On this date 59

Boy, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? But I noticed that I haven’t posted anything for December 1st in the past three years, and decided to rectify that. This was a good choice, because I’ve shot quite a few photos on December 1st, though mostly in two specific years, so I have plenty to work with.

We’ll start with 2008.

conjunction of crescent moon, Jupiter, and Venus from 12/01/08
same frame drastically overbrightened to show treelineA variation of this was posted last year in connection with the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn that took place, but this is instead Jupiter and Venus (and the moon, of course.) The dimmer points of light toward the bottom of the frame are not stars, or even above the horizon, but someone’s porch lights shining through the trees instead. I only shot a few frames playing with exposure, knowing that I was about to lose Jupiter in the trees, and in fact, I blew the exposure out on a version, just now, to show how close that was, seen to the right. You can also make out the scattered high-altitude clouds that make the barest appearance alongside the moon above in the ‘proper’ exposure. But I did at least catch the earthshine on the moon, and the planets distinctly enough, though nowadays I know I would do much better. That’s kind of the whole point, isn’t it? I’d hate to think I was backsliding as I got older.

On to 2012.

red-shouldered hawk Buteo lineatus perched in bare tree
At the old place, we had a handful of red-shouldered hawks (Buteo lineatus) hanging around pretty much all year long, and while I saw mating activity, I never spotted either a nest or newly-fledged young. This one is showing that it’s indeed a cold morning by being fluffed out noticeably as it watches for tasty movement below.

On the same day, I was doing detail shots of a ‘stain’ on the kitchen window.

egg cluster of unidentified lacewing Hemerobiidae
Seen at very high magnification, an unidentified lacewing (Hemerobiidae) had placed a large cluster of eggs on the window, which I only noticed because it seemed too uniform. Surprisingly, they’d hatched a month or so later, so there are further details and a scale shot here, but I purposefully cropped tight for the abstract nature on today’s frame.

Now we visit 2014.

very tight crop of dead leaf veins
This is a very tight crop of the original frame, again for the abstract nature of it, and I feel obligated to point out that it’s in situ, laying curled on the ground here and not in any kind of holding rig or a ‘studio’ shot or anything – I was sprawled on the forest floor, having spotted the light shining through and decided to get fartsy. These spells come over me from time to time, but they pass quickly.

And from the same outing:

dead twigs poking from water with reflection and long-jawed orb weavers Tetragnatha
Still fartsy and abstract, so the spell hadn’t passed yet – I actually like both the reflections of the twigs kind of confusing things in there, and the faint indications of them continuing below the surface. And the spiders, of course, which are probably some variety of long-jawed orb weavers (Tetragnatha.) I know, we just did the end of the month abstract, so what am I doing putting up even more? Well, it’s what I got on this date, which is the slow season, so more conducive to such things in the first place. Don’t worry – I’m not starting to do beginning of the month abstracts as a routine now.

I don’t think…