Autumn · Nature · Photography

What do an insomniac, a herd of zombie cows and shooting stars have in common?

As it happens, I haven’t been sleeping much the last few weeks. I’m not complaining – I get a lot done at 2am. Amongst other things, I pray for others; and then I count Heffalumps in-between coughing fits – but, like Winnie the Pooh, that hasn’t helped me to get to sleep so far.

This evening I decided to take my insomnia by the scruff of the neck and to have some fun with it. At around 10pm I loaded my weapon of choice into my strawberry-shortcake-pink car and drove south, and prayed while driving (because I’m good at multi-tasking) and then finally stopped in what looked like the perfect spot to shoot. It was a black, crisp, cloudless night – the moon having set hours before. First, I wandered into a field sporting a single tree and several irate and all-too-aggressive fiery-eyed bovines. (You try shining a flashlight into their eyes and see what happens.) I saw some of the brightest shooting stars ever and seem to have lost one bit of camera equipment while outrunning a mad cow. But, as I always say, it was worth it all. Later, on my way home, I stopped at Dragon Lake.

Someone remarked recently that I seem to have “the best gear.” Sadly, I don’t – this evening I would have loved to have had a Nikon D750 and a 14mm f/2.8 lens in my bag, but I had to make do with my 16-35mm f/4. Now f/4 is really not large enough to deal with this total lack of light – and if one leaves the shutter open for too long then the stars start looking oblong. And I wanted them sharp.

Only when I got home and dumped the pics onto my computer did I notice that they aren’t (sharp) but I still had fun. So, if there’s anyone out there with a wide-angle large-aperture Nikon lens they’d love to pass my way, I’m here and willing to accept the generous gift. Oh, and a wireless remote to replace the one the zombie cow munched …

(Exposure times varied from 30 to 40 seconds; aperture f/4 and 6400 ISO. White balance was done post-process.)

 

Shooting star (looking north)
Shooting star (looking north)
Silhouetted tree
Silhouetted tree
Shedding some light on the subject
Shedding some light on the subject
Milky. Way!
Milky. Way!
Tractor, rudely awoken from its slumber
Tractor, rudely awoken from its slumber
Pastels
Pastels
Stretching into the night sky
Stretching into the night sky
A bit more colour over Dragon Lake
A bit more colour over Dragon Lake
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