver of the moonlight still visible.

And then, total eclipse…

In this photo that I took at about ten minutes before midnight, the shadow was just beginning to lift. Look at that beautiful coppery red colour!

A little less shadow, a little more light.

A lot less shadow, a lot more light.

Until finally, the full moon was back, in all her glory! Beautiful in all her phases, be they monthly cycles or short shadows of an eclipse.

My almost five hours of moon gazing ended after 1:00am. Well-spent hours.


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And 2022 Begins…

It’s a ritual I have grown to enjoy in recent years…going up on my roof and watching some combination of the sun or moon rising or setting on New Year’s Eve and again on New Year’s Day. Often I am drinking a cup of tea as I watch and reflect.

On December 31, 2021, I watched the sun set…on a particularly challenging year…

That night from the roof, I watched fireworks, as I have for many years now. There were a lot this year, far more than last year, when we had a 10 p.m. Covid curfew and stricter gathering restrictions. This year the curfew was 1 a.m.

Having gone to bed late, I set my alarm to make sure that I woke up to catch sunrise New Year’s morning. I made a cup of tea and climbed the stairs to the roof, in search of the sun. Instead I found the thinnest of crescent moons under a low bank of red clouds! It was an immense and beautiful surprise and felt like such a gift!

I watched as the sky lightened and the moon faded…a fainter and fainter line of light, which I could only see because I knew it was there and I knew where to look…

Eventually the moon disappeared from sight and the sun came up from over the hill…shining through an ackee tree…

I’ve been thinking a lot about things we might see, if we knew they were there and knew where to look. Like the doves sitting in that ackee tree, in the picture above…

Happy New Year!


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The Longest Partial Lunar Eclipse in Centuries

I love gazing up into the night sky, so when I read that the longest partial lunar eclipse in centuries would be taking place between Thursday night and Friday morning, I set my alarm to wake up so that I could take a look.

And it was beautiful! The moon was a deep orangey-red at the time I was looking at it, similar in colour to a moon in full eclipse I watched a couple of years ago. The sky was almost cloudless and gave a clear view of the moon.

My attempts at photographing what I saw were stunningly unsuccessful, however. My phone camera doesn’t do well with night shots and this was the best I managed with it:

And my camera has developed an internal twitch that needs repairing and so wasn’t much use either:

No good saying, “Next time!” as the next time there is a partial lunar eclipse this long will be on February 8, 2669. Though there will be one two minutes shorter on November 30, 2039.

I had much better luck with the Super Blood Wolf Moon in January 2019. It will have to do….

If you’d like to see some photos of the eclipse from Friday morning, you could take a look here.


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It’s Still a New Year…

It’s not too late to wish you a happy new year, even though the year is already more than two weeks old. Even though it feels much older, given all that has happened so far…personally, nationally, globally. So, Happy New Year!

I watched the last setting moon for 2020 from my roof, on the morning of December 31, 2020…

I watched the New Year’s fireworks from my roof, as I have now for many years. There were far fewer of them this year, as the Covid-19 restrictions included a curfew from 10pm, a ban on parties and a limit to the size of gatherings…

I watched the first sunrise of 2021 later that morning…

This time last year there was no way I could have imagined how much life would have changed in the coming year, the changes brought by the pandemic being the most notable and unpredictable. Sitting here now, I am very aware that I haven’t a clue what things will be like a year from now. That is essentially the case each year, but the reality of 2020 has brought that into stark focus.

I remember a speech at the college graduation of one of my children years ago, in which the speaker said that the two most important qualities we could wish for our children in the times they were living in were adaptability and resilience. So true. And for us all. May the qualities of adaptabilty and resilience be yours in the coming year and the years beyond!


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Rooftop: Weekly Photo Challenge – Favourite Place

“This week, share an image of your happy place, a secret spot you love, or a faraway location you return to again and again.”

My rooftop has featured in a number of my Weekly Photo Challenge posts. It’s really a favourite place of mine. A large, flat, rather unimpressive concrete slab roof…

 

with a gravelly surface.rooftop But I love it for the view it provides of the world around me. At sunrise, when the chilly morning air provides a wonderful contrast to the hot tea I often drink there.sunrise

At sunset, in those serene, sometimes spectacular moments which signal the coming end to the day, whatever the day was like. In the dead of night, when the moon or a planet or a constellation of stars beckons and I marvel at how large “out there” is. P1270710 (2) My rooftop….a nearby location I return to again and again….

Weekly Photo Challenge – Favorite Place


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Took Time On National Heroes’ Day To #BigUpJamaica

There is a whole lot about our country that needs radical change and we know it. And still we love this place. Fi Wi Jamaica, the University of Technology’s “national social intervention project which seeks to bring awareness to and, ideally, protection for targeted socially oppressed groups and individuals in Jamaica”, sponsored a Twitter event today, National Heroes’ Day. BigUpJamaica - Fi Wi Jamaica

Many individuals and organizations joined in:BigUpJamaica - PMI - 16-10-17

BigUpJamaica - EqualityJA

BigUpJamaica - Damien Williams

BigUpJamaica - Flagstaff Tours 16-10-17

I joined in with a series of tweets of my own:BigUpJamaica - SG 1

BigUpJamaica - SG 2

BigUpJamaica - SG 3

BigUpJamaica - SG 4

BigUpJamaica - SG 5

BigUpJamaica 6

If you want to learn more about the Fi Wi Jamaica project, take a look at their page on Facebook or read a recent press release of theirs, which blogger Emma Lewis shared in a post: Fi Wi Jamaica: Past, Present and Future

 


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Gliding Birds, Rising Moon: Weekly Photo Challenge – Delta

“This week, share a photograph that signifies transitions and change to you. It can be the very beginning of a phase, or the very end. As you pick up your lens, explore the ways in which a single photograph can express time, while only showing us a small portion of any given moment.”

The moon has been doing this for millions of years, “rising” and “setting”, in its different phases…long before we humans were around to witness it.  The birds have been gliding across the sky for a far shorter time, but certainly time measured in many millenia. That afternoon, I watched in awe as the moon rose and a flock of birds glided in slow motion, on invisible currents, across the cloudless blue sky. Gliding birds, rising moon, a moment in time….

Gliding past the moon 2017

Weekly Photo Challenge – Delta


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Sun, Moon, Plant, Me: Weekly Photo Challenge – Reflecting

“From water and glass to metallic surfaces, share a photo that captures something reflected back to you in a way that made you look at your surroundings differently.”

We see the moon because of the sun’s light reflecting off it. Tonight, the moon’s light is reflecting off the leaves and branches of the overgrown privet. And here I am, reflecting on it all…P1140569

Weekly Photo Challenge – Reflecting