I may miss some of the events here in town, but I have yet to miss a Waimea Christmas Parade. This year was no exception, I always help out at the CFHT star party afterwards.
The difference this year is that I walked with the Keck float. Actually our parade committee came to me and asked me to take photos, oh… and here is a release form to sign.
Of course this is a lighted parade, not wanting to look out of place I spent the morning soldering and put together a flashing LED hatband for my good cowboy hat. It came out well considering it was put together with what I had lying about. It helped that Deb whipped together a nice band from from nylon webbing to build it on.
As usual the crowd was stunning, half the island shows up for these things. The main street of Waimea is lined ten people deep from end to end, sometimes more than that! Everyone is waving at folks they know in the parade, a true community event.
We will have a traditional Thanksgiving meal this year. I had considered using some of our remaining Alaskan fish to create this year’s feast. But Deb brought home a small turkey.
Not quite ready yet, but getting close…
All sky-watchers are hoping that comet ISON is spectacular when it emerges from the solar glare. there is no guarantee on this, we just do not know. But it could be as pretty as comet Ikeya-Seki or comet McNaught, both of which became far brighter after perihelion passage.If this does happen the question is where to go to photograph the comet. A week ago I found that ISON was slightly behind the ridge from the Mauna Kea VIS. Not badly, but enough to delay when I could acquire the comet and start taking photos.
This recent Saturday I only went partway up the Mauna Kea access road, just high enough to be clear of the clouds and haze. There is a turnoff on the east side of the road just above the cattle guard at about 8,000 ft, one mile below Hale Pohaku. Plenty of room to park a vehicle or two and plenty of level ground to take photos from.
This morning I was one of six cars traveling in a group towards Waimea. Then the rainbow appeared, nothing odd about that, rainbows are common here. This rainbow was a little more intense than usual, worth a second look. I slowed to allow the jeep in front of me to pull over, no surprise… An obvious tourist in a rental car and a pretty rainbow, he was going to pull over.
As we proceeded toward town the rainbow just got brighter. The next car pulled over, this time a local in an older vehicle. Then the next car, and the next, there is plenty of room to park along the Mamalahoa Highway south of Waimea.
I was now one of two vehicles from the original six… Why not?
I pull over to take photos of the rainbow.
Rainbows are not just common in Waimea, they are nearly an everyday occurrence. With the trade-winds blowing you can see a rainbow every morning and evening near the Waimea airport. Moonbows are also common in the blowing mist conditions that are prevalent here. It takes a truly spectacular rainbow to draw much comment.
A rainbow that has five out of six cars pull over?