Exciting Total Solar Eclipse-August 21, 2017

Four days and counting! What happens at approximately 11:35 a.m., MDT on August 21, 2017? The first total solar eclipse visible from the United States mainland since 1979. The total eclipse is visible in 10 states Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina. Wow!  Weather permitting, people in those states will get to watch the moon pass in front of the sun, eventually blocking out its light.

If you are planning to try to capture this historic event on your phone or camera. The experts suggest practicing a couple days before at twilight.  Use a tripod, set it for multiple exposures and set it a few minutes before the time  you want the photo, so you don’t accidentally move the camera.  Oh, on phones, don’t use zoom, it will only make the photo grainy. Always make sure you have special glasses if you are going to watch the eclipse.

This event came to my attention in March, when my hubby and I stopped in Riverton, WY to visit a friend. At that time all the motels, and campgrounds were already reserved for this solar event. Yep, this little town in Wyoming was humming with excitement.

I live in Colorado where it will be only 90%, but that’s enough to send me on the hunt for glasses to watch the eclipse through and a filter for my hubby’s camera. Both of which quantities are dwindling. The American Astronomical Society lists retail chains where certified glasses can be found as Walmart, Lowe’s, Toys “R” Us and 7-Eleven. Look for manufactures American paper Optics, Baader Planetarium, Rainbow Symphony, Thousand Oaks, and TSE 17.  Don’t go thinking your regular sunglasses, that block only 50% of the Sun’s visible light, will do the trick.  Proper eclipse glasses are designed to filter out 99.99 percent, including harmful ultraviolet and infrared rays.

The partial eclipse in Colorado Springs, Colorado will start at 10:23 a.m. MDT, reach maximum at 11:47a.m., and end at 1:15 p.m.

Here is the path of the total eclipse. Thank you! NEWSWEEK MEDIA GROUP GRAPHIC DANIELE PALUMBO/@DANICT89


For more maps of eclipses from 1651 to 2150, visit the gallery at http://eclipse-maps.com. There you have it in a solar nut shell. It’ll be at least 2024 until the next North American total solar eclipse. Happy solar eclipse watching, and don’t forget your certified eclipse glasses. You don’t want to burn the back of your eyes where there are no pain sensors to alert you to the rays that can cause temporary or permanent blind spots.

Want to know more about the total Solar Eclipse 2017? Check out Space.com for all kinds of science and astronomy fun facts!

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You Didn’t Like the book – Why Broadcast It?

Okay, this space is usually used for my personal blog. I write full-time and have another blog entitled Authors’ Secrets for books and writing endeavors.  But today, I’ve a tiny rant, okay maybe not so tiny, that I would love thoughts from readers, authors, and actually everyone.

I’ll start off by acknowledging that everyone tries a new book or author at times, that’s how we expand our literary horizons. Right? We all have our favorite genres and authors.  What incites you to try a new genre or author? Are you looking for something different, bored with what you’ve been reading or did someone recommend a book that sounded good to you? Oh, one more thing. Do you like stand alone books or series?

Now, there are people that try something new, in this case a book, and didn’t like it.  So — don’t buy or read that type of genre again. Right?  Why leave a nasty comment/review to the author knowing that she/he has put her heart and soul into this book and been brave enough to share it with the world?  I just can’t figure it out.  Sure, I’ve bought and read books I didn’t particularly care for, a few I didn’t even finish. But I would never dream of leaving a review that would cut the author to the core of their being.

Writing is subjective. I know that. Not everyone will like what you write. I get that too.  What I don’t get is the mean spirited actions of those few people that have to leave a troll review.  Yes, this has happened to me on occasion, when it does, I yank up my big girl panties, read it once then ignore it forever. But recently there’s been a rash of this insensitive behavior to authors of all different genres and it bothered me. So I did what any author does, I wrote about it. LOL  Yes, I feel much better now. Thank you for asking.

Okay, I’m putting my soap box back under the bed and promise never to use this as a forum for a… okay, almost never do this again.  Next post, bright and cheery – oh, did you know there is only 21 weeks until Christmas? That’s 151 days, and finally only 3,616 hours until Christmas. Just thought you’d like to know. <grin> I heard that collective groan. Oh wait, maybe that was me. LOL

I’d love to hear from you!  Please leave a comment.  Thank you so much. Enjoy your summer!

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Monsoon Rain Quiets the Fire Danger.

Good news! In part due to monsoon season, my garden is doing phenomenal! We are harvesting lettuce, snap peas, kale, loads of tomatoes on the vines, and carrots about ready.

It’s monsoon season in Colorado, massive amounts of rain, thunder, lightning, hail, and more rain. Don’t get me wrong, the rain keeps us from having catastrophic wild fires like we had in 2012 and 2013.  But the worry for flash floods is real on the burn scars.  After the unbelievable softball hail storm July 27th 2016, when storm clouds gather now I worry rather than revel in them. Along with most of our community we still haven’t completely recovered, roofs and fences are still being replaced.  The upside, lots of work for contractors.

Any way I digress.  With the monsoons come the overnight appearance of two to five foot tall weeds in all shapes and sizes.  I pull ‘em up one day and the next morning two take their place.  How does that happen? On the flip side it gets me out of the house away from my computer as I fight the never ending weed battle. You know what I mean?

My utility bill, grass and flowers are loving the moisture, except for when the hail comes and we haven’t had much of that so far. Fingers and toes crossed.  For only the second time since we’ve lived here (going on 23 years) we know the sump pump works cascading water out of our rock retaining wall. Good to know. LOL

However, this year my outside plants are portable, on a little red cart and I haul them into the garage. An all-purpose fabric screen is rolled on the side of my garden waiting to be hauled over the garden for hail protection. All this works IF we are home at the time the storm is predicted or occurring.  But it’s all we can do in Colorado, land of the frequent hail and lightning storms. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, Colorado is still a great place to live.  How is you summer going? Did you plant a garden? I’d love to hear from you!

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Camping- Colorado’s Mueller State Park

After promoting the spectacularly-fun and successful release of my fifth book, A Warlock’s Secrets, second in the Demon’s Witch Series,  which culminated on June 14, 2017, it was time for Mueller State Park, and a camping trip to reset my circadian timing, it was off just a skoosh!  Spending quality time with family, friends and pets (yep took our parrot, Taco, Chow dog, Mystic, and Sammie the box turtle) can recharge your mental and physical batteries. Besides you sleep better in the great outdoors.  It’s a proven scientific fact, you know.

Our absolutely excellent camp site was toward the back of Mueller State Park  up on a hill with lots of room to roam! The sunset was fantastic, setting the azure sky ablaze in orange, red and yellow fading to purple and blue fringing the few scattered high clouds. We didn’t get any sunset pictures because hubby and I were at the star-gazer program in Mueller park’s visitor center’s parking lot!  Dang it!  Knowledgeable individuals set up several telescopes for us to see the stars. Saturn and its moons were breath-taking. The speaker told  us to follow the arc to  Arcturus, the fourth brightest star in the night sky, and drive a spike to Spica.  It’s a star mnemonic to remember the stars locations.  LOL   And of course we located the popular Ursa Major and Ursa Minor better known as Big and Little Dipper and several other constellations.  Astronomy is one of several interests my hubby and I share.

The next morning, after letting Sammie out for a bit, we hiked the newly opened to dogs trail starting at Grouse Mountain Trailhead. We were pleased to discover nearly a month into the trial of dogs on the trail at Mueller, the path was pristine, no trash, and no uh…mmm… deposits left by canines. The sign-in sheets at the trailhead were overflowing with signatures of people from all over the country enjoying the beautiful scenery with their dogs.

After a fun day of hiking, we cooked hot dogs and brats, plus baked beans over the campfire. No the beans didn’t fall through the grates; we put them in a pan. LOL Then we sat back and listened to the chirping crickets, scurry of possible foxes or deer in the underbrush, and the far off yips of coyotes, as we roasted marshmallows for s’mores. In the star strewn sky, the Milky Way along with several of the constellations was clearly visible. We even spotted a few satellites zipping across the sky and one falling star.  Star bright, star light, first star we see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight. Made a wish. No wonder camping is good for you!

Sunday was Father’s Day, Mystic and Taco attempted to assist hubby in preparing breakfast of fried eggs, cinnamon rolls, hash browns and orange juice. Yup, he likes to cook while we’re camping, so I let him.  Then it was time to pack up and return to the cement jungle. Sigh.

Upon arriving home, we discovered a baby wren stuck in our backyard porch light. Hubby got out the ladder, dismantled the light fixture to release the little bird to its noisily awaiting flock and parents. So glad we got home when we did, poor little guy was scared to death.

Well, there you have it… our adventures of Father’s Day weekend.  I hope you all had a great Father’s Day.  Check back next week for more adventures! LOL Have a great week!

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