Hummingbird at Lucifer’s Tongue

•June 30, 2012 • 1 Comment

Here are a few images of a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird that was having breakfast at the Lucifer’s Tongue (Crocosmia) in my backyard this morning.

©2012 Thomas Wolf -
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ISS Flyover

•April 28, 2012 • Leave a Comment

The International Space Station (ISS) is seen traveling right to left over an abandoned bridge in eastern Pennsylvania.

This image (larger version here) is a composite of fifty one time exposures shot between 9:30pm and 10:00pm on April 27th, 2012

The Space Shuttle Discovery’s Final Voyage

•April 17, 2012 • 2 Comments

A modified 747 carried the Space Shuttle Discovery from Florida to Washington D.C. this morning. Here are a couple pictures of it taken from the National Mall.

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Safety First, and Other Rusty Things…a slideshow…

•April 10, 2012 • Leave a Comment

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ATREX Tracer Cloud Composite Image

•March 27, 2012 • 1 Comment

Tracer clouds from NASA’s ATREX rockets seen over Pennsylvania. The image is composed of 64 separate 30 second exposures that I used to make one of the time-lapse videos in a previous post.
(click to embiggen)

Here’s another short time-lapse of one of the tracer clouds.

ATREX chemical tracer clouds

•March 27, 2012 • Leave a Comment

This is a time-lapse of chemical tracers from NASA’s ATREX rockets as seen from Pennsylvania.

And a detail time lapse:

“Five sounding rockets will launch from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia releasing a chemical tracer into the air. The chemical – a substance called trimethyl aluminum (TMA) — forms milky, white clouds that allow those on the ground to “see” the winds in space and track them with cameras. In addition, two of the rockets will have instrumented payloads to measure pressure and temperature in the atmosphere.”


Spring Flowers from the Woods

•March 24, 2012 • 2 Comments

©2012 Donna H. Chiarelli

Bloodroot (white flowers) and Muscari  (purple flowers, also known as Grape Hyacinth)

We went for a mountain bike ride last week. It was good to be in the woods again. And wonderful to see new spring plants popping out of the ground. Most interesting is the Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis. It may also be called Indian Paint or Red Root. This plant with pretty white flowers appears from Nova Scotia to Florida and blooms from March to May. You’ll see it coming up thru the fallen leaves in shaded moist woodland areas. It is an endangered plant and should not be harvested in the wild.

Bloodroot has an unusual way to reproduce itself. It uses ants. The seeds have a fleshy part that attracts ants, who then take the seeds back to their nests. They eat this enticing outer part, and the remainder of the seed gets into their nest debris. This is the perfect place to hang out safe and fertilized until spring when they germinate. This process is called myrmecochory.

Native Americans used the root of Bloodroot as a respiratory aid, and also a body paint. There is a story that a young man would paint his palm red and try to shake hands with a girl of his choosing. In about a week she would want to marry him, according to the charm.

© 2012 Donna H. Chiarelli