Okay, stars first. For our tenth anniversary, we bought ourselves a very nice telescope that we really enjoy using. For 15th anniversary, which is next month (how did THAT happen?), we have bought ourselves a Meade My Sky, which helps lazy-ass amateur astronomers such as ourselves learn about the objects in the sky by pointing this device at them. We're looking forward to trying it out!
And here's a challenge for Happy Wombat Boy. What is this bird?...
Whenever I don't know what kind of raptor/raptoresque thing I'm seeing, my standard guess is red-tailed hawk (and I did see one yesterday, and it was making its characteristic cry.) This is the best photo I have of the mystery bird, which was flying over our field. Fire away (with suggestions, not buckshot.) I have faith in your bird knowledge, HWB. Oh, and when do you think I should put up my hummingbird feeders here?
Last night we went out after dark and heard owls hooting to each other! Oooh, I do love owls, even the barred owl that systematically ate our pond goldfish in BC. I'm pretty sure, from listening to mpegs of owl calls, that it was a pair of Great Horned owls calling to each other last night. You can listen here. HWB, what are the odds of getting a barn owl to live in our barn? Slim to none? Remotely possible? Doesn't the barn have to have things going on in it, so there are rodents for the owls to eat?
I may have posted these before, but this is the goldfish-eating barred owl of December 2004 (unless I have misidentified it. HWB?)