Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Fall Colors, No Commercial Motive

 Found a beautiful Dogwood leaf on the pavement at FRC and got out my phone/camera.  This was a couple of days ago.  This morning I saw 9 Wild Turkeys within 15 feet of the path I was on.  They didn't panic, so I stopped and carefully reached for my phone.  Discovered that I had left it at home.  Oh, well.  When I got home, this photo I took a couple of Falls ago got my attention and the Dogwood leaf lingered in my mind.  During that special Fall the Cascara Sagrada, a buckthorn, was bearing many colors of leaf simultaneously, and sight winds were dropping the full range on the ground.  I gathered up six of them and placed them on a large sheet of white paper for this photo.  These can be mistaken for Dogwood when they display this range of colors.  This year, the same tree has only produced shades of orange and brown.  No reds.  And they all turned at once, so there are no remaining greens.  I'm still hoping to see an Orange Peel Fungus soon, but with no rain in the forecast, maybe they'll skip this year.

But, I like shadows!

 I think this quote from Whitman was meant to be uplifting, but it bothered me.  Maybe it's a lingering memory of playing with shadow puppets as a child, but I've always enjoyed exploring the dark side of things.  Thus, ...
 There we were, at the corner of Main and Pizza Factory, "Me and my Shadow."
 I imagined a visitor from outer space.
Wall hanging....

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Daylight Shifting Time

This Crab Spider image from my photo archive has nothing to do with the topic in today's title.  I just love spiders.  The message, not yet completed, has to do with the fact that it is impossible to "save" time.  We label time, then we run our lives by the labels we choose, some complying readily while others resist.  When we shift the points in our daily rotational cycle what we call sunrise and sunset, we do not save any time.  What is the real meaning of Noon?  Isn't it the time we've labelled as the Sun reaching its zenith on any given day? 

The real reasons for arguing about Daylight Savings are economic.  The idea first occurred to an entomologist over a hundred years ago who thought it might be a good way to have more daylight available after work to observe and collect insects.  I empathize with that idea.  With that said, I should have posted a photo of an insect rather than an arachnid. By World War I, financiers and warmongers (same?) persuaded the Power that Be of advantages to them of adopting Daylight Savings Time.  Bad idea. If we kept our labelling of daily time to correspond to a natural cycle, we still have the option of deciding when to open and close schools and businesses, times for public travel stops, etc.  Some people have more trouble adjusting (getting up? being on time?) than others with or without DST.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Last Flower?

We hiked the Jamison Mine Trail up past Grass Lake on Sunday and got part way uup Mt. Washington.  A casual walk, over some pretty rocky terrain, we enjoyed walking through groves of huge confers and occasional meadows lined by smaller broadleaf trees.  I'll posting tree photos and notes shortly, but wanted to start by posting this photo of Paintbrush, the only flower we saw on the 6-mile venture.  I don't call it an adventure because we knew where we were going.  Backlit by a low sun, it literally glowed from a basically brown ground cover.  Many flowers of many different species will bloom here next spring, but for some reason on this day of cold wind and the ground covered with the yellow leaves of Cottonwood, Maple, Alder, and Willow, a single blooming flower gave me the feeling of a "last of its kind," like seeing the last Passenger Pigeon or the last Dodo.  A sad feeling, really, yet happy to see it. 

Sunday, October 14, 2018

A Little Stem Cell Research

Interpret this any way you wish - was I researching little stem cells (actually, they're all little), or doing a little research on stem cells.  Maybe both.  I just knew I didn't want to take cliched photo of a pumpkin.

Blooming Asters, a bug magnet for Fall.

To me, every flower-pollinator relationship is a wonder.  I got this photo in a nick of time just after my presence disturbed a nearby dog.

How to Make a Dog Growl

For a while, I stood erect while trying to catch a photo of this Cabbage White butterfly on an Aster bush while a beautiful Golden Lab lay around 20 feet away, apparently oblivious to what I was doing.  The butterfly kept coming and going, quicker than I could adjust.  But gradually it started frequenting the lower branches.  I then got down on my knees for a better angle of view.  Suddenly, the Lab got and up barked and growled.  This reminded me of an experience I've had at home recently when my getting down on all fours was a signal to one of our dogs to get angry with me.  I don't know enough of dog behavior to say whether the dog saw me as a potential threatening predator, or potential prey.  I didn't really want to find out, so I cautiously stepped away from the scene.  But not before getting a few more interesting photos.