Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Today's walk report: 121713

Full moon rising.

As promised I did another park and walk this evening so I could cart more junk with me and return to the cross country course for both sunset and moonrise. Sunset was 4:48 and moonrise was, according to Weather.com, going to occur at 5:29 PM for my zip code.

But 1st, after I parked I was an hour ahead of sunset and took off with camera and one lens to the garden and elsewhere around the campus so I could get some real walking in.

There really wasn't anything exciting to take pictures of in the garden so I kept moving...

I've been waiting for this Agave colorata's spear to finally bloom for some time now. I seemed to shoot this out in no time but it's been weeks and no flowers. It's taking its time. Agaves are monocarpic which means once they flower they die.

I didn't follow any routine route I kept eyeballing where I was at in relation to the time so I was sure to be positioned for the setting and rising. I took advantage of the hour and it was a good walk. On a lower parking lot I followed a Cooper's hawk for a bit but never got close enough for a decent photo. Then on the way back to the lot where my car was parked I saw another one of those flying squirrels.

I followed the red-tailed hawk too. It didn't appear it ever get higher than about 2 meters from my vantage point but I couldn't find where it went to feast and it was time for me to get up the hill.

I spent about 20 minutes standing around and playing with camera settings while I listened to music. I did not shower, I did not shave and I was really rather stinky.

I didn't think I was going to see any sunset at all it was so gray, overcast and cloudy off to the west. It ended up sneaking in as it was getting pretty dark. This was at 5:16. I also screwed up on my end with camera settings but honestly I haven't shot images like this on a tripod in years. I'll do better next time.

Same story on the moonrise. But here for the most part I took the time to experiment with various exposure settings. I didn't distinctly see the glow of the moon coming up until 5:40 and by 5:50 it was apparent it would remain obscured by clouds for the most part. I was getting tired too and decided to pack up and head home.

Lower left is Victory Blvd. at Winnetka Avenue, looking center image toward Van Nuys and beyond.

The trails were dark and I was super careful with my footing even though I brought a flashlight. As soon as I started back  down to the car I realized it was coyote time up there. not that I'd worry too much, it just didn't cross my mind before that. Sure enough as soon as I got close to the car there was one running across the parking lot, Sorry, way too dark for a photo but he or she sure didn't like my following it with my flashlight.

Goodnight moon...

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