Backyard Tanager

This male scarlet tanager was busy yesterday looking for snacks. His mate was nearby but much harder to spot with her mottled yellowish coloring. The Dogstar BirdnetPi detector did not pick up his song but its very distinctive. Check out BirdWeather if you want to see what species have been reported by Dogstar Observatory or …

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Dogstar AI

This is so cool I just had to post it. As we all know, AI software is advancing rapidly with many tools available from chat bots to image and even video generation. Many of the tools are free to explore so do check out ChatGPT, Stable Diffusion and MidJourney. Adobe just released Firefly, their new …

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Aurora in NC!

I should have stayed up past midnight! A very large solar flare on Saturday triggered a geomagnetic storm in the Earth’s upper atmosphere giving rise to aurora much further south than normal. There is a geeky NASA website that tracks the intensity of solar storms and when the “K index” gets into the red zone, …

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Turkey love

Its that time of year! This guy was trying out some new lines on the ladies but they were ignoring him. Must be his cologne!


Last week, Venus, Jupiter and a crescent moon got up close in the evening sky. This week the moon left the pair and let Venus and Jupiter snuggle in private. These were all taken with a standard Canon DLSR on a tripod and telephoto lens. On the cropped image of Jupiter you can see all …

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Chinese Balloon!

Based on the forecasted track last night it was headed for Asheville and then to the South Carolina coast. I had doubts we would be able to see it but when walking Lexi this morning I happened to look up and there it was! Its pretty small even in a telephoto but I managed to …

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Comet tails!

Finally! After all the bad weather this past week the skies opened up on Friday and I was able to capture a few hours of images of comet 2022 E3 (ZTF). Comets get cumbersome, long names but the media has called it the “green comet” which it is in long exposures. Astrophotography is an involved …

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Sand Hill Cranes

We visited my sister in Chattanooga last week and caught the annual Tennessee Sand Hill Crane Festival. Huge birds. The flock along the river was busy fishing and defending territories. They mate for life and interestingly, are not an endangered species – hunting in season is permitted. More info here.