I spent the night of December 13/14 in my favorite meteor watching field on the Bamberger Ranch Preserve (thanks to David and Lois, respectively, for making that possible). I was counting, and, most of all, trying to photograph, Geminid meteors. Watching commenced in earnest only after I’d finished setting-up my camera and started it clicking away at 11:56 PM. It was freezing up there, and when the wind blew … much worse. The correct attire for Geminid watching even in the Texas hill country is a zero degree sleeping bag. What my meteor watching brethren in colder territories do to survive, I don’t know. (Layers are probably the key. Undoubtedly a sleeping bag would still be a good start, then wrapping that in a well heated house should just about do the trick.)
Anyway, I gave up at 6:10 AM as the sky started to brighten prior to sunrise. During those 6¼ hours, I counted five hundred and five meteors (a personal record), ranging in appearance from so faint they were barely visible, to bright enough that they briefly left a little glow in the sky after they burned-out. My camera seems to have caught at least 34 of them, but I wouldn’t describe any of the photos as remarkable. The best meteors, as usual, fell outside the small patch of sky I was photographing – though they were everywhere else at one time or another. Disappointing, but you can’t win, if you don’t play. (Conversely, if you don’t play, you also can’t loose.)
And now, a flock of wild turkeys I surprised as I was heading out of the ranch. This photo captures only a tiny fragment of the flock, but they started flying into the trees or briskly striding away even before I’d managed to stop the truck and grab the camera that I had ready & waiting for this eventuality. Still, I’ve been bumping into this flock for years, and this is the best turkey photo I’ve come up with so far.