Archive for December, 2013

Happy 2014!

May the new year bring blessings and the restoration of liberty to America and the world.

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Spots, But Low Solar Activity


During my daily web browsing, I saw this note about today’s solar activity on


Two sunspots facing Earth (AR1934 and AR1936) have ‘beta-gamma’ magnetic fields that harbor energy for strong flares. Both sunspots have been quiet for days, however, and they show no signs of an imminent eruption. This has prompted NOAA forecasters to place low odds on flares today: a 25% chance of M-flares and a 1% chance X-flares.

I took the above image today of the sun and annotated it with sunspot numbers for those visible to my camera. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Christmas 2013

Have yourselves a Merry Little Christmas.

Oh, and Happy Birthday to Damsel - 12/24!

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Christmas Butterfly


Every once in a while, I get to capture an image that ranks right up there with some of Damsel’s best photos. This time, it was purely unintentional, in that I went out to photograph some shrubs with a before photo before I started on trimming them. When I got out to the palo verde where Damsel had decorated the green tree with some red Christmas ornaments for the season, a butterfly suddenly came out of nowhere and posed on one of her ornaments. Chalk this one up to luck - AND the fact that there are still butterflies, songbirds, humming birds and other critters that remain here in spite of the cooler temperatures. We LOVE Arizona! Click on the image to enlarge.

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NIST Time Widget

Quite by accident, I found this widget at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) website, I was looking for the NIST time applet, but siince I have Java® disabled, I was unable to view the time. Then, I noticed a link on that page to their Flash® NIST Widget.

Once I clicked on the link to the widget, I saw another link to a page that published details about embedding the widget on your own website. That page had the HTML embed code along with details on how to customize the widget for your own preferences of how to display the time, background color and time zone. I set this one to ?setcolor=#EAEDF2&setzone=-07&set24=true which represent the parameters for our light blue background color, the UTC minus seven timezone (Arizona) and to display the time in 24 hour format.

Since I already have my own Flash® time and date widget in the sidebar on the main page, I doubt that I will be embedding this one. Note that my widget is driven by the time YOUR computer is set to and the NIST widget gets the time from the NIST Time and Frequency Division (with a minor network delay).

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Pastel Clouds Over Saguaro Cactus

Pastel Clouds

We were treated to this colorful display in the sky this afternoon. I first noticed the rainbow through the front window, so I grabbed my camera and went out in the shadow of our saguaro in our driveway to get this shot. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Christmas Mailbox Flowers

Mailbox Flowers

I like to decorate our mailbox with plastic flowers. I just changed out the autumn colors with these pretty poinsettias for the Christmas season. There is an antique milk can surrounding the mailbox post that is filled with sand. It makes a handy place to put the stems of the flowers into. Click on the image to enlarge.

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