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Monthly Archives: August 2011

31 Aug

I always get a bit excited prior to any change in season, but the approach of fall seems to hit me the hardest of all the seasons. Perhaps it’s the child in me still anticipating a return to school in the fall or perhaps it’s because I grew up around people for whom fall was the big season – farmers who were about to harvest their crops and hunters who eagerly anticipated getting out into the fields. Mostly I suspect it is something primeval, something buried deep in my genes. Whatever it is, I put this drive or energy or …

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30 Aug

I did my usual step outside before bed move, last night, to check for clear skies and the possibility of doing some astronomy. After allowing my eyes to adapt a bit to the dark, I could see clouds off to the north and west, but the sky was clear overhead. There wasn’t enough time to roll out and setup my big Dobsonian telescope before the clouds rolled in, but there was time to grab the astronomy binoculars and do some quick observing.

I had just finished taking a look at an old binocular goodie, namely M27, in the Nikon 10×70…

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29 Aug

Our home in the north woods includes almost seven acres of coniferous forest and nearly five hundred feet of shoreline on a shallow, weedy, boggy north country lake. The lake isn’t much for swimming and certainly a deathtrap for motorized boats, but it is ideal for kayaking and canoeing and, especially, for birdwatching. Indeed, the bird watching is one of the reasons our lakeside dock is my favorite place on our property. Birding, dock style, with either birding binoculars or birding spotting scope, is an easygoing affair, given the fact that you place a lawn chair on the dock, sit …

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29 Aug

Whew! I had just wheeled my 12.5” Dobsonian telescope back into its shed and carefully packed up all my telescope accessories, this Saturday night, so I paused for a few seconds to catch my breath. I was a little bleary eyed and tired after spending two hours looking through a telescope eyepiece, but it was the good kind of tired – I had managed to locate some not commonly seen objects by being patient and diligent. My telescope, though, after two hours in the heavy dew, was dripping wet, so, yes, definitely time to call it quits. Still, as I …

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26 Aug

Despite their lack of performance compared to full size binoculars, compact binoculars continue to be an extremely popular size of binocular for the general public. Sales remain strong and every binocular manufacturer offers binoculars in this size. Why? How do you explain the continued popularity of these small binoculars when they are at disadvantage compared to their larger counterparts in every optical category?

The answer, of course, is convenience. Compact binoculars are small, lightweight and always there when you need them. You can pack compact binoculars in a purse, a shirt pocket, a business case, a suitcase, the glove compartment…

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25 Aug

What if you can’t find binoculars that open wide enough or close closely enough for your eyes? Help!

The distance between the pupils of your eye is called the interpupillary distance or IPD for short. All binoculars, of course, must open or close enough to accommodate what MOST users need for an IPD. That is why binoculars are designed with a center hinge between the two barrels that allows the binocular to open and close, but the degree of adjustment is finite. It’s enough to accommodate what most people need in the way adjustment, but if you have an IPD…

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24 Aug

Currently, all quiet on the birdwatching scene around our place, up here in the north woods, but migration and the influx of new birds that migration brings is just around the corner for this area. Frosts will arrive in September and leaves will change color in September, too. September is truly an autumn month in the north woods, unlike the extension of summer September can be at more southerly latitudes.

Compared to spring birding, fall birding can be more of a challenge, thanks to the incomplete or different plumages of immature birds. It sometimes takes careful work with the birding …

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23 Aug

Nothing like a little unscheduled astronomy with the binoculars. I say unscheduled in the sense that the weather forecast hadn’t included clear skies, not that I have anything to do about sky conditions, of course. Anyway, there I was in my pajamas, getting ready to call it day and, out of habit, I stuck my head out the deck door to check on the sky. What do you know? Clear skies and plenty of stars, since the moon was not yet up. What’s a girl to do?

Grab her Nikon 10×70 Astroluxe binoculars, that’s what, and then step out onto …

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22 Aug

The tendency for binocular manufacturers to try to make one model of binocular do it all as far as applications go, has been a good thing for binocular users. It’s given us binoculars that can do double and even triple duty or more for various applications. That means there is no need to buy binoculars for each and every binocular application. This overlap in binocular features occurs in nearly all types of binoculars, whether you choose birding binoculars, hunting binoculars, sports binoculars and so on. Yes, one binocular can do it all or, at least come close.

It works like…

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19 Aug

Just what are birding binoculars? Are they binoculars specially designed for birdwatching and only bird watching? If I want to do some bird watching, do I need to replace my current binoculars with a new binocular?

First, if you have a binocular, any binocular, assuming the first binocular is somewhere between 6 and 10, don’t hesitate to try bird watching. What you have, now, in the way of binocular may not be the best choice in a binocular for birding, but it will get you started. It is a mistake to not try bird watching for lack of a so…

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