Oracle State Park - Saturday, 10 October 2015
Posted: 11 October 2015
"Intro to Digital Imaging with Wildlife & Landscapes", Oracle State Park, 10 October 2015
Local photography enthusiast, Oracle Dark Skies Committee member, and Friends of Oracle State Park member, Stan Bembenek held this 2 hour workshop that offered comparisons of digital equipment and their applications for capturing images of wildlife as seen around the Park. Stan shared a display of imaging devices, discussed capabilities, and offered recommendations and techniques for use in different environments, such as how to set up a wildlife camera. There was some hands-on opportunities with the devices as part of the workshop. Attendance was restricted for the workshop to allow for more personal interactions and was well received.
After Stan's workshop, local photographer Mike Weasner took this photo of a hummingbird near some of the Parks' feeders:
"Live Music in the Park and Stargazing with Telescopes", Oracle State Park, Saturday, 10 October 2015
The day had begun with cloudy skies and lots of wind. But by mid-afternoon the winds had calmed down and the sky was clearing, yielding this awesome view towards the East from the Kannally Ranch House parking lot:
At 4pm on the upper patio of the Kannally Ranch House Michael P and the Gullywashers of Tucson began performing a crowd-pleasing mix of Soul, Funk and Instrumental Surf music with some memorable TV tunes thrown in.
They continued entertaining the Park's visitors until 6 pm. With the nice music in the background the Oracle Dark Skies Committee (ODSC) and the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) had information tables on the work of the ODSC, the IDA, and the effects of light pollution on human health, safety and security, wildlife, the environment, and energy costs. Here are ODSC members Evaline, MaryHelen, and Chip at the ODSC table:
And Dr. John Barentine, IDA (right), and two visitors:
The sky had clouded up again in the late afternoon but began mostly clearing by sunset, providing Park visitors with this lovely Arizona sunset:
With improving conditions for stargazing, local astronomers from the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association, Saddlebrooke Skygazers Club, and a local Park supporter began setting up several telescopes to provide views of what the night sky at Oracle State Park has to offer:
After it was dark, Park visitors began enjoying the views. This low-light photo, taken with an iPhone and a special low-light app, shows some of the enthuastic visitors at the telescopes:
About halfway through the stargazing the Park visitors were treated to a spectacular view of a bright fireball meteor high in the sky. The fireball was slow moving, orange, and had a number of pieces flying off it. It was quite a thrill for those who saw it. Several Earth-orbiting satellites were also seen during the night. The visitors were able to view colorful stars, the planet Saturn and its ring system, some nebula and galaxies, and they thoroughly enjoyed the view of the dark sky over Oracle State Park.
This handheld iPhone photo (using the low-light app) shows the "teapot" of the constellation Sagittarius and a faint view of part of the Milky Way just to the right of the teapot:
Overall, this was another highly enjoyable evening and night of live music and stargazing at Oracle State Park.
(All photos by Mike Weasner.)
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