29 Aug 11. I shared this image about 6 years ago, when most of you were not part of the distribution. A chance meeting with a local long time resident of Kingston on Saturday brought the photo to mind. It was taken while on a bird shoot hosted by the MD Dept of Game. All the birds were injury recovered raptors but not capable of survival on their own, so they are kept by the MD Game Dept for display and education about raptors. This one had been shot and had wing damage and was no longer capable of flight. This was true of several others. The individual with whom I was talking on Saturday mentioned the stupidity of some of the current EPA rues concerning certain birds, siting among other things an attempt to shut down the local milling operation for 5 months at a time in close by Port Gamble, WA because a pair of Bald Eagles had decided to build a nest atop a working crane. The mill won the challenge. He was told he couldn't use about a third of his own property when a neighbor saw a pair of eagles starting to build a nest in one of his trees. He said he discouraged them and they moved on. Just north of Bellingham there is a very large timber land holding the owners of which got wind of a new upcoming law a couple years back that said any eagle would require a minimum of 5 Acres of surrounding land to be permanently vacated. They found 20 pairs of eagles on the land; none of which are here today. It is stupid rulings such as these that cause these magnificent birds to be exterminated. Anyone who has been around these huge birds knows that they don't care about their surrounds; if they want to build a nest somewhere they will do it irrespective of who or what is nearby. They don't need seclusion or protection! Somehow we need to get a lot smarter so we can successfully co-exist with our fellow creatures and recognize that we can share the wonderful world without the repeated stupid behavior on our part. ISO 200; 1/1000 sec @ f / 5.6 80-400 VR.
30 Aug 11. Tuesday was slated for my trip to Mt Rainier to shoot alpine flowers, high lakes, and mountains. A combination of bad guesses by the weather guessers and inspection schedules by the state is preventing same, but I do believe a flower photo should still be in the offing. Shooting a lot of macro stuff as I do, and listening to the comments I get about it, I am more than just a little inclined to think that the majority of adults, and all modern kids included, simply fail to take the time to look closely at these magnificent creations and note all the intricate detail. For those of you who do not know me well, I do not believe for even a fraction of a second that it all came about by chance! The image for today is a close up of an Icelandic Poppy, one of my favorite flowers. Take a bit of time and study it carefully; I'll wager you will see more than you've ever imagined prior when just looking at the flower in its entirety. Think about what it is designed to accomplish, and then how that has been engineered into what you are seeing. A great book on this general subject, which I've mentioned before, and which would be a required text in any class in Biology or Mathematics I would endeavor to teach, and which I highly recommend to any of you who are either home schooling your children or thinking of so doing, is titled A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe: The Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art, and Science by Michael S. Schneider. In fact, I HIGHLY recommend it to every one of you on this list!! It is, unfortunately, out of print, but there are still lots of copies available for as little as $6, and you'll never spend $6 better. It will open your eyes to the engineering designs found throughout nature and copied knowingly or otherwise by mankind. Today's submission would be touched upon in more than one chapter. ISO 200; 1/400 sec @ f /16.
31 Aug 11. If there is one animal I truly don't like, it would be house cats. For many reasons, not the least of which is the destruction they are wreaking on song birds, but then, since they are by nature hunters, I guess my feelings in this one case should be directed to those who irresponsibly let them outside. And of course, since I really don't like them, they all go out of their way to rub against my leg, or jump in my lap, or worse. All except for Tom. Tom is one of a pair of brother sister cats who live with Mini, although from Mini's perspective, they don't exist. During the first 7 weeks I was house sitting Tom either gave me a wide berth or would come up and ask for attention, and then HISS at me and try to swipe me with his claws if I provided same. Nice cat. About three days prior to the end of my "visit", Tom suddenly became this totally affectionate little pussy who wanted nothing more than to jump in my lap, rub against me, and /or put his butt in my face. A truly delightful experience. Tom liked to bring "presents" into the garage and leave them for me, things he had either killed or maimed and then left to die, including, on one occasion, a large rodent like animal that had crawled into a shoe to expire. I only found it after the garage aroma led me there. A real treat! During this past week I've found a couple of maimed and dead small rodents in our garage at the property, and I'm wondering if Tom is providing us with an early welcome aboard package. I guess time will tell. Meanwhile I fond two very small, but real cute, mice in the basement Tuesday to which Jan's first comment is we need a cat. WRONG. So now I have a puzzle to solve that I think needs rapid attention. How did they get in, and why were both of them near death at the time I found them, one in the tub and the other in the middle of the floor. And where was Tom? ISO 200; 1/250 sec @ f / 9.