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It’s Saturday February 1st and coming home late in the afternoon I spotted a very familiar cloud formation in the Southwest.

Moving quickly across the sky at about 20 mph this ever changing cloud vortex in the sunset light was the first one of the year that I had spotted.

Within 10 minutes it was out of view from my location. Never the less, a great start to cloud chasing this early in the year!

 

I shot this image I little while ago during our frigid cold snap.

I was looking for a different way to shoot my favorite subject in the winter, ice crystals!

Here is a shot of ice crystals with the setting sun low on the horizon, as it backlit the crystals.

 

Me and Mr. Mandela

A chance meeting with a world leader was just not what I anticipated on January 20, 1993. It is still remarkable even today almost 20 years later.

The place was Washington D.C., in front of the Capitol building waiting for the Inauguration of our 42nd President, Bill Clinton.

I was a photographer for the New Britain Herald at the time, covering the Inauguration and its festivities that followed it.

The photographers who were actually covering the event had to go through security at 6am in the morning, a full 6 hours before the swearing in ceremony. After waiting in line since 4am to make sure I had gotten a good position I had finally made it to my position by in sub freezing temperatures. Before me was a sea of hundreds of chairs facing a patriotically decorated Capitol Building.

I was all alone when I noticed a man all by himself dressed in a suit taking a seat in the middle of all the hundreds of chairs right in front of the inaugural stand. This was at 9am, three hours before the proceedings were going to start. What a great image I thought to myself as I fired off a few frames of film. Now, I had to make my way down there to get his name to make the picture caption complete.

I walked over and stood next to him, and introduced myself and said it was an interesting picture of him with all the empty chairs around him. He said he liked to be out in the open as much as possible. He said his name was Nelson. Nelson Mandela.

I did not know a lot about this man, but I did recognize his name and where he was from, and his history of being in prison for 27 years. He motioned to me to sit with him while he waited for his family to arrive. We talked for about 10 minutes about what a great day this was to see an inauguration of an American President and the freedom we have here in the United States. His family arrived and my short time with “Nelson” was over as he introduced me to his family. As I stood up to leave I shook his hand and asked If I could take a picture of him. He said of course, and took two frames of his gentle face.

Little did I know he was going to be the President of South Africa a year later, holding the position for six years.

The Clinton Inauguration proceeded, and I got some great images throughout the day.

As I write this twenty years later, it is not the Clinton Inauguration that I remember as much, but the short quiet time that I spent with a gentle, quiet man, with a great smile. Nelson.

 

 

 

 

 

I had a busy week spreading “the word of astronomy” this week!

Thanks Westport Astronomical Society for hosting me at their monthly meeting, talking about the worst things an astronomer has to contend with.

We even saw a rocket launch from Wallops, Va. from atop their observatory. Nice showing of people too!

Secondly, I wish to thank the Cragin Memorial Library in Colchester for hosting me in their monthly lecture series about beginners astronomy.

Another great night, showing the attendees, wonders of the night sky that they can experience for themselves at home!

Hybrid Eclipse

The sun played a cruel hide-and-seek game with me this morning.

I took a drive down to Old Saybrook this morning to see if I could get a clear shot over Long Island Sound of the Hybrid Solar Eclipse this morning.

Arriving at 5:00am the skies looked pretty good right down to the water level. By 6:00am clouds appeared, it was getting worse, and continued to do so while the sun was struggling to show itself.

About 10 minutes after the sun had risen I caught a glimpse of it in between the clouds and managed to fire off a few frames.

Here is what I captured. Shortly after, a rain shower started driving the few of us early risers that were by the Dock-N-Dine restaurant back to our respective cars and leave.

I am glad I managed to get anything at all!

 

 

 

Halloween Foliage

While covering an assignment in Simsbury, Connecticut I was very surprised to find a lot of colors on the trees in this beautiful community. I also found some of the largest and best displays of Halloween Foliage. This “paper thin” white foliage streamers were perfectly adorned around a small strip mall on Hopmeadow Road.

If this is what they do in Simsbury for Halloween, I can’t wait to see what they do this year for Christmas!

A project that I have always wanted to do all my life has been finally completed!

I finished publishing my first book called “ Through my lens:  The City Of New Britain Fire Department. ”

After covering the fire department for the past 40 years I have put together some of the best photos that represent the bravery, courage, and tradition of the New Britain Fire Department.

It contains 175 of many never seen before images in color and black and white of action during fires, accidents, rescues, and more!

 

 

This limited edition is available now and can be ordered by contacting me through my email at chaniewski@comcast.net

The price for this part of New Britain’s history is $21.99 and is available at Leaves and Pages Bookstore at 59 Main Street in New Britain.

If your out of town and would still like the book I can gladly mail it out to you. The price, plus tax and shipping would be $26.00.

Contact me for the details! chaniewski@comcast.net

I will also be having a book signing at Leaves and Pages on October 19th from 10am-2pm.

Stop in, say hello. I would love to meet you!

Own this unique part of New Britain history. Buy it for yourself or a friend. Makes a great gift for the upcoming holidays!

Here is a page from the book.

 

 

 

 

 

After talking this morning with my friend and meteorologist Joe Furey about the Windsor Locks tornado we decided that a lot of people have forgotten about it.

I spent the afternoon today digging through some of the hundreds of images that I have from October 3rd and beyond. The memories are still vivid that I remember of all the rescues going on, and all the damage I saw for miles from Windsor to Windsor Locks.

Here are some of the images.

This is what is left of the Bradley Air Museum.

Firefighters from all over the region responded to the large scene of destroyed homes and businesses searching for victims.

 

Winds were so powerful that it wrapped bedding material around trees like it was paper.

 

 

While on assignment at work in Middletown look what I found at the entrance to a nearby cemetery.

It was early morning and there was heavy fog throughout the area coming off of the Connecticut River. A perfect combination for water droplets to form on this delicate spider web.

Nature is just beautiful!

Rainbow Cloud

Captured this at 5:00pm today while imaging the planet Venus during the daytime.

Rainbow cloud – (aka a Circumhorizontal Arc)
This rare rainbow cloud effect occurs when “the sun is high in the sky, at least 58° above the horizon, and can only occur in the presence of cirrus clouds. The phenomenon is quite rare because the ice crystals must be aligned horizontally to refract the high sun.

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