The moon and the sun; so different yet so similar

The sun has been around since the beginning of the solar system. The moon is a little younger than that. They are both unique in the sense that we cannot do without them. I remember reading somewhere that the dinosaurs became extinct partly because sunlight was obliterated and the vegetation the dinosaurs depended upon disappeared because of severe cooling of our planet! Imaging what will happen to us without sunlight: Imaging the total disappearance of the moon!

The moon and the sun are similar in the sense that they both give us light. The sun gives warm to hot sunlight while the moon gives soothing moonlight. The sun brightens our days and the moon our nights. They both rise in the east and set in the west!  They are both round in configuration. When there is a solar eclipse, and is total, they both look of the same size! We do know however, that the sun is the largest structure in the solar system! It is obviously not the same size as the moon.

The sun is the focus of our planet as the center of the solar system which formed over 4.6 billion years ago. The earth moves around (orbits) the sun while the moon, on the other hand, moves around (orbits) the earth. The sun is a fiery stuff. It is inhabitable and we may not be able to reach it. Remember Icarus! The moon, on the other hand, is a cool stuff. We have even been there, walked on it, took some rock samples.

Each time I lock my camera lens on the moon and the sun, I see the differences.

The sun is blinding, very unfriendly. The rays are scattered in different directions. There are obvious reflections on surfaces particularly water surfaces such as the lake or the ocean. Tracking my lens through tree branches or corn fields tend to exaggerate the sun’s rays. Several colored reflections could be seen. A huge halo or perhaps a rainbow is almost always present around the sun. Sun rise and sun set are so colorful with various shades of significantly bright fiery orange color lighting up the sky! Does it want to set us on fire? Even when it finally sets and you cannot see it, the colors on the sky line are just as majestic. A reminder that it is not done with us!

The moon, on the other hand, is friendly. It is cool. It always tells me all will be OK! Very rarely do you see the rays. Perhaps some mild halo around it but by and large the margins are clean. Seeing it on a cloudless day is a wonderful sight particularly when it is full. Sometimes I think it is moving! Light clouds are easily penetrated and you could see the moon just hiding behind the clouds. Sometime it comes with its own rainbow or halo surrounding it! Once it sets, it usually leaves no trace of its presence.

I have selected some photos to show the differences and similarities of the sun and the moon. Enjoy.

Ado Ekiti Butterflies

I have grown to like butterflies, such beautiful and delicate creatures. My initial exposure to butterflies was at the urging of my niece. I have since photographed butterflies at protected facilities. I have written two children’s books using some of those photos.

This collection represents my first attempt at photographing butterflies in the wild. The location was along Omisanjana road in Ado Ekiti Nigeria. It was a totally different experience. I understand most entomologists have to capture the butterflies to identify them. I am not an entomologist. All I want to do is to have fun photographing these beautiful creatures without harming them.

The butterflies I encountered on this shoot were totally different from the ones I had seen and photographed in North America! It was really hilarious running after these insects with the distinct barriers of the bush and vegetation between us! I have since learned that some of these are native to the tropics and West Africa specifically. The butterflies were more active in the mornings than any other times of the day. Chasing them was fun with their definitely unpredictable behavior in their natural habitat, flying around, resting on leaves and lawn, feeding on rotten mangoes, nectar  and pollen, or just enjoying the company of each other, hanging out! Some have damaged wings while most look beautiful with normal wings.

High definition photos and posters of these butterflies are available upon request.

The Hills of Ekiti

Ekiti State is one of the states in South Western Nigeria. The state is located in the North Eastern corner of the South West geopolitical zone.

 ‘The state is mainly an upland zone rising over 250 meters above sea level with a rhythmically undulating surface. The landscape consists of ancient plains broken by steep-sided outcropping dome rocks’. These rocks occur singly or in groups or ridges providing a spectacularly majestic scenic view of the landscape. The state derives its name from the ruggedness of the terrain. It is a very scenic state due to its hills and ridges.

Not all the outcropped rocks are dome shaped however. The domes are mostly devoid of significant vegetation. There are multiple flat topped rocky hills forming plateaus also devoid of significant vegetation. There is a large number of rhythmic raised plains covered with dense rain forest type vegetation almost reminiscent of ‘sea or ocean waves’ as seen from a distance. Some of the ridges appear stacked one behind the other in some places. Some of the rocks appear in boulders of various sizes with multiple boulders stacked up one on top of the other and behind the other. Some of the boulders are found at the foothills.

Some of the outcropped rocks are perhaps igneous or metamorphic in nature. Most are dark, shining and smooth or rough surfaced with evidence of weathering effect. The hilly ridges provide a panoramic hilly green scenery as you drive through the state. This is probably responsible for the winding roads common throughout the state. Where the roads have been cut through the hills you could see evidence of layering suggestive of sedimentary rock formations while some show evidence of limestone, quartz or other minerals deposition.

In the rural areas, some of the ridges and hills show evidence of forest denudation probably from farming process while most continue to show evidence of virgin forest coverage. In the towns and cities, housing developments are noted to have crept to the foothills. Some hill tops have become abode for the wealthy! Foot paths are present along some of these hills consistent with human traffic to and from the top of the hills.

Some of the hills particularly the granite domes have some interesting “history” mostly related to their uses during the early settlements of their respective surrounding communities. Some are deified and worshiped with annual festivals staged for sacrifices and as tourist attractions.

I have selected some photos that capture some of the characteristics described in this blog. Posters or high definition photos of these mountains/hills are available upon request.