2011 © Hilda Perez

Just a pretty sunny May afternoon…. photo of trees in the preserve shot with tilt and shift and makes them look like those used in model train sets…. don’t u think?

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MODEL TREES

© 2011 Hilda Perez

This is the super “perigee moon” — the biggest in almost 20 years, taken last month on March. This celestial event is far rarer than the famed blue moon, which happens once about every two and a half years. The last full moon so big and close to Earth occurred in March of 1993.
Full moons look different because of the elliptical shape of the moon’s orbit. When it’s at perigee, the moon is about 31,000 miles (50,000 km) closer to Earth than when it’s at the farthest point of its orbit, also known as apogee.

Nearby perigee moons are about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than lesser moons that occur on the apogee side of the moon’s orbit. This full moon rises in the east at sunset and looks especially big at that time because of what’s known as the “moon illusion.” For reasons not fully understood by astronomers or psychologists, low-hanging moons look unnaturally large when they beam through trees, buildings and other foreground objects, according to NASA.

© 2011 Hilda Perez

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© 2011 Hilda Perez

DID YOU KNOW: The sun rose two days early in Greenland this year! An example of coming change within the Sun’s activity and orbit and its effects from radiation and gravitational pull to earth, which will cause greater intensity in earth changes from volcano activity, earthquakes, tsunamis, climate changes, magnetic pull and polar reversal.

© 2011 Hilda Perez

The most powerful solar flare in four years exploded over the sun late Monday February 14, 2011, according to NASA.
Such so-called coronal mass ejections can pose radiation threats to astronauts and overwhelm Earth’s magnetic field, potentially disrupting satellite communications and power grids on the ground.
The most powerful explosions in the solar system, solar flares occur when magnetic field lines on the sun cross, cancel each other out, then reconnect. As the Sun reaches a peak in solar flare activity this year and into 2012, expect greater effects to the earth’s climate, tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic activity.
These “explosive reconnections” release huge amounts energy as heat—in this case, a short blast measuring roughly 35 million degrees Fahrenheit (19 million degrees Celsius), according to physicist Dean Pesnell, project scientist for NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO.
Source: National Geographic Daily News

Check out SOHO, the Solar & Heliospheric Observatory, is a project of international collaboration between ESA and NASA to study the Sun from its deep core to the outer corona and the solar wind.

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© 2011 Hilda Perez

I believe the stars and the sky are the eternal background to the soul. Okay…Okay.. looked like a spoon to me…..

DID YOU KNOW:

Cirrus clouds are curly or fibrous

Cumulus clouds are puffy and piled up.

Stratus clouds are flat and/or layered

    Additionally, a prefix is frequently given to the cloud name to indicate what level of the atmosphere it is in.

    Cirro is the prefix given to high clouds, those with bases above 20,000 feet.

    Alto is the prefix given to mid-level clouds, those between 6,000 and 20,000 feet.

    Nimbo added to the beginning, or nimbus added to the end of a cloud name means the cloud is producing precipiation.

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WAS RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER MISNAMED?

Females cast their antlers in spring, growing them back in time for winter when they need their antlers to compete with other females over holes they dig in the snow to reach lichens and to provide food for their offspring. The males cast their antlers in the autumn.  Therefore, it is highly unlikely that Rudolph was a male reindeer, and probably all nine of Santa’s reindeer were female. (Besides, females are best with directions…)

HAPPY HOLIDAYS !

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DID YOU KNOW: Sandhill Cranes are the most common and abundant of all the world’s cranes. A fossil from the Miocene Epoch, some ten million years ago, was found to be structurally the same as the modern sandhill crane.

Migratory subspecies of sandhill cranes breed in the Northern U.S., Canada, Alaska, and Siberia. Each winter they undertake long southern journeys to wintering grounds in Florida, Texas, Utah, Mexico, and California. En route, more than three-fourths of all sandhill cranes use migratory staging areas in a single 75-mile (120-kilometer) stretch along Nebraska’s Platte River.  Pairs return to the same nesting territories year after year and sometimes use the same nest repeatedly. The young learn migratory routes from adults; without this modeling, they do not migrate.  Source: National Geographic and International Crane Foundation

Body plumage is characterized by varying shades of gray. In many areas, wild Sandhills preen  mud into their feathers creating a deep rusty brown hue which lasts during spring and summer.

Mated pairs of cranes, including Sandhill Cranes, engage in unison calling, which is a complex and extended series of coordinated calls. While calling, cranes stand in an upright posture, usually with their heads thrown back and beaks skyward during the display. In Sandhill Cranes the female initiates the display and utters two, higher-pitched calls for each male call. While calling, the female raises her beak about 45 degrees above the horizontal while the male raises his bill to a vertical position. All cranes engage in dancing, which includes various behaviors such as bowing, jumping, running, stick or grass tossing, as well as wing flapping. Though it is commonly associated with courtship, dancing can occur at any age and season. Source: National Geographic and International Crane Foundation

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© 2010 Hilda Perez

A great way to note the change of seasons in not the usual and obvious, is to turn your sights towards the skies where you will see a change in position and visibility of some of our perennial constellations and stars, such as Orion’s Belt  (seen to the right of the tree) in this composite timed photograph.

DID YOU KNOW: Orion includes the prominent asterism known as the Belt of Orion: three bright stars in a row. Orion, often referred to as The Hunter, referring to Orion, a hunter in Greek mythology, is a prominent constellation located on the celestial equator and visible throughout the world. It is one of the most conspicuous, and one of the most recognizable constellations in the night sky. In it you will find Betelgeuse, a red supergiant star nearing the end of its life. When it explodes it will even be visible during the day. It is the second brightest star in Orion, and is the twelfth brightest star in the night sky.

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© 2010 Hilda Perez

DID YOU KNOW:  Red-shouldered Hawk’s eyes change color as they age. They have yellow eyes when they are young, and brown eyes as adults. Red-shouldered hawks will often use the same nest year after year. The male and the female will work together to build or renovate the nest.   The Red-shouldered Hawk is a member of the genus Buteo, a group of medium-sized raptors with robust bodies and broad wings. Members of this genus are known as buzzards in Europe, but hawks in North America. The Red-shouldered Hawk gets its name from reddish brown feathers on their upper wings giving the bird the appearance of having red shoulders, although this part of the wing is actually the hawk’s wrist.

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© 2010 Hilda Perez

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SQUARELY SQUIRRELY

© 2010 Hilda Perez

© 2010 Hilda Perez

© 2010 Hilda Perez

© 2010 Hilda Perez

DID YOU KNOW: Muscovy Ducks are the only domestic ducks that are not derived from Mallard stock. They are a Mexico, Central and South American species, and not “from the Moscow region” as the name, term implies. It is thought that their name is derived from their strong musk odor. They are mentioned in reports of Christopher Columbus’ travels. Unlike most domestic waterfowl, Muscovies will often fly up and roost in trees and although they fly pretty well, they are known for more flying around than flying away. Unusual for ducks that usually mate on the water only, Muscovies will mate on the water and in land.  Some people consider them ugly because the males, known as drakes, will often develop large red warty caruncles (outgrowths) above the beak and around the eyes but because they are intelligent, mostly friendly, usually  making grunting sounds like a dog and wag their tails like a dog, people quickly come to like them.

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