Spring Photos

Spring is in the air right now and will be for the next two months. It is a time of new life and growth, birds are getting busy (we have set up a school nestbox with a camera) and soon the trees will be in leaf. So get out to the park or garden and if you capture a good springtime photo send it to mrring@stjosephsterenure.ie and you could win a valuable prize!!
Meanwhile you can keep an eye on this peregrine falcon nest in Rome, Italy and on this white stork nest near Munich, Germany. You can also follow some birds as they migrate from Africa in the springtime. This website follows eagles and storks that carry tracking devices as they return to Eastern Europe. Click the “to start” button and then play to watch the birds movements over a few months. Here you can track some cuckoos that spend a few months in summer in England and return to Africa in the Autumn. Stork nest in Holland.
Duck nest in RTE
Below: Tiny hummingbird nest in a back garden in California (8 hr time difference so gets bright around 2pm Irish time)

Dublin Bay

Dublin BayWhat a marvellous view of Dublin Bay taken from a plane heading out to London and published by Aer Lingus recently . In the foreground is Howth Head and then Bull Island. You can see the mouths of the Rivers Tolka and Liffey as the bay sweeps away towards Bray and the Dublin mountains. Can you spot the twin chimneys of Poolbeg power station? Below you can see the view from the other side with Dun Laoghaire harbour to the right.

Mars, Venus and the Moon with Earthshine

If you see a bright single “star” near the moon, it’s not a star but a planet like Mercury or Venus. A star twinkles in the night sky because its light has come from much further away so it zigzags while planets shine more steadily. This photo was taken last week and Mars, Venus and the moon have not been this close in the sky for several years. The layers in the photo make it special with the trees, the moon, the planets and you can see some stars if you zoom in on the high definition version. You know what sunshine and moonshine are but what is earthshine? The moon produces no light of its own so when you can see the part of the moon that’s in shade that called “earthshine” because it’s the light reflected from the earth that’s lighting it rather than the sun which is lighting the bright part. This time of the year is best to spot earthshine. Here’s another example. Here are some tips on how to photograph the moon with your mobile phone. What are conditions like on the other planets in the solar system?