Thursday, April 30, 2015

Ace Hardware Out of Touch

I like my local Ace Hardware store, but their recent mail advertisement is out of touch with Californians and with my community. Below is the flyer I received in the mail yesterday, plus my annotations.

Corporations do not have to be insensitive to make money. The flyer could have advertised low-flow shower heads, more efficient sprinklers, or other products urgently needed to help cut water use. Their concept of a green, fertilized, and chemically treated yard is also outdated, primarily, for being water dependent. Our water utility is offering help with removing lawns, while Ace is saying make them greener. Why? So they yards will be more valuable as sod?

The last item missed another opportunity. Wildomar is trying to preserve our dark sky for our own enjoyment as well as to help preserve research at nearby Palomar Observatory. Ace could be promoting lighting that provides safety and security without creating glare, cluster, light trespass, and light pollution.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Lighting in Wildomar: Glarebombs slip though the cracks

A new building in Wildomar has installed lighting that violates Wildomar's municipal code and creates a safety hazard near a public school.

The Wildomar City Council has taken action on lighting violations in the past, and so this presents another problem-solving opportunity. It may be difficult to correct this building, as so much lighting has already been installed. The parking lot lighting needs to be of a lower color temperature (no higher that 3500 k). The wall-mounted glare bombs are useless, and need to removed or replaced. Even the decorative post lamps fail because they aren't adequately shielded.

These glare bombs are on Bundy Canyon Road across from Elsinore High School, a route that is frequently tread by youth showing poor judgment when crossing roads. The area is fairly dark, but now a motorist will have to see the students' dark silhouettes against the glare from the building.

This is how a community loses its dark sky.


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Lunar Eclipse, 3 April 2015

I've been in the desert for a couple days chasing the eclipse but caught a few other gems as well. Photo 1 is the eclipse, which makes me want to draw a distinction between total visual and total photographic. This eclipse skirted the edge of the earth's inner shadow and though it appeared completely in shadow, none of my photos show a completely shadowed moon.

These photos show one of those scenes not seen in nature, except when it is seen in nature. You will never see a setting crescent moon with the lit side of the crescent up, unless of course, it's a partial eclipse that is setting with the shadow conveniently on the bottom side. 

Below is a sun pillar that greeted me on sunrise (the vertical column about the point of sunrise). 

Last is the kind of thing perhaps only I like: a contrail being replaced by it's own shadow.