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Monthly Archives: December 2010

31 Dec

2010 was a rather quiet year for me in terms of binoculars, spotting scopes, telescopes and even digital cameras, though some of our digital cameras are showing their age, if you can call five years “old” for a camera. I did collect another old film camera or two, but even though some were made in the 70s, they still take great photos. That’s the difference between digital and film, I guess. You don’t buy cameras to last a lifetime, anymore; now you buy cameras to get by until the next model replaces it in a few years. Where does it…

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30 Dec

I will be giving an astronomy presentation, this coming spring, to an LIR (learning in retirement) group and I’ve already begun to think in terms of what topics in astronomy I will present. This is no small undertaking. After all, how do you cover a subject so enormous as astronomy in a mere two hours, especially to a group that is likely to pepper me with questions? What central astronomical theme should I pursue? How do I share what astronomy means to me with others?

For some reason, the word “imagination” comes to mind when I think of what motivates…

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29 Dec

By now a lot of folks who received that first telescope as presents are scratching their heads on how to setup & use a telescope. Let’s face it, many beginner telescopes come with less than helpful instructions. Then, too, more than one beginner makes the mistake of using their new telescope before reading the instructions. The good news is that there are plenty of articles that can help in this category, including telescope observing tips to avoid common beginner mistakes. (Be sure to check these links if you are new to telescopes.)

There is, however, another issue for a beginner…

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28 Dec

Common Ground-Dove? Well, it may be common down here in the Mexican Baja, but catching one in the binoculars in northern Wisconsin would cause quite a stir and, yet, these things do happen. I remember when an Inca Dove wandered into Nebraska many, many years, ago, and birders flocked from all over the country to add it to their bird lists. Same can be said for the Common Crane from Siberia that I added to my bird list when I lived in Nebraska. Such is the fervor of so many of us hard core birders and, now, here I am, …

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27 Dec

Sunday was our fishing day off the shores of San Jose del Cabo. I’m sure it was old hat to our captain, Marcell, but it was a completely new experience for us landlubbers. As we walked down on the docks, my mind was on fishing, but soon turned to birdwatching when we saw all the Pelicans, Egrets and Osprey perched on the dock and even boats. I could have spent the day, right there with my binoculars, but everyone was eager to shove off and do some fishing. Okay, twist my arm.

As on most of these guided fishing trips …

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24 Dec

We all went on a whale watching excursion boat, yesterday evening, and I must say that I really had little hope of getting close to a whale. Maybe it was the fact that the “whale watching” boat was quite large and could accommodate about a hundred people or maybe it was the Mexican disco music that made me doubt if anyone was serious about seeing whales. Then, too, this is a bit early in the season for watching whales. Nevertheless, my trusty Leica Ultravid 10×25 BL was around my neck and Bill had a camera case with our digital cameras. …

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23 Dec

Last evening we did a sunset sail on an actual Americas Cup sailboat and I have to say that it was the highlight, so far, of our entire Cabo San Lucas vacation. This was a boat that actually came in 2nd, back in the 1999 Americas Cup, so no phony tourist imitation, here. The crew are all experienced sailing competitors and, best of all they were wonderfully engaging and humorous. We especially liked the fact that this was a hands on excursion where guests were enlisted as part of the crew, helping to raise the sails and pilot the boat. …

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22 Dec

Yes, I am beginning to worry that my staunch work ethic won’t stand the strain of all this tropical sun, margaritas and beautiful ocean views. I am tough, though and determined to do some work despite all the challenges. My binoculars and digital cameras stand ever ready to show something more than a beautiful tan for all my time spent here in Cabo.

Specifically, there is an Osprey I have seen each day in the Leica binoculars. It is truly magnificent, so much so that I am determined to get a pic with one of our digital cameras as it …

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21 Dec

Okay, yes, I fall in love with every beautiful place I visit and Cabo San Lucas is no exception. I can see why several Americans I have met got of an excursion boat, years, ago and never left. No, I’m not talking about all the fancy resorts and tourist draws; I’m talking about the incredibly interesting ecology and geology of the area, not to mention all the many ways I could stay very busy with my film and digital cameras, telescopes, spotting scopes and binoculars of all kinds. I’ve even indulged myself in the fantasy of offering bird tours into…

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20 Dec

Cabo San Lucas has been an experience, that´s for sure. I´ve made some mistakes, as to gear I have packed and made some good choices, as well. telescopes and astronomy binoculars would have been largely useless, given the phase of the moon – that I should have checked before leaving, anyway. A spotting scope and tripod, though, would have been very handy to spot whales in a bit more detail, though my Leica 10×25 Ultravid BL has done aqbout as good a job as any binoculars of any size could be expected to do, given that most of my whale …

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