As we advance in life it becomes more and more difficult, but in fighting the difficulties the inmost strength of the heart is developed. Vincent Van Gogh

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Total Eclipse

5:21 AM I am watching live the total eclipse of the Sun on MSNBC. It supposed to have started at 4:00 AM but I didn't get up until 5 and missed the totalality part. I am watching the end of it now. I woke up my 9 year old to have him watch.

5:27 The telescope they are using has a filter and you can actually see the solar flares. You can hear children in the background speaking another language.

5:40 The eclipse is winding down now. Here are a couple snapshots of about 10 min ago. (MSNBC)




5:45 AM As I am watching this, I just realized this has to be some kind of first for science, to broadcast a total eclipse to streaming video for all to see all over the world.

5:48 AM They must have stopped broadcasting. Over and out.


7:00 AM I am watching Channel 20 news and no mention of the Eclipse.

7:15 AM Good Morning America had a shot of the live coverage. Part of the sun is still eclipsed. That is taking longer than I thought.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Photos of the Tornado Damage in Spingfield, Il

These are photos of some of the damage that occurred on South Dirksen Parkway in Springfield, IL. This was part of the stretch of road that was closed for several days while the city cleaned up downed powerlines. Laidlaw bus company is located near here and suffered much damage to school buses. As you can see, the Justin boot was almost knocked from the pole.






Chihuahua breaks a leg

My friends own a Chihuahua. I was over the other day and they told me she took leap off of a stair and broke her leg. They gave her a full cast on her leg. She is very sweet, so it was sad to see her like that. But, it was also a little funny to see her walk around with that big thing on her leg. It is not too often that you see a dog with a cast on there leg so I took some photos. I think you will find her as precious as I did. Notice that the kids signed the cast. :)



Reflections of the Past

Walking downtown, I have noticed that the reflecions in the glass of the buildings is sometimes almost as good as mirrors. If you look at it from this perspective, it almost looks like you are looking at the buildings itself.









Jerry

There once was a monk named Jerry,
He lived in a monastery,
He was a monk,
With a lot of spunk,
But ended up in a cemetery.

Nellie

There once was a woman named Nellie,
Who had a very large belly,
One day she did eat,
Too many pigs feet,
And died at the corner deli.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Red-tail Hawk on Rt. 29


Many of you who drive Rt 29 to Taylorville from Springfield no doubt can see every once in a while a large bird sitting majestically on a post. These birds, I believe are Red-tailed hawks. Different from the turkey vulture I posted earlier, this bird has a hook in his beak. I saw particular one on the way home from work today. I made a quick U-turn and went back to get it on film. As I pulled up, I forgot to turn the radio down so he got spooked. As I snapped the picture he flew away. But not before I got this shot. I think this is one of the best photos of wildlife I have taken. The lighting was not that great but the pose of the bird makes up for it. Hope you like it as much as I do.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Warp Speed




This was a photo of a tent from The Party Tree.

After I was done I thought it looked like something from a Sci-Fi movie.

Artwork-Etc

I created a new blog that I am going to post digital enhanced photos. I want to have on location for people to go to view my artwork. Some may not care what my favorite tv shows were when I was a kid. Downside is that many people that like to view it in one spot will have to go to two separate blogs to see everything that comes out of the mind of Randy. :)

I just posted a new photo I did of theRotunda . I think JP thought I was being too much of a tourist. But with a photo editing software, you can turn an ordinary boring photo into something a bit more interesting...

The new blog is called Artwork-Etc

Enjoy!

Rotunda




Photo of the rotunda on top of the State Capital Building in Springfield, IL

Squirrel finds hiding place

I was walking today and noticed a squirrel running around in the snow. He stopped and decided to check out a area in a drained water fountain pond. I caught it on film. I liked it.


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Wormhole sighted in Springfield

Check out the wormhole that opened to an alternate dimension today:
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Blizzard 2006--The Meltdown

As you may have noticed, previews for Ice Age: The Meltdown, the sequel to Ice Age, has been playing on TV. I thought of that today as I walked the streets of Springfield and lunch today. We were having our own meltdown. It is funny that just yesterday the snow appeared with a frenzy and today's warmer temperatures have melted quite a bit of the white stuff. Here are some photos of the great meltdown of 2006. Just think, after this is all gone we may not see anymore until next winter, unless the weather goes Twilight Zone on us again, that is...




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Photo: Reflection in melted snow on the sidewalk outside Horace Mann Plaza
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Photo: Water driping off of an awning, Downtown Springfield
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Photo: Sidewalk with snow melting in front of Old State Capital Building
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Photo: Storm Drain with water flowing down
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Photo: Ice and water droplets comming off of a rain gutter, downtown Springfield

Snowmen and Forts left over from the Blizzard

Although Spring is here, you can still see the signs that children still think it is winter. And why not? With 6 inches of snow fall, what kid would not want to build a fort or fashion a snowman family. And notice the Illini Fan Snowman, Go Illini
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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Thorns

Sad Sad Day

Yes, it is a sad day at our house. I just realized our pretty spring flowers that were growing along our sidewalk are probably no more. These pictures show flowers that just started blooming a few days ago. But they are now buried under 4 to 6 inches of snow. They really didn't even last a week. Well, there is always next year.





Squirrel Day

Squirrel Day--

I don't know if you knew this but Last Sunday was officially Squirrel Day, similar to Ground Hog day. When the Squirrel climbs up his favorite hill, if he sees his shadow, there will be 6 more weeks of winter. Well, by the picture you see what has happened.


Snow Snow and More Snow

5:44 AM-I just woke up and snow is everywhere. DEEP Snow. Schools are closed. I am going to go out and take some photos.

6:22 AM--I came back in after taking some photos. Very cold and windy out there. Roads are very icy. Here are a few pictures I took. I didn't stay out too long because of the wind. I will try and take more later.

7:05 AM--Good Morning America is reporting lots of snow in Central US. They even had a correspondant in Springfield, IL. Crazy huh?

9:10 AM--Made it to work. Went about 35 mph all the way here. Rochester roads were not bad. The ice was semi-melted there. But I55 was a very icey as well as Rt. 29 from Edinburg to Rochester.


PHOTOS:

Monday, March 20, 2006

First Day of Spring

Hooray! The first day of Spring is finally here.

A BLIZZARD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 PM CST TUESDAY.
EXPECT LIGHT RAIN AND SLIGHT SLEET TO BEGIN THIS EVENING. THE PRECIPITATION WILL CHANGE TO ALL SNOW BEFORE MIDNIGHT AND ACCUMULATE TO 6 TO 8 INCHES BY DAWN. LOCAL THUNDERSTORMS MAY ALSO ENHANCE THESE AMOUNTS. STRONG EAST-NORTHEAST WINDS OF 20 TO 30 MPH WILL GUST ABOVE 35 MPH AT TIMES... PRODUCING VERY LOW VISIBILITIES IN BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW. THE SNOW WILL TAPER OFF GRADUALLY TUESDAY MORNING.
A BLIZZARD WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. FALLING AND BLOWING SNOW WITH STRONG WINDS AND POOR VISIBILITIES ARE LIKELY. THIS WILL LEAD TO WHITEOUT CONDITIONS...MAKING TRAVEL EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. DO NOT TRAVEL. IF YOU MUST...HAVE A WINTER SURVIVAL KIT WITH YOU. IF YOU GET STRANDED...STAY WITH YOUR VEHICLE.

Why? Why? Why!!!!!

(Source-- www.weather.com)

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Fishing out at Sangchris



















If someone ever says, "I think I am going to go fishing out at Sangchris." This is no doubt what they mean.

Yoda



















I met him in a swamp down in Dagoba
Where it bubbles all the time like a giant carbonated soda
S-O-D-A, soda
I saw the little runt sitting there on a log
I asked him his name, and in a raspy voice he said,
"Yoda"Y-O-D-A, Yoda
Yo Yo Yo Yo Yoda
Well, I've been around, but I ain't never seen
A guy who looks like a muppet, but he's wrinkled and green
Oh, my YodaYo Yo Yo Yo Yoda

Excerpt from Yoda----parody of "Lola" by the KinksLyrics by "Weird Al" Yankovic

This photo is of an actual life size statue of Yoda that may friend has in his basement. If I was better at Photoshop, I would have made his lightsaber glow, but I need more practice. He put in a bid at the local Walmart and won it. I think it is really cool. I should have taken a close up of his face. Anyway, I really thought it was neat so I took a picture of it.

Love to Read

Lone Fisherman

Peace and Tranquility



















Photo: Sangchris Lake, Kincaid,Il.

Fishing














Fish

One, two, three, four, five,

Once I caught a fish alive;

Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,

Then I let him go again.

Why did yo let him go?

Because he bit my finger so!

Which finger did he bite?

This little finger on the right!

Poem Resource:http://www.canteach.ca

Photo: Sangchris Lake, Kincaid, Il.

Sunset and Sunrise

Sunset
Sunrise

Turkey Vulture















Turkey Vulture at Sangchris Lake in Illinois.

I took these photos yesterday as the large bird circled over our heads. Some mistake this for a hawk, but if you zoom in you can see the distict red head that sort of looks like a wild turkey's head


The Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura, is the most common North American vulture. It is an extremely graceful bird in flight. It seldom needs to flap its long wings once airborne, but soars high overhead looking for carcasses.

Despite the similar name and appearance, this species is unrelated to the Old World vultures in the family Accipitridae, which includes eagles, hawks, kites and harriers. The American species is a New World vulture in the family Cathartidae.

These large birds of prey are mostly brownish black, but the flight feathers are gray, creating a contrasting pattern. The head is small in proportion to the body and has no feathers on it; adults' heads are red and immatures' are black. The birds have a wing span of about 2 metres. While soaring, they hold their wings in a V-shape and often tip "drunkenly" from side to side, sometimes causing the gray flight feathers to look silvery as they catch the light. The flight style, small-headed and narrow-winged silhouette, and underwing pattern make this bird easy to identify at great distances.

Source-www.wikipedia.org

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