Friday, December 21, 2012

An Experiment with Video

The skies in Elephant Butte are clear tonight.  I went out with my little HandiCam and a tripod just to see what I might be able to get.  Here is the result - a video showing the planet Jupiter.  While very grainy, 4 of its moons may be seen, in a line tilted to the right about 30 degrees from vertical.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Water Returns to Elephant Butte Lake

In 2010, Elephant Butte Lake was a vast reservoir, used for fishing and watersports, as well as military training for diver deployment and recovery.  From my campsite, the lake stretched several miles wide to the mountains on the far side.

When Texas was hit so hard by drought and wildfires, water was exported to the neighboring state and the lake level dropped substantially.  Since then, it has dropped even more.  When I got here in late October, there was no more lake visible, just a narrow channel that carried a trickle of water and was named the Rio Grande.  Not so grand...

We were able to drive to what had been the center of the lake, over 1.5 miles into the lake bottom, where former lake bed had become flat plain.

Now, six weeks later, the flow in the Rio Grande has increased substantially and the lake is slowly filling.  What used to be dry flat soil with a covering of grasses and scrub brush is now a marsh.

Slowly, the reflections that gave me such nice images to photograph are returning.  Dawn is once again a spectacle worth arising to see.