Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A quiet Christmas in Berkeley

If you were strolling around Berkeley, California between eleven and noonish on Christmas Day 2013 it wouldn't have been a stretch to imagine yourself in the southern hemisphere. The sky was blue, the sun shone, the Campanille sounded across the city, the thermometer read in the high sixties. South of the nearly-deserted campus, magnolias were beginning to bloom.

With apologies to friends and family in the frigid Midwest and along the East Coast ...

South Hall from the foot of the Campanille

Sproul Hall through Sather Gate

Dana Street, empty but for a single car, from the plaza outside Haas Pavillion

The magnolia trees beginning to bloom, along Fulton Street

Magnolias budding and blooming under cerulean skies

Related posts on One Finger Typing:
Night sky
Flowering plum trees on Presidents Day weekend
An Egon Schiele vision in Berkeley
Flowery front yards in Berkeley

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Night sky

Riding my bike home from work last night I stopped at a light out front of the old UC printing plant in Berkeley, where a construction crew is hard at work building the university's new art museum. Through a chain-link fence, over the roofs of the businesses along Center Street, through the branches of winter-bare trees, the loveliest new moon was settling gently into the fading glow of sunset.

It's funny how you never know when the wonder at being alive in the world will strike.

I didn't have my camera with me, but the resourceful shutterbug Matthew Felix Sun was on it not much later, in the neighborhood where we live:

That's Venus shining on the left.

Needless to say, a photo isn't the same as being there. But don't despair (at least not if you're reading this soon after it was posted)!!

If you're anywhere the sky is clear this evening or tomorrow around sunset, you might want to take a look. Here's what Andrew Fazekas ("the Night Sky Guy") says, from National Geographic:
Starting on Wednesday, December 4, through Friday, December 6, look for the waxing crescent moon to glide past the brilliant, diamond-like planet Venus at dusk. The evening sky show plays out in the low southwestern sky, about 30 minutes after local sunset. The two mismatched worlds will appear closest to each other on Thursday, displaying only 6 degrees of separation, a little more than the width of your three middle fingers held at arm’s length.
Six degrees of separation, indeed. Many thanks to The Management.

Related posts on One Finger Typing:
Flowering plum trees on Presidents Day weekend
An Egon Schiele vision in Berkeley
Post-convention blues (the sky, I'm sayin')

Thanks to Matthew Felix Sun for the image of last night's moonset, hot off the SD card...