Welcome to my collection of essays on astronomy, microscopy and natural history.

In November, 1997, I began studying astronomy. When I started out, I could only identify the Big Dipper. I have learned to recognize all of the constellations in the Northern Hemisphere and have observed hundreds of deep sky objects including star clusters, nebulae and galaxies. I currently own seven telescopes, including a Celestron 80ED refractor and a Celestron 9.25 Schmidt-Cassegrain that I often use for sidewalk astronomy. I also have a Coronado Personal Solar Telescope that I use every day the sun is shining for solar observing. I have also used the PST in daytime sidewalk astronomy on occasion.

While working at a telescope store, Scope City, in 2001, I discovered the wonderful world of microscopy. The life contained inside a drop of water is fascinating and ever changing and in many ways, learning about what you are seeing is more challenging and intriguing than learning the night sky. Planets, star clusters, nebulae, galaxies and even comets can be found by looking on a map and tracking them down. What you see through the microscope is random and constantly changing and the guides to identification are full of latin names and obscure terminology. When learning astronomy, there are now hundreds, if not thousands of web sites to help you get started. With microscopy, I can think of half a dozen web sites at the most. Nevertheless, pond water holds ancient life, often in amazing numbers and its possible to see examples from four or five of the kingdoms of life in a field of view less than a millimeter square. My main microscope is a Lomo Biolam compound with a binocular head.

I have enjoyed Natural History all my life, but it wasnt until I discovered the microscope that I started studying Biology and reading great Natural Historians such as Edwin Way Teale and John Muir, among many others. My wife introduced me to birding and botanizing and we have enjoyed many great vacations and day trips in Northern California and throughout the Western States, birding, botanizing, star gazing and enjoying the wonders of Nature.

These essays are random musings on what Ive learned and what Id like to share with others. Im glad that you have stumbled upon this site and hope that you enjoy your stay here. The wonders of the Universe are truly amazing and by seeing them, we feel connected and whole. My personal view is that if we were all truly aware of all of the wonders around us, the majority of the worlds problems would disappear. An, in fact, when I am looking through the telescope or the microscope or enjoying a beautiful sunrise, all of my problems do disappear. I become a child again and see the world as it really is - beautiful and amazing.

Sidewalk Astronomer
Day Star
A Drop of Water
Saturn Rising