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Hummingbird

Feb. 3rd, 2016 07:00 pm
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Hummingbird_14


Sometimes you can’t come up with a good joke, even after looking at the photo for several minutes.


Q: Why is a hummingbird small, brightly coloured, and feathery?

A: Because if it were large, grey, and wrinkly, it would be an elephant.


Fortunately, bad jokes abound.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
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Black Tailed Rattlesnake (Crotalus molossus)


These are the two most important bits of a rattlesnake.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Cactus

Jan. 20th, 2016 07:01 pm
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Cactus_5


Side by side, the ocotillo looks like it isn’t even trying.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Bug

Jan. 18th, 2016 07:01 pm
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Bug_1


Sure is humid out.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Hawk

Jan. 16th, 2016 07:01 pm
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Set G-1-2


A couple of years ago, I started playing with a new technique that is only useful in specific cases. At the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, they have a free flight demonstration against a (usually) clear sky. This allows me to do a multiple exposure so you can see the different movements of a hawk’s flight and how they gain speed. Here, it’s particularly interesting how hawks become almost vertical when turning.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
guppiecat: (Default)

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox)_1


Snakes are made by gluing all the scales you have into a big long tube, then, when you run out, sticking the eyes on one end.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
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Steller's Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri)_4


This jay suddenly realized that Burger King has been around for 62 years, which is near the upper end of a monarch’s reign and wonders what they have decided in terms of succession planning.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
guppiecat: (Default)

Prairie Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis)_1


This snake just saw someone on an Internet forum complaining that oil for his brand new $30,000 car cost $22 per quart.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
guppiecat: (Default)

Western Banded Gecko Coleonyx variegatus)


Wakes up in the middle of the night and wishes there was a name for the sort that dream that isn’t a nightmare, but whose happiness and joy leave one saddened and mournful because waking life can never, and will never, compare.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
guppiecat: (Default)

Set H


This is a new-to-me photo technique that I’ve been experimenting with when I have a chance. It’s not usable in most situations, but when it is, I quite like the effect.


Without looking at a composite like this, it can be hard to see how birds actually use their legs.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
guppiecat: (Default)

Net Web Spider (Kukulcania arizonicus)_2


In Arizona, these guys live under couches. Think on that before you go to rescue those cat toys.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
guppiecat: (Default)

HDR Experiment 0_5


High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography is a way to deal with the fact that too much light in one area of an image (like the sky) can make the rest of the image too black. To do it, you need to take several photos together and then super-impose them.


This works better on landscapes than it does on animals.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Hummingbird

Jan. 7th, 2016 07:01 pm
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Hummingbird_23


Turns out, getting photos of hummingbirds in flight can be a bit of a challenge.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
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Bark Scorpion (Centruroides exilicauda)_1


Bark scorpions fluoresce under ultraviolet light, so you can get neat photos like this with appropriate UV illumination.


However, when attending scorpion raves, it is best to avoid the mosh pits.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Frog

Jan. 5th, 2016 07:01 pm
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Frog


Three hours after his interview, he suddenly realizes that “chytrid fungus” was not the best answer to “What is your greatest weakness?”




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Fly

Jan. 4th, 2016 07:01 pm
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Fly_2


Flies sure have a lot of bonus parts.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Monarch tag

Jan. 2nd, 2016 07:01 pm
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Butterfly_15


I’ve long wanted to see a monarch tag in the wild. I was truly fortunate that this tag happened to be attached to a living butterfly.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
guppiecat: (Default)

Elf Owl (Micrathene whitneyi)


It is difficult to get photos of the elf owl, because the museum is mostly open during the day, and elf owls are mostly active at night. I really lucked out when I went last time because there was a special after-hours event. It was still hard to focus, but I finally got it working and, after a decade, was able to get a photo of the lightest owl (and one of three smallest) in the world.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

No

Nov. 17th, 2014 12:01 pm
guppiecat: (Default)

His crime was saying “no”.


When his brother asked him, he said “no”. When his chief demanded, he said “no”. When his wife and daughter begged him, tears streaming down their cheeks, he said “no”.


He would not fight.


The tribe geared for war, each soldier, in turn, giving him a scornful look as they marched. The spouses left behind watching them go, then turning to look, anger glaring from their eyes.


His next chance came with the priest, initiates trailing, hauling a heavy cart. He responded affirmatively to each of the priest’s inquiries … all but one. Yes, he loved his family. Yes, he cared about his friends. Yes, he knew what he should do, what he had been raised to do, since he was a child. But no.


No.


He would not fight.


With a sigh, the priest motioned and the cart was drawn near. Out came the shackles and chains. He did not resist as he was lain in the cart. His only movement, closing his eyes against the bright glaring sun, as he baked in the fiery summer heat, each rock beneath the cart’s wheels lancing pain into his back. Two hours later, he was held at the alter, panting, bleeding.


The priest asked one last time.


Parched from the heat, he could no longer speak. Instead, one slight shake of his head and the priest sighed released him, collapsing between the two standing stones and upon the altar.


There, in a torrent of smoke and flame, he beheld Tekaletali. The god of his family. The god of his tribe. The god of War.


Tekaletali stared and he withered, charring under the gaze of the god. Then he felt the voice, reverberating through the very core of his being.


“YOU WISH TO LIVE …”


“THEN LIVE YOU SHALL. LIVE FOREVER, BURNING IN SUN, FOREVER THIRSTY, FOREVER WANTING, YOUR VERY BLOOD STAINED YELLOW WITH YOUR COWARDICE.”


“YES. LIVE. LIVE AND LOSE ALL YOU HAVE KNOWN AND LOVED.”


He felt himself transformed, stretching, down into the earth, immobile against the sharp piercing rocks, skin cracking in the heat of the sun.


Eons later, there he stays, long after his tribe is gone, vanquished and slain. The altar stones, worn by the winds, broken and pillaged by the enemies of his tribe. All traces of his home, his people, gone. Bones, stones and moans, all turned to dust. And there he stays, forever living, forever bleeding, a blind and mute witness to the passage of time.


He did not have to fight.


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