On this date 52

And here we are – the 52nd week of the series, and thus the last ‘On This Date’ post of the year! Except, no, we’re better than a week away from the end of the year, aren’t we? That’s what I get for starting this on the 1st. And seriously, what kind of creator makes a solar or sidereal year with such an odd number of hours in it? Sheesh

Anyway, we’ve got some seriously crappy photos this time around, but it’s mostly to illustrate a meaningless coincidence, as well as the less-than-optimal shooting conditions in NC winter, and to kinda-only-not-really make up for not posting a lot recently. Maybe it would have been better just forgetting all about this exercise…

But we’re committed now, so like a bad marriage, we forge on even though no one is happy about it! For, um, reasons…

We’ll start with 2006, when I heard noises in the woods behind my rental duplex and crept out with the Canon Pro 90 IS.

white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus virtually hidden in wooded area
What you see here – perhaps – is a small herd of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) really not far off of my driveway, and I only took the photo to demonstrate that their coloration is better camouflage than a lot of people realize. Take your time, and see how many you can find. I’ll sit here and look for a different career while you’re doing so.



[Hmmm, “Garage Floor Stain Cleaner”… probably better than what I’m doing now…]


[Ooo, “Social Media Expert, must be proficient in TikTok and ShitFuck”… I could probably fake it…]


All set? Let’s see how you did.

previous image with highlights
Really, I spent way too long with these images, and it’s largely because, a few years later, I got this.

albino white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus in clearing
This was in the same area, even though I’d moved out by then (this being 2010,) but I’d seen this albino doe a total of three times, and this was the second time that I’d gotten photos – once was by the headlights of the car in the very early morning, so you know that photo was an award winner! I really should have been trying harder to stalk it, but white-tailed deer wander a bit, are largely active at night, would have been nearly always on private property, and I really didn’t have the time to do so anyway. Albinism is semi-rare among deer – most people have at least heard of examples, and in some places there are entire herds of them. The natural predators that would have spotted them more easily (than, you know, the image at top) and culled those anomalies are barely around anymore, and even some of the deer hunters let them be – while others, of course, think they’re a better trophy, because deer are so notoriously hard to find and incredibly dangerous to boot. Yes, that was sarcasm – those that it’s aimed at need the help identifying it, I’m sure.

Yet, in between those, I got some photos too, because in 2007, there was another conjunction, this one of the moon and a planet.

moon and Mars in close proximity
I was still playing around with the Pro 90, but I suspect I did some slides of this too – I know I could have scanned those in, since the topic is, ‘On This Date,’ with nothing to specify digital, but I don’t feel like it. This exposure, about 45 minutes before the closest approach, was exposed for the moon details, and thus the planet was only moderately visible. The next, around the time of the closest approach, was exposed for the planet this time.

Moon and Mars in closest proximity, 2007
The images aren’t labeled with anything more than the frame number, but that yellowish hue to the planet made me think I knew which one it was, and a check with Stellarium confirmed it: this was Mars. I’m fairly certain this was at the time of the closest pass, though the timestamp on the photo denies this, but since it was off by close to an hour, I’m pretty certain that I hadn’t changed the camera clock to reflect Daylight Saving Time (seriously, this needs to be eradicated entirely – how are we ever going to explain this to aliens? “Oh, well, we get up at different times to use the daylight better, but we change the clocks constantly to pretend we don’t.”) But back on the subject, you can see that the brightness of the moon and Mars are significantly different and thus hard to get detail of both in the same photo, not that this slows down astrophotographers anymore because pasting two or more photos together is de riguer, it seems, but I tend to keep my shameless compositing to a minimum. And at this focal length, what are we gonna see from Mars anyway? Really good detail requires a telescope, and then of course, the moon would be well out of the frame.

Finally, we have 2016.

holiday lights and reflections
I did the small aperture thing to produce the starbursts, as I was experimenting with the christmas tree that year, because what else ya gonna do? Another version appeared in a post back then, that one with a wide-open aperture to render the out-of-focus lights as round blobs (helped by the closer focus.) We didn’t bother with a tree this year, or indeed even lights, because both The Girlfriend and I are lazy shits (it’s been that kind of year,) but if you have them up yourself or can sneak into the neighbor’s house without too much trouble, go experiment and make the most out of the season.

Happy Holidays, everyone, if I don’t catch you before then! I mean, who the hell knows what I’ll be posting and when?