Sunday, July 25, 2021

Moonset over Tamworth - Guest post by Jim

[O.G.: Here's another guest post by Jim, in Tamworth NH]

I got up in the middle of the night to photograph the full buck moon setting over Tamworth. The weather prediction had been for clear skies, but when I looked out the window at 4 AM, the house was in fog. I went back to bed wondering.

Half an hour later, the bright moonlight woke me up. I was ready in ten minutes. I had planned to take only my camera, but since I would be stomping through uncertain terrain, I took my tripod as well. I drove a mile down Page Hill to the new clearing made by Deb and Chris Franchi, with its spectacular views to the west and north along the entire Sandwich range.

Bringing the tripod was a good decision, because I spent nearly an hour at the site. Holding up a long lens for an hour would not have been fun. I made my way to a point where I could see the white steeple of the Congo church in town.

The moon was bright and clear high above the horizon, but the fog at ground level swirled through the town, and the moon had taken on a dark red hue, probably from the fires in Canada and out West that have made our skies more polluted than usual.

I always enjoy these solitary hours, because I am never truly alone. We are long-time members of the Church of the Great Outdoors - it is a demanding religion that requires daily participation in its rites.  So I was attending today's religious service, in the company of diverse flora and fauna. The flowers were just waking up, still covered with dew. The bird life around me was its usual early morning racket, the avian matins filled with cries from the chickadees, the thrushes, the vireos, the crows, the doves, and the occasional owl. And the light breezes through the trees added a delicate percussion to the birds' symphony. One solitary car passed above me on the road in that entire hour.

Photo: Tamworth, Bunker Hill, Red Hill,  and moonset, 5 AM 24 July 2021

This image is of the moonset over Tamworth, with Red Hill and its fire tower 13 miles away visible in the distance, with the ridge line of Bunker Hill in between. The white tower of the Congregational Church pokes through the fog in the foreground.

Equipment:is title
Canon 5d Mark III EOS
Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary 015 + 1.4x
photo detailsis second
1/200", f/6.0, ISO 2000

I have a poem in mind for this morning, one by ee cummings: "who knows if the moon's ...", a poem from his second volume of poetry, &, self-published in 1925 and set to music by Dominic Argento thirty years later. There is a back-story to the title of that poetry volume. His first book of poetry, Tulips and Chimneys, had been published by Thomas Setlzer in 1923. The poet was unhappy that his title, Tulips & Chimneys, had been tossed aside, so in 1925 he put together his own printing of works deleted from his first volume, and called his second volume &. Take that, Mr. Thomas Seltzer!

who knows if the moon's
by ee cummings, from &, 1925

who knows if the moon's
a balloon,coming out of a keen city
in the sky--filled with pretty people?
( and if you and I should

get into it,if they
should take me and take you into their balloon,
why then
we'd go up higher with all the pretty people

than houses and steeples and clouds:
go sailing
away and away sailing into a keen
city which nobody's ever visited,where

Spring)and everyone's
in love and flowers pick themselves

[O.G.: Thanks, Jim]

Tamworth, Bunker Hill, Red Hill,  and moonset, 5 AM 24 July 2021

Tuesday, July 06, 2021

Full moon over Tamworth

 Jim sends a couple more of photos from 24 June, as the full moon rose.

He writes:

These were taken from the Great Hill Firetower looking to the village of Tamworth and the rising moon. Low-lying clouds obscured moonrise until the moon rose a few degrees above Ossipee Lake in the distance, above the summit of Welch Top (422m).

I was inspired by John Updike’s poem.

John Updike

The sun is rich
And gladly pays
In golden hours,
Silver days,

And long green weeks
That never end.
School’s out.
The time Is ours to spend.

There’s Little League,
Hopscotch, the creek,
And, after supper,

The live-long light
Is like a dream,
and freckles come
Like flies to cream.


Canon Mark III EOS 5d

Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM|Contemporary 015+1.4x

(A)1/250", 210mm, f/71, ISO 10000 

(B)1/250", 840mm, f/9.0, ISO 10000

The small white dot at 8:00 and about 1 lunar radius is the double star HD 171595, 151 ly away in Sagittarius, enhanced with a small radial filter increasing the exposure around the star by +4.00.

Mini Review: Our Biggest Experiment: An Epic History of the Climate Crisis

 The Guardian recently ran a long-read,

Sixty years of climate change warnings: the signs that were missed (and ignored)

The effects of ‘weird weather’ were already being felt in the 1960s, but scientists linking fossil fuels with climate change were dismissed as prophets of doom

Here is a blurb of the book from which that was extracted:

 ‘Our Biggest Experiment recounts how the world became addicted to fossil fuels, how we discovered that electricity could be a savior, and how renewable energy is far from a twentieth-century discovery. Bell cuts through complicated jargon and jumbles of numbers to show how we're getting to grips with what is now the defining issue of our time. The message she relays is ultimately hopeful; harnessing the ingenuity and intelligence that has driven the history of climate change research can result in a more sustainable and bearable future for humanity.’

Here is our friend Jim's view:
That message of hope is surely a hope in vain, given our current politics. But climate books with a message of despair don’t sell very well, although they do seem to drive up consumption of ethanol and other forms of self-medication.
Here is my prediction: we will do little to avoid climate crises until a heat wave kills a few million, as in the opening scenario in Kim Stanley Robinson’s “The Ministry of the Future”. After that one nation or two will act to protect itself by adding SO2 to the stratosphere. This initially covert act will be sanctioned by the UN, reluctantly at first, and eventually enthusiastically encouraged by the corporations still invested in fossil fuels in 2040.
By 2060, two decades of this kind of climate modification will have killed most fish in the oceans and reduced crop yields, so the clamor will grow to end climate modification and focus on direct atmospheric capture of greenhouse gases.
That is as far on a limb as I care to go, but I do think that is a very likely outcome of our current lack of policy. Does that sound like a message of hope? Not to me.

We are of the same mind. However, the long-read and presumably the book are more factual, and sufficiently detailed for a retrospective assessment sixty years later. I am looking forward to the publication in the fall.