Starry sky

I headed out last night to brush spider webs away from the garage security camera. The infrared flash was reflecting off a single strand of web, but it was enough to completely mess with what could be seen!

That and seeing a spider go by on it is a bit alarming. 😀

Which is why I happened to be out to notice the incredible number of stars that were visible.

Time to break out the Gorilla pod and see what I could capture with the camera on my phone!

Now, I will admit off the top that I have only the vaguest understanding of the manual settings on cameras. I’ve had them explained to me often enough. The problem is that when I try to adjust things, what I get is often the opposite of what I’m supposed to get.

Very frustrating.

So what I ended up doing with my phone’s camera is just adjusting settings and trying them out until I find something that works.

Then I don’t touch them again.

To get these pictures, I set up the Gorilla pod’s legs to hold the camera almost parallel to the ground, and a couple of inches above. I can then step back and use voice commands to take the actual photo.

The first pictures that worked were taken in the inner yard.

Aside from resizing the images to 50%, these photos are straight out of the camera.

The above is the first picture I took that worked.

Can you see the shooting star? Quite a few pictures had them. Most of which I missed seeing while the photo was being taken.

Though I made sure to set up in the shadows of trees, the yard light does actually affect the outcome, as you can really see in this next one.

The camera may have been in shadow, but the tops of these trees were partially lit up by the yard light, so they look SO much brighter!

I’m so happy with how the Milky Way shows!

For the next couple of photos, I’d moved into the outer yard to the mowed area in front of the storage building. This put the pump shack between me and the yard light.

No adjustments made to the settings, and the images are much, much darker, just from the yard light being blocked by a building.

So many more stars are visible with the long exposure, that it’s actually harder to make out constellations. In the above photo, you can just make out the handle of the Big Dipper, near the bottom.

In some of these photos, there were blades of grass visible in the frame. This one just has some seed heads waving around on one side.

Such an incredible view!

I am so happy I was able to get these photos.

I love technology.

The Re-Farmer

Morning kitties and night time views

Gotta check out the little ones!

That tiny little nose peeking out from under an orange kitten is just hilarious. Beep Beep’s kittens have clearly had no problem absorbing Butterscotch’s baby into their creche! 😀

With the more pleasant conditions out, I will be starting to do my evening rounds again. Last night was quite beautiful.

There was also a cacophony of noise! Frogs croaking, birds hooting, honking, cooing, chirping and squawking, and the occasional cat meowing. Some nights we have coyotes yipping, but not last night. I did, however, start hearing the strangest screeching noise, coming from the direction of the old garden. When it didn’t stop, I went to see what small animal was being attacked.

It turned out to be skunks.

They make some of the oddest noises, but it was the first time I’d heard them actually scream like this! There were two of them, and one of them was just standing there, screeching and screaming away until it saw me and took off. 😀

Well, it’s coming up on time to head to the city for our big shop. We have our usual list of different stores to go to for different things, and I’ve heard that some have started to limit how many people per household can come in to only one person. Which is such an arbitrary restriction. But then, so much of the shut down has been pretty arbitrary. I was told about the increased restrictions in some places by the woman who was in the waiting room at the hospital with me. She said she had tried to go shopping with her husband, but one of the stores wouldn’t let both of them in. She, however, has a medical condition that affects her balance and, while she walked with a cane, she could fall at any time with no warning. Having her husband with her was a matter of medical safety. They ended up going some place else. That was a couple of weeks ago, though, and just the one store, so we’ll see how it is with the ones we need to go to.

I’ll just be happy if I can get everything on our list, and not have to go from store to store to store to find toilet paper. That, at least, has started to consistently show up on the shelves locally.

We shall see!

The Re-Farmer


We had a full moon last night and I went out to experiment with some long exposure shots using my phone’s camera.

I have a mini Gorilla Pod that I bought before the move, but haven’t had a chance to use other than testing it when I first bought it. I was able to use it to attach my phone to our driveway gate for a few shots, then at one of the wagon wheels on the fence beside the gate for a few more.

First, my favourite of the bunch.

This was taken from the wagon wheel beside the gate, using the manual setting on the camera. To be honest, I can barely see the numbers on the screen, so I was really winging it when adjusting the settings. For this one, it was taken using f/1.5, 4 second exposure, ISO-50.

This one was taken just a few minutes earlier, from the gate.

It’s a terrible picture, but it demonstrates just how much colour and brightness a long exposure can capture, even in the dead of night!

f/1.5, 30 second exposure, ISO-3200.

While I was taking shots at the gate, I flipped the camera and took a shot of the sky. So this next photo was taken in the exact same location as the bright photo above; just pointing the camera lens straight up.

I was really surprised by how blue the sky turned out! Other pictures I tried later, with longer exposures, from further down the driveway had a black sky. Possibly because this area was much brighter from the full moon?

f/1.5, 10 second exposure, ISO-1600

I’m rather liking this little Gorilla Pod I have! One of these days, I’ll even be able to use it for the purpose I bought it – once I reclaim my crafting table. :-/

The Re-Farmer

Midnight Light Show

We had a storm sweep through last night – lots of rain and lightning, but oddly, no wind.

These two photos were taken .04 seconds apart.


My older daughter and I went into the sun room to watch, and there were many times when the yard was suddenly bright as day!

I tried to take video as well, and have one that I will upload later.  It’s a lot darker than what we were actually seeing, but still shows how much lightning we were getting.

I did a walk around the yard before driving my younger daughter to work, and was amazed by the complete lack of downed branches.  Usually, any stiff wind will at least send willow branches flying.  Not a one!

Which I am grateful for.  This morning, I learned that a tornado touched down to the south of us, and at least one home was torn from its foundation.

We have much to be thankful for here.  The brunt of storms always seems to pass our area by.

The Re-Farmer

Update: I have since learned that the tornado touched down to the northwest of us, on the other side of another lake.  One person was found dead next to his destroyed home. 😦