Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Explosions at the U.T. Tower

I was just startled from my work by a running volley of explosions coming from south of the U.T. Austin Tower, where I work. I had no idea what they were, but they were coming fast and furious, echoing off of neighboring buildings and making themselves very clearly heard from my north facing office on the 25th floor. I went to the south-facing windows in our elevator lobby / conference room to find that the brilliant explosions were occurring directly outside of our windows. If I'd opened one of the windows (it's an old building, so we do have windows that open), the smoke and burning projectiles would have come right in. As it was, I could hear material pelting the window.

It turns out that the campus was staging a fireworks display for some event being held down on the South Mall, below the tower. The fireworks were being launched almost straight-up the length of the Tower and were bursting at heights ranging from the 25th floor and up. Until you've seen fireworks from inside the exploding balls of color, believe me, you have not seen fireworks.

Had I only known this was going to happen, I'd've brought proper camera equipment. As is, you'll have to settle for the vague impression shown above, which was captured by the camera in my iPhone through our permanently grungy windows.

Textures - Old Thyme

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Night Sky

A two hour and thirty eight minute composite exposure of the night sky, produced from photos shot during the Orionids meteor shower.

Textures - Salt & Pepper

Friday, October 24, 2008

Textures - Seeds

From top to bottom: Rain Lily (Cooperia sp.) seeds, Bluebonnet (Lupinus Texensis) seeds, and Sideoats Grama (Bouteloua curtipendula) seeds.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


51 Orionid meteors seen between between 4:00 AM and 6:44 this morning. Air thick and wet. (95% humidity, condensing.) Moon like a giant nightlight with no "off" switch. Nonetheless, I saw 51 little pieces of Haley's comet burn-up. Not bad, all things considered. And the new lens warmer worked like a champ. Without it, all I'd've photographed would have been the dew on the lens. With it... well, it remains to be seen what I did photograph, but it wasn't dew.

The Bamberger Ranch Preserve's main valley seen by moonlight.
Five meteors were photographed, but the moonlight made them too faint to be interesting.

The one and only meteor captured the following night. (Margaret, you didn't miss a thing.)