On The Coast

With me not being in the immediate vicinity of the coast, the Lake will have to do for this week’s Cosmic Photo Challenge, of, as it happens, On The Coast. Luckily, a coast guard was on hand for this photo, which, incidentally was also the photo at the bottom of yesterday’s rabbit hole.

And what’s better than one coast guard? A flock of them!

So now I’ve learned how to badly use the cloning tool. Believe you me, if I ever saw this many herons all together in one place I’d have thought all my eggs had hatched!

Visit Dale’s site on the link above for more takes on this week’s theme.


Debbie’s theme for One Word Sunday this week is ‘Mobile’, so this week I took a photo of my mobile phone.

Actually, it’s a photo of a heron. Well, a photo of a photo of my mobile with a photo of a photo of a photo of my mobile with a photo of a photo of a photo of a photo of my mobile with a photo of a photo of a photo of a photo of a photo of my mobile with a photo of a photo of a photo of a photo of a photo of a photo of my mobile with a photo of a photo of a photo of a photo of a photo of a photo of a photo of one.

Herons are quite mobile, aren’t they?

Visit Debbie’s site on the link above for more takes on the theme! How much further down the rabbit hole can you go?

DC’s Dawnstar: Beginnings (Part 2)

Dawnstar reached the outer edges of Starhaven’s atmosphere, and stopped. She focused on the metal she was carrying in the pouch tied around her waist and, in her mind, scanned the galaxy around her. She could detect a faint trace that matched the vibration of the piece she carried, not as strong as the metallic pull she’d detected a few moments earlier. It also wasn’t coming from where she’d expected it to come from. Where she floated, the Sastoria system was directly ahead of her, but the trace was from behind her, and growing weaker by the second.

It’s moving away. Dawnstar thought.

She moved her arms to her sides and beat her wings in a strong and regular rhythm to create enough internal kinetic energy to push herself forward through the vacuum of open space. She then turned her back to where she thought she was originally headed and sped through the vast emptiness around her in pursuit of the ever weakening signals.

She reached one of the floating rocks which made up the Starside Asteroid Band within seconds of leaving Starhaven’s atmosphere, and decided to rest for a moment. All around were stars and nothing else. The rock crumbled beneath her feet as she landed, but was solid enough for her to stand. She turned her attention back to Starhaven, which was now no longer visible to her, and then further beyond to the distant Sastoria star.

Still nothing coming from that way. Dawnstar thought as she tried to pick up further traces of the ore. I should be getting something from Sastoria as that’s where this object is from. She opened the pouch and held the metal piece in her right hand. Yet again, it pulsated strongly, but as she was now out in open space the temperature didn’t change. She channelled her thoughts through the object, trying to enhance her tracking ability just in case something was blocking her. Yet again, all she could detect was the trace that was moving away from both her and Sastoria. She returned the metal piece to the pouch and allowed herself to float away from the rock. She beat her wings as before, and then continued to trace the sensations she was picking up, soaring away from the Asteroid Band at speeds far greater than before.

Finally, the strength of what she was tracing began increasing. Dawnstar knew she was getting closer.

Ahead of her, she could see the mass of stars which made up the starting point of one of the arms of the Malakawa spiral galaxy. She sensed that the signal she was following had stopped moving, and was coming from a star at the far side of the arm.

There. Dawnstar thought. I’m detecting four planets orbiting that star, the signal is coming from the second one from it. She continued speeding toward the planetary system, reaching the fourth planet within minutes.

The signal she was following disappeared for a second, and then came back to her stronger than before. It faded out again, and then returned as strong as with the piece of metal in her pouch.

What’s going on? Dawnstar thought as she stopped herself flying though space toward the third planet.

The space in front of her started to shimmer and than a deep blue coloured vessel came into view. The ship turned itself around to face her, and Dawnstar saw two red lights appear from the front of it. She realised this ship had opened fire on her, so she readied herself in what she called her battle stance. Her arms again by her sides and her legs close together, made her narrower. Her wings were raised high, in readiness to manoeuvre out of the way of whatever weapon had been fired at her. She soon realised they were energy blasts, which had been fired in a random formation to cover as much space as possible, although not necessarily aiming for a particular point. With great ease, she moved out of the way of the bursts of energy that got almost close to her, while at the same time moving closer to the ship.

This may have been a trace mission, Dawnstar thought, but that changed as soon as whoever these are opened fire on me. She realised the signal she was tracking was now coming from two places. The strongest signal was this ship, so she knew this was carrying a large amount of Sastoria Ore. The second signal was still at the second planet. She landed on the hull of the ship, looking for a way to get inside. She found a hatch, and an opening latch, but it was locked and she couldn’t force it open. She flew away from the ship again, and quickly looked around it to see if there was another way she could get in. Underneath the ship, she found an open loading bay so flew inside. Looking back out of the ship, she saw the same shimmering that she noticed just before the ship opened fire. It looks as though they wanted me to come aboard. That would explain how a ship this size with that firepower would be such a bad shot! But how would they know I’d be here? And why hide behind an invisibility shield if they wanted me to come on board? The Ore! They must be shielding the Ore. These must be Gralves.

A hatch hissed open at the opposite end of the empty bay to the rectangular shaped opening, where Dawnstar could now see the emptiness of space again. She attuned her thoughts to her immediate surroundings, so she would be ready for any surprise attacks, and walked inside the airlock. The hatch slammed shut behind her, and hissed again as it sealed closed. Dawnstar turned to face the interior hatch, expecting it to open. When it didn’t, she tugged up a latch beside the door, and felt the strong tingling of electrical energy flow through her body.

This is the eleventh instalment of my fan fiction tale based on the DC Comics character Dawnstar.

The first part can be found here.
The second part is here.
The third part here.
Part four is here.
Part five is here.
Part six is here.
The seventh part is here.
Part eight is here.
Part nine is here.
Part ten is here.

Dawnstar was created by Paul Levitz and Mike Grell, with Starhaven being a planet from the DC Universe. All other characters are of my own creation.

Did Anyone See Thursday’s Partial Eclipse?

At times, I think it would be very useful to be an octopus. But then, if I was an octopus, I probably wouldn’t be able to do the things I wished I could do, whilst thinking it would be useful being an octopus. Sigh. There are pros and cons with everything.

Take Thursday’s partial eclipse, for example.

I usually miss astronomical events, usually due to three reasons. 1) I’m asleep; 2) I’m in the Place of W; or 3) cloud cover. Thursday morning was covered in cloud. Thick, dark, heavy clouds that hung ominously overhead. All around the edges was very bright, but up above not so. I was also in the Place of W which didn’t help matters any.

However, come 11am the clouds miraculously dispersed, meaning it would be possible to get a glimpse of the eclipse after all. I had a few minutes to work out where the Sun was, and then see if I could capture it on camera.

The cloud cover would have been useful, thinking about it, as long as the Sun could be seen peeping through. The last partial eclipse we had, also when I was in the Place of W, occurred on a cloudy day, yet I managed to get some good photos of it through the cloud. That day, however, the skies had a slight feel of Armageddon, which made the whole thing a little more surreal.

Back to Thursday. I looked through the office window, to see if I could see the Sun. At first I couldn’t see it, but used the angle of the shadows on the window frames to work out where the Sun was. Then I leant at an angle that shouldn’t really be achievable by any human (although it would probably be an easy one for a contortionist), as the Sun was hidden behind the overhang of the roof. Being in my impossible pose, I now saw the Sun and then couldn’t see another thing for about two minutes.

Well, I could see a black circle surrounded by red… or was it a red one surrounded by black? I think it alternated as I blinked, as I hastily tried to get to view this eclipse. I wasn’t going to miss this astronomical event. No way.

Fortunately, my blind spot faded, and I could see again. I grabbed a piece of card, and pierced a hole through it with a handy pin. I placed a sheet of paper on the window sill, and then angled the card so that the image of the Sun appeared on the paper. I then reached for my mobile phone, and holding the card in one hand, looking at the paper with one eye, holding the camera with the other hand, and looking at the image in the phone’s screen with the other eye, managed to get a photo of the event. As it happened!

The photo wasn’t the best however.

But, if you tilt your head and squint your eyes at a certain angle, you can just about make out the Moon moving over the Sun at around 1 o’clock. (In case you were wondering, the lines on the photo were printed on the other side of the piece of paper – I didn’t have a plain sheet of A4 to hand!)

At least I saw it… and that’s all that matters!

Posted for Debbie’s Six Word Saturday. The link will take you to her site, where you can see what a real photograph should look like!