Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mars at Opposition

(I know, I can't fool you.  The title of this post is about Mars, but the picture is of the moon.  Be patient and go with me here.  It'll be OK, I promise.)

It seems like the moon has been full for several days now because it's been clear and the moon's risen as the sun has set.  At my house, the moon rising shines directly in the east windows and the moon setting shines directly into the western windows.  I don't have curtains.  I can't imagine blocking out any of this natural beauty, and with no neighbors or cars driving by, there's no reason to.

My camera wouldn't focus on the moon as I tried to catch it setting this morning, so here's a shot I took a few years ago.  Same moon.

For the past few mornings there's been a bright, reddish star near the moon as it sets.  I just looked it up on skymaps ( publishes a monthly skymap and calendar), and skymaps says that first, the moon is at perhelion, the closest it will be to us all year.  So if this full moon looked especially bright, that's why.  Second, Mars is at opposition, meaning that Mars is opposite of the sun now.  So that's what the red star is.  Mars.

Other items:

The owner of the laying hens says that he'll hold them for a week for me.  Yay.

Its -8 this morning.  The coldest I've seen it in my short time here.  That means it's probably 2 down the hill in Albany.  It's very predictably 10 degrees colder here than Albany.

The woodshed roof started to fall down.  That's not unexpected, but now I have to decide what to do.  I think it's dangerous.  Wear a hard hat to get wood for the next few weeks until I use up all the wood in the woodshed, then pull it down?  I wonder if I can move all the wood out, pull the roof down and then put the playhouse/chicken coop in the woodshed?  It's sheltered from the wind, but the floor is  a low spot and gets wet when it rains.  Hmm some more.  I can say for sure that I don't want to deal with it until it gets a little warmer.  I bought a fur-lined hat with ear flaps last year and never wore it because it's too hot.  Yesterday it was perfect.

If I don't have to rush around today to prepare for chickens, I can enjoy my original plans today, which involved beer and socializing.   I can stop at Home Depot later and do building work tomorrow instead of today.  See how I can procrastinate and make it sound logical?  I have some apple cider fermenting which should be ready, I think, in 2 weeks. 

It's a normal day here on the 'stead.  Everything's frozen.  Some stuff is falling down.  Some stuff is getting built.  I'm thrilled to be able to sit here for a few minutes before I start the day taking care of things, happily at home.



  1. We've been thinking the moon must already be full for about the past week . . . it's been so bright at night. Right before bedtime last night we stood out on the front deck (barely above zero) in our bathrobes and heavy hats (somebody should have taken a picture of us) trying to get a picture of the moon with a beautiful orange ring around it. (I failed . . . know not what I do when it comes to cameras.)

    Sounds like you've got a good balance planned for your weekend. Between the beer and convesation with friends, you'll come up with a good plan for the chicken house project.

  2. You may be able to pick up some old pallets at the Agway or the Tractor supply. We get them that are too busted to use, but you might be able to us a couple as a base to raise the floor up out of the puddle, then put something else on top, like some plywood or something else you may find hanging around..if you want chickens in your woodshed spot. Beer may just make all the chicken answers appear to you!
    Glad your chickens are willing to wait another week. Maybe it will warm up then!
    I'm going out with friends tonight for food, beer and hockey. I don't really GET hockey and was trying to figure out if they would let me take my knitting along. It is so much better to knit while I'm watching something and I don't care that I don't get hockey, so I don't really want to know more, so knitting might take the edge off!!
    Got a bunch of reading before tomorrow morning church, some bookwork before the hubby gets home, and clean clothes in baskets waiting to be get movin'

  3. I can't believe you took that shot of moon - it's gorgeous! Getting a 'good moon shot' is definitely on my photography bucket list. That, a good moose shot, and a good lady slipper (MN state flower) image.

    And, I'm glad you explained why it's (the moon's) seemed SO much brighter this time 'round! Last night, I didn't even bother taking my headlamp with to do chores, and I'm quite sure I could have read by its light. I was tempted to take a book outside & try it. Bright moonlight reflected by gobs of white snow is one of my favorite concoctions of Mother Nature's.

    Woodshed vs. porch for the chickens? Porch. Hands-down (if you don't mind the mess . . . and the smell on those last, really warm spring days before you get them outside).

    And, regarding the safety of the woodshed roof: generally speaking, things like that seem to be fairly slow in completely collapsing . . . unless you get a bunch of heavy, wet snow, of course!

    Finally, I LOVE how you encapsulated a wintery Saturday morning on the homestead: "It's a normal day here on the 'stead. Everything's frozen. Some stuff is falling down. Some stuff is getting built. I'm thrilled to be able to sit here for a few minutes before I start the day taking care of things, happily at home." I couldn't have said it better myself!