Slow and steady

Moving slowly through the UK countryside


Frozen canal and Jupiter’s moons

Grand Union Canal

Grand Union Canal frozen with snowy topping

Snow! But not enough to interfere with travel, just enough for prettiness.

The ducks weren’t quite sure what to make of it though.

Mallards walking on water

Mallards walking on water

This evening, the moon was full, so I went out to take some photos – not that it will look any different from the shots I’ve taken before, but it’s fun (if a bit cold) trying out different settings on the camera. None of them worked too well though, as I’ve misplaced the tripod attachment, so I was balancing the camera on a step-ladder. Not ideal.

Even so, I managed to get some pictures of Jupiter (shining brightly a bit to the left of the moon, should you want to go and have a look outside), and by zooming in and playing with the settings, I picked up three of its moons too (all in a straight diagonal line from bottom left to top right). I’ve posted pictures of them before, but it still amazes me that I can photograph them. Apparently Jupiter is between 300 and 600 million miles away. I can’t really imagine that.

Jupiter and three moons

Jupiter and three moons



Full moon – awoooooooooooooooo

Beautiful pinkish corona around the moon

Corona around the moon

It’s a full moon tonight, which I was alerted to by this post, which suggested that full moon might be a good time for target setting.  The moon was beautiful both with a corona, glowing through light cloud cover, and when shining brightly all alone.  You’ll just have to imagine the owl that I could hear out there too – hoo-hoooooo.  No wolves though.

No targets set yet, but I’m thinking about them… maybe to take more photos?  And to find the thingamajig for attaching the camera to the tripod, as it doesn’t work so well just balancing it on top.  Hey ho.

Full moon

Full moon


Starry, starry night – how to find Taurus the Bull and his friends

Prompted by Red Hen’s post about Orion in the night sky, I went out to gaze at the stars this evening.  It was very clear so the camera and the tripod came out, and I ended up with very cold fingers and a stiff neck – but it was enjoyable all the same.  If you know how to find Orion and the Pleiades, this will show you how to find Taurus the Bull – which fits into the Daily Prompt category of teaching someone something.

This was looking towards the south at about 7:30 pm.  These are not totally black pictures – honest.  They are best viewed full-size by clicking on them, and letting your eyes adjust – there are stars there.  See next picture for key to constellations.


Southern night sky – can you find Orion and the Pleiades?

This one shows where Taurus the bull is, in between Orion and the Pleiades.  I didn’t realise I’d also got Auriga, the Charioteer in there too, one I’ve not tracked down before.

Auriga Taurus Orion Pleiades with lines

Auriga – red lines; Taurus – green lines; Pleiades – inside yellow circle; Orion (top) – blue lines

This was looking closer to south-east.  I don’t remember noticing Orion’s bow before (the stars are quite faint – not sure I can see them without the camera).


Night sky towards south/south-east 7:30 pm central England

Night sky

Jupiter – brightest object on left; Gemini (part – the brightest two are not in this shot) – pink lines; Orion – blue lines, Taurus – green lines (easiest bit to see is the right-hand end >; the Pleiades group is just out of the shot above Taurus

This is a zoomed in shot of Jupiter.  By fiddling about with timings and light settings, I managed to get three of its moons visible too.


Jupiter and three moons

This is a zoomed in, 13-second exposure of the Pleiades cluster. It was quite tricky to zoom in on something that wasn’t visible on the camera screen – many totally black pictures had to be discarded.  All in all, much better than watching TV, as far as I’m concerned.  Opinions may differ.  I love the idea that the constellation names and stories go back about 2000 years.


The Pleiades star cluster, much zoomed in


Red-gold glow

Two people at work asked me whether I was still running today, and one of them had run for 16 minutes yesterday.  I did run for five minutes on Sunday, which really isn’t much, but at least I knew I hadn’t lost the running action completely.  As I was about to leave work, I couldn’t resist taking some phone-photos of the autumn colours in the evening sun.  I realised it would be dark by the time I got home, so I stopped off at a park and got my legs moving.

Autumn leaves

Glowing autumn leaves

I kept going for 17 minutes, in three chunks. Apart from ear-ache from the cold, it was good, and I enjoyed this sunset view too.

Sunset silhouettes

Sunset silhouettes