Saturday, December 13, 2008

Moonrise Friday December 12, 2008

The largest full moon of 2008 as seen Friday afternoon about 5:15. This is the closest its been to the Earth in 15 years and won't be as close again until 2016. The moon rise looked more like a sunrise.
When the moon is at its closest approach, or perigee, it appears much larger and brighter than usual.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Triple Conjunction of the Moon, Venus and Jupiter

We witnessed a triple conjunction of the moon, Venus and Jupiter best seen on Monday night December 1 and Tuesday December 2 here in Central Virginia. Photo courtesy of S. Duncan. It is most visible at dusk. You may still see it for the next few nights but they are gradually getting further apart.

Some people looked at it as a frown.

So if you were stargazing and wondering what those bright lights were near the crescent moon, there you have it!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

O' Tannenbaum

O' Tannenbaum

We started a family tradition of cutting our own tree back in NJ at a farm in Griggstown / Princeton along the canal just north of the causeway. We've been hooked since. Courier and Ives we're not but it's still a fun tradition.

We've tried a few different farms here in Central VA and LaRon Christmas Tree farm is our favorite. They are very close to Goochland, in Powhatan, and always have a fine selection of trees and a very family friendly atmosphere. They were closed a year or two due to drought issues so we tried a few others that were just fine too.

Just a little further away are Hanover Pines in Beaverdam and Nuckols Christmas Tree Plantation in Cumberland. I've used a number of web sites to search for the local farms and have found these to be quite helpful:
http://www.christmastreemap.com/farm/VA.html
http://pickyourownchristmastree.org/VAxmassoutheast.php

Everyone had fun adding their own assortment of ornaments to the miss miss tree this year. We had some new paper chains made and added them to the older faded ones. We've gradually replaced most all lights with LEDs and add new vacation ornaments every year.

The kids decided that the Geo Trax belonged under the tree and then put the village up this year.