It’s been a busy week, and I haven’t had much time for blogging. I’ve got a few projects underway, and I hope to write about those shortly. In the meantime, here’s a quick weekend update…
One of Laura’s friends from grad school at UC Riverside has a goal – to visit every state in the United States. Carolyn had two left on her list, Idaho and South Carolina. Her friend from Germany, Christian, has accompanied her on this quest, so she met him in Charleston, toured there for a day, then headed to Greenville for a visit with Laura.
We picked up Carolyn and Christian and headed down to River Place. We knew that there was a TEDx event at the Peace Center, and that evening there was supposed to be something called the Greenville Xperience in the amphitheater, so we wanted to get parked early. We wandered around the Falls Park area, walking over the Liberty Bridge and enjoying a warm spring evening, as did half of Greenville, it seems.
At one point I spotted to kayakers launching above the falls, and I knew what was about to happen. I took off at a run with my camera, but was not in time to see the first boat go over the falls. I did, however, catch the second one.
They both made it down safely. In fact, they made it look easy, which is a dangerous thing.
We had reservations at our favorite restaurant downtown, The Lazy Goat. We got an outside table overlooking the river and the Peace Center, where we could see preparations for the evening’s events.
Lots of loud bass echoed across the river, and as the sun went down, the light show across the way started in earnest.
From the back of the stage it was hard to follow what was going on. There were people on stilts, jugglers, glow sticks, lasers, and some really bad music at one point. I’m sure it would have been different if we’d paid the $15 to actually enter the event, but from where we were sitting it just looked tedious and self-indulgent.
Regardless, we had a great meal, a great evening with friends, and got some weird entertainment in the process. We drove Carolyn and Christian down Main Street to their hotel, and they got to see what a hopping place this city can be.
I had invitations to the William Walker Shape Note Singing at Wofford, and there was a kayak trip on the French Broad. I bailed on both of those and stayed close to home doing yard work. We had hoped to catch the “Super Moon” this evening. This was the first time in 18 years that the moon reached full stage just at perigee, meaning it was actually 14% larger than a normal full moon. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate. It was sunny and hot, then suddenly a storm came out of nowhere, and the skies remained cloudy from that point forward.
At about 1:30 am I couldn’t sleep so I got up to see if I could see the moon. There were enough breaks in the clouds, so I grabbed my camera, telescope, and tripod and snapped a few shots.
I decided to try an experiment. I’ve never been happy with my camera-telescope setup because it’s a bit unstable. At that magnification, when the shutter is released and the mirror swings out of the way, it jars the camera just enough to cause a blur. I tried stabilizing the camera and tripod with my hand while I snapped with a remote. I took four shots, then imported them into Photoshop. I used the image stacking in CS5 to try to get the sharpest image possible. While it came out sharp, it seems a bit noisier than some images. I think I actually prefer the softer focus of the first shot.
Ah, well. It was an interesting experiment, at least.
While reading the morning paper and having our coffee I spotted movement down by the lake. The Loch Fairfield Monster was out! This huge snapping turtle walked along the bank of the water and across the little beach area that’s formed while the lake is down. Since I already had the camera and telescope out, I snapped a couple of shots from the deck.
Apart from the party downtown Friday and monster encounters on Sunday, it was a quiet weekend, which was just what I needed.