May 30, 2011

Astronomizing Snowed Out

What? Snow on Memorial Day? Yup. Friday night began as sunny in town. But when I got out to Pine Mountain, the mountain sat in the shadows of evil. OK, not really, but it was definitely under a big black cloud. You can see it is darker than the rest of the landscape. Click on any photo for a larger view.

You can see the marked darkness on the mountain. Made me
think I was in a Tolkein fantasy or something.

Ran into my buds, the gangsta cows. At first I thought this
steer's tag read 666 and was amused as these are cattle of Millican Valley. Thus
noted in my post about X-Files and cattle mutilations. But it's 606.

Sunset. That's Black Butte in the distance. We think. We're not sure.
Hey, we're city people transplanted out here to the wilderness.

I got up to the summit, got out of my car, said hello to my friends then, "Is that a snowflake?"

"Why, yes it is."

It proceeded to blizzard on us. Here's proof.

So, we got no stargazing in on Friday night. Saturday was worse. I didn't even make it all the way up the mountain. It wasn't a wasted trip though as the scenery was just spectacular. As many evenings and nights as I've spent on Pine Mountain, I have never seen it like this. Because I work in the summers. SUMMER. There was no sign of summer either night.

Saturday night, the moutain was covered in white and
swallowed up by clouds.

Made for nada astronomizing, but some specatcular scenery.

This is where I should see the peak the observatory sits on. Should.

Winter wonderland May 28, 2011

So, you can see it starting to get snowier and I had 5 miles to go,
all uphill, climbing about 4,000 feet. I didn't get much farther
past this point. The road ceased to show through and I
don't have four-wheel drive. There are no guard rails and
plenty of ravines and cliffs. So, I turned around.

On the plus side, it was still daylight on the way home.
So I got to take photos on the way home, which I never
get to do since it's usually pitch black.

We're off to a shaky stargazing season. Hope next weekend is better. How was your weekend?

PS, Thanks to Orlando Ramos for the Versatile Blogger award. You rock, Orlando. If you haven't met him yet, pop over and say hello.

PPS, I'm still having commenting issues. I'm beginning to think it'll never get fixed. Siiigh.