1,000 Readers

In the basket and room for more

To my readers from 105 countries who have visited in 2020. Thank You!!

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

700 Readers

700 in the basket and room for more

Here is a list of the 85 countries you are from, ordered by number of reads so far in 2019. Thank You!!

United StatesIndiaCanadaUnited KingdomGermanyAustraliaFranceSpainJapanSwitzerlandNetherlandsPhilippinesItalyUnited Arab EmiratesNigeriaAustriaMalaysiaPakistanBrazilSwedenIndonesiaIrelandGreeceRussiaFinlandKenyaSingaporeNew ZealandGuatemalaPolandHong Kong SAR ChinaSouth AfricaSaudi ArabiaThailandAzerbaijanPortugalArgentinaMexicoVietnamChinaColombiaGuamSouth KoreaNorwayAnguillaQatarBangladeshRomaniaPeruSri LankaCroatiaSlovakiaGibraltarCzech RepublicTurkeyBosnia & HerzegovinaDenmarkSt. MartinPapua New GuineaHungaryPalestinian TerritoriesBelgiumIsraelChileAmerican SamoaBulgariaSerbiaSt. BarthélemyMacedoniaOmanNepalMaltaPuerto RicoCameroonUkraineLithuaniaCambodiaSenegalCôte d’IvoireArmeniaEuropean UnionIraqTunisiaMaldivesGuernseyBahamasLaos
Copyright 2019 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Balloon over Home

Waiting for the Whooooosh

Whoosh….whoosh. Taking out the garbage last Monday evening, July 15th, I heard the unmistakable sound of a liquid propane burner. As the propane is gasified and ignited, the flame and exhaust is directed into the balloon, all under control of the human operator. What a sound!!

This year, hot air balloons started launching from West Hill and, when the breeze (balloons never launch in winds, as far as I know) is right the balloon and gondola full of passengers drift in the direction of our home. One time, directly overhead, I estimate 200 feet away. We could clearly see and converse with the passengers. What fun.

Each previous viewing I regretted not filming the balloon as the vision floated away. Last Monday, I dropped everything (not literally, I did leave the garbage in the bin), mounted the Canon lens EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM on a EOS 1Ds Mark III body, returning to the north side of our property as the balloon emerged from the trees, only the envelope visible.

We have enjoyed this balloon before, the envelope pattern evokes a classic Navajo Rug, the colors really pop against the blue sky.

Why the Whooooosh?

Tourists and local residents pay $230 per person for the experience of floating silently over Finger Lakes landscape with a launch from Trumansburg, ending up over Ithaca, in its valley surrounded by hills. Cayuga Lake is visible the entire flight, to the east, then northeast as the path reaches Ithaca. As they approached the balloon elevation was not so high relative to our home. You can see this clearly in the first photograph. With the zoom on 300 mm I was almost able to look into the basket, each of the four riders (the operation, looking at a cell phone, and three passengers) was recognizable.

There are three propane burners, two in front and the edge of a third just visible between the front pair.

Ethereal silence and reveres are broken when the burner lights up. Here it appears only one burner is running, sending the craft high above us.

Seven of the forty images are shared here. The duration was three minutes. With a goal of capturing the action, I had the camera on burst mode, with the shutter pressed the exposures run serially, in close succession.

I perfected these seven photographs to represent the perfection of this colorful event as it passed from the northwest, disappearing in the tree line to the southeast.

I am listening for the next event, camera and lens ready.

Post script….it was my usual early morning blogging time when I heard the familiar Whooooosshh, whoooosssshhh, grabbed my IPhone for a video and captured the following. You will hear the gondola occupants chatting. The burner was turned on at 1:03 when the balloon was fairly distant. The Whoooosssshhhh is low, but audible.

Today, they were headed North/Northwest in the opposite direction from Monday and are backlit. Enjoy!!

Copyright 2019 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved