After sunset, looking low in the western sky at a triangular formation made up of a thin crescent moon, Venus, and Mars. A hand held photo from our back porch. Last night at dusk, a spectacular view of my absolutely my favorite moon!
The Observatory is more than 20 miles from downtown San Jose along Mt. Hamilton Road at an elevation of 4200 feet. An astronomy center on Mount Hamilton featuring powerful telescopes, exhibits and valley views. Lick Observatory features the famous 36 inch Lick Refractor, built during the golden age of refractor telescopes. One of the largest refractors ever built.
After watching this video link, I was amazed how easy this is. Less mess and entertaining.
Tonight take a moment to look up and gaze at the clear winter sky, the moon, stars and planets so clear and bright. It is hypnotic. This article is fascinating. How the sky would look if the planets were as close as the moon. More information at: http://bit.ly/YfyNL0
Hiking and taking long walks is the best way for me to discover nature. I am always fascinated when I see anything new. It is important to observe closely. Something will often surprise you.
I accidently brought a cute bug into the house as it hitched a ride on my shoulder. This allusive bug was small, slightly larger than a ladybug. While observing the bug, it moved slowly and did not fly. The bug was beautifully camouflaged, making it easy to miss in my garden. Online I read he was a stink bug probably from an apricot tree.
I encounter colorful birds, fast moving lizards and magical butterflies during my walks.
I am over joyed to have the Pacific Tree Frogs in my garden! I hear their loud chirp from dust to dawn. Their lovely serenade brings the garden alive in the evenings.
The cute little Pacific Tree Frog is a common species that are relatively small in size and can have a range of different colors, transcending from light to dark, including many shades of green, brown, gray, black, tan and red. The Tree Frog lives in territories ranging from British Columbia, Canada all the way down in Baja California, Mexico.
Many are found near slow moving creeks and moist habitats, but can also survive in mountainous terrain. These primary nocturnal frogs hide in my garden under leaves, rocks and pieces of wood during the day to stay cool.
They use their loud chirp to call to females during their mating season, which is between November and July. When numerous frogs call together it is called a chorus. On summer evenings it is very common to hear them sing together as I gaze at the stars.
Recently we visited the Seymour Marine Discovery Center, which is part of the UC Santa Cruz. The center is overlooking the ocean and is surrounded by all kinds of wildlife.
There are very impressive skeletons of both grey and blue whales on display outside.
The articulate docents are available to lead tours, which really enhanced the experience. Part of the tour includes watching dolphins play in large pools.
There are several touch tanks with sea stars and hermit crabs as part of the inside exhibit. Other tanks display colorful abalone, anemones, and large soft sea cucumbers.
Seymour Marine Discovery Center http://seymourcenter.ucsc.edu/about.html