Mission Of This Blog

The overall mission statement of this blog is to share many unique topics of this blogger's interest; promoting though education the uniquely positive values of Southern history, heritage, and cultural identity. Topics include (but are not limited to):
Southern Cultural History & Confederate Heritage Awareness, Symbols Of Southern-American Identity & Their Moral Defense, Nature & Wildlife Preservation, Science & Science Fiction, Astronomy & Planetary Photography, Literacy & Writing, Travel & Local Places Of Interest, Southern Cuisine, South Carolina Upstate History, Popular Culture & Philosophy, Local History of the South Carolina Upstate ....as well as various other topics explained from the blogger's point of view. The following website contains the UNCENSORED thoughts and opinions of a Southern-born country writer from upstate South Carolina - the living, beating heart of the great American Southland! Please enjoy and feel free to post comments, or contribute to this blog in any meaningful way.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Planetary Photography - 10-30-2016 - Venus & Saturn In Conjuction

Tonight the brightest planet in the evening sky joined in conjunction with the farthest of the visible wanderers of old in the southeastern night sky about 30 minutes after sunset. 

The two planets are seen in the sky only 3 degrees apart -- or about the approximate width of your thumb at an arm length. I captured both planets just over the treeline at 25 minutes past sunset. 

This photo will wrap up a number of dazzling October night sky events this blogger was blessed enough with good weather to photo. The two planets will remain in close proximity on Halloween night. On November 1st, Luna will be joining these two planets in the evening sky, then traveling closer to Mars by the 5th and 6th. As always -- weather permitting -- I will endeavor to capture those planetary meetings. 
As always I hope y'all enjoyed these photos. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Planetary Photography - 10-28-2016 - Mars, Venus & Saturn

The red planet Mars swings to perihelion -- its closest point to the sun in its orbit -- on October 29, 2016. It’ll only be 1.38 astronomical units (AU) away from the sun on this date. One astronomical unit is the distance between Earth and the Sun, or about 93 million miles (150 million km). 

The Mars perihelion is a once-in-two-Earth-years event. Mars came to perihelion last on December 12, 2014. It’ll be at perihelion next on September 16, 2018.

Tonight I was able to get a really good shot of Mars in a clear south-southwestern sky, along with Saturn and Jupiter moving closer toward their conjunction at sundown on Sunday, October 30th. 

I took the photos just after sunset at a baseball field just outside of Chester city limits as a background. In the first shot I got all three planets - as well as a nice shot of a plane's contrail in the dusk. The other two photos include a single photo of Mars and a pretty shot of both Saturn and Venus through the fence behind home plate. 

I hope y'all enjoyed them. Cloud cover permitting, I plan to get a shot of both Saturn and Venus at their conjunction on Sunday night. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Planetary Photography - 10-28-2016 - Luna & Jupiter In Morning Sky

Wow this month has certainly been a good one for this blogger in terms of night sky photography. 

Early this morning a clear sky presented a great opportunity to capture the meeting of the waning crescent moon with the king planet Jupiter in the eastern sky just before sunrise. A truly beautiful sight of Luna in a thumbnail crescent with Jupiter as a bright morning star joining beside her just over the treetops. 

As always I am happy to share these views with y'all. Tonight, I will try to get a photo of The Red Planet as it reaches its perihelion -- closest point to the sun in its orbit -- in the night sky.   

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Planetary Photography - 10-25-2016 - Venus, Saturn & Antares

As the sunset this evening in the southwestern sky I was fortunate enough to get a couple of really beautiful shots of the planets Venus and Saturn. 

The first photo I managed to get near a set of power lines of Venus appearing in the evening sky. I was especially proud of this shot with Venus in the pink sunset clouds.

The second photo I took approximately 20 minutes later near a baseball field just outside of Chester's city limits. Venus in all of its bright glory with tiny Saturn (relatively speaking) and the bright star Antares joining in. 

As always I am pleased to share these amazing views of our night-time neighbors with all of y'all.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Epic Fall Day With My Sister's Boys -- Part Three: The Search For The Great Pumpkin

The third and final stop on my Epic Autumn Day In October with my young nephews was Bush-N-Vine farm located on SC HWY 321 between the towns of York and Clover. 

Our mission: to locate the Great Pumpkin....or rather a fair-sized pumpkin for them to make a really cool-looking Jack-O-Lantern.

Aside from being a really great source of organic fruits and vegetables, Bush-N-Vine farm also has really great activities for kids and families in October, including a really nifty hayride to the pumpkin patch where you can pick your own pumpkin.  

Bush-N-Vine's York stand located on the farm itself.
An excellent stop for real organic vegetables at reasonable prices.
Pumpkins and gourds of all kinds...but alas no Great Pumpkin.
J.T. posing on a tractor.
All Aboard!
Tyler enjoying the hayride.
Caleab (aka Freckle-nose) giving me a close-up.
Tyler might have found a winner!
"Hey I wanna ride too!"
The tractor arrives to take us back to the stand.
Thus our adventure comes to an end.

The boys had a blast and I really enjoyed spending the day with them and spoiling them like a good uncle. They enjoyed all the activities from the festival, to the reenactment, and finally the hayride. Both ended up sleeping on the ride back to their home completely tuckered out.

Our epic Saturday in October comes to an end.... with smiles all around.

We definitely have to do it again next year!