Wednesday (31-January-2018) — New Jersey

Backyard Winter Night Sky Over New Jersey — Full Moon.

There has been a lot of media hype over the full moon that would be visible tonight (weather permitting). It is the second full moon in January, so it is a “blue moon”. It is closer to earth at this point in its orbit around the earth so it is a “super moon”. And finally, there will be a lunar eclipse, so a “red” or “blood” moon. Yesterday had been rain, snow, and rain so I wasn’t expecting to even be able to see the moon. As I was going to bed around midnight, I noticed that it was very bright out. I could see the moon directly out my window since it was so high in the sky. So I ended up having to go outside to see it. It was bitterly cold and windy, but the moon was visible. I wasn’t going to stay out very long, and didn’t want to set up a tripod — so the first image was taken hand-held looking almost straight up. I woke up again at 06:00 to see if any of the eclipse would be visible. Here in New Jersey, it would only be visible just before sunrise. The only view I got was one where the moon was going behind the trees. One note that the media forgot to mention, there will not be a full moon in February.

Full (Blue, Super) Moon at Midnight. Winter Night Sky in New Jersey. Image taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 100-400 mm OIS lens (ISO 200, 400 mm, f/18, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)
Full (Blue, Super) Moon at Midnight. Winter Night Sky in New Jersey. Image taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 100-400 mm OIS lens (ISO 200, 400 mm, f/18, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)
Full (Blue, Super, Blood) Moon at Midnight. Winter Night Sky in New Jersey. Image taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 100-400 mm OIS lens (ISO 200, 400 mm, f/16, 1/125 sec). (David J Mathre)
Full (Blue, Super, Blood) Moon at 06:00. Winter Night Sky in New Jersey. Image taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 100-400 mm OIS lens (ISO 200, 400 mm, f/16, 1/125 sec). (David J Mathre)

Wednesday (31-January-2018) — New Jersey

Backyard Winter Nature in New Jersey — Turkey Vultures.

When looking out my kitchen window, I noticed an ominous shadow on my neighbor’s house. It was a bird, a big bird with big shoulders and a pointed beak. The Turkey Vultures that have been roosting on a house down the block are getting closer…

Turkey Vulture Shadow. Winter Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 100-400 mm OIS lens (ISO 200, 400 mm, f/5.6, 1/850 sec). (David J Mathre)
Turkey Vulture Shadow. Winter Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 100-400 mm OIS lens (ISO 200, 400 mm, f/5.6, 1/850 sec). (David J Mathre)



Individual images from the slide-show can be viewed here.

One might wonder why the Turkey Vultures are all near the chimney vent. Is it because it is warm, or do they smell something. Why are they not out looking for a road-kill deer when the sun is still out?