Thursday, 31 March 2011

Some Soothing Photos.........

Well, my surgery was cancelled yesterday, so I thought I would pass some time looking at some old photos........ a few soothing photos to keep you readers happy in my absence.........

A goose on the Fraser River near Steveston, British Columbia

Gansbaai, South Africa - a stroll at sunset

Sunset at the waterhole, Etosha National Park, Namibia

I shall be back soon......even sooner if they cancel again!

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Macro Monday - Northern Flicker

The other day, I was sitting at my computer, staring out the window, daydreaming working really, really hard, when, all of a sudden, someone decided that it would be a good idea to start using a pneumatic drill on my roof. I was not impressed and neither was my cat.

"What the bloody hell!" I declared

"Prrrrruupppp!!!" she declared.

We both craned our necks out of the window and what should flash by? A red-shafted northern flicker (Colaptes auratus). Not a pneumatic drill, afterall - which I was quite relieved about, since I don't recall giving anyone permission to use a drill up there. These most beautiful of birds are quite common around here and the males like to communicate and declare their territories by drumming on things, including, apparently, my roof. Unlike most woodpeckers, they actually like to eat ants and other creepy crawlies down on the ground. They use their rather impressive beaks to find their lunch in your lawn and their long barbed tongues to ensnare innocent invertebrates.

So, I was quite the happy birder when, yesterday, we manage to catch one of these woodpeckers in one of our mist nets.  It was a female and she was just fabulous!

While I was out nerding birding, a little oregon junco flew down and posed quite nicely for a few photos before tweeting goodbye. No, he didn't have a cell phone - he really did tweet.........

For more Macro Monday, go here.

Oh and just so that you don't worry about me over the next few weeks, I will be going AWOL - the time has come to deal with the not-a-baby-bump and apparently they don't have WiFi at the hospital - what!?!?! Useless public health system. I bet if there was a private option, they would offer WiFi........

Thursday, 24 March 2011


.......and no, I am not talking about my brother!

Nope, I am talking about this:

 A supermoon is, and I quote astrologer Richard Nolle, 1979:

"A new or full moon which occurs with the Moon at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit (perigee). In short, Earth, Moon and Sun are all in a line, with Moon in its nearest approach to Earth."

This happened on the 19th  March, 2011, so I am a little late with my posting, but better late than never, eh?

Oh, and there is no truth to any comments about the supermoon being responsible for natural disasters, such as the Japanese or Indonesian earthquakes and tsunamis. It is all just a bunch of hooey (sp?), much like most other things reported in the news today. I could get into a little (big?) rant about this, but apparently I don't have to - Baino has already taken care of it for me. Thanks Baino!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Macro Monday: Woodlice

Woodlice, aka "armadillo bug", "carpenter" (Newfoundland), "cheeselog" (Reading, Berkshire), "cheesy bug" (North-West Kent), "doodlebug" (also used for the larva of an antlion), "pill bug" (usually applied only to the genus Armadillidium), "potato bug", "roly-poly", "sow bug", "roll up bug", "chuggypig" or "chucky pig", "slater","gramersow" (Cornwall), "butcher boy" or "butchy boy" (Australia), and "wood bug" (British Columbia, Canada). Thank you, Wikipedia!

Cheeselog - really!?!

No idea how it managed to get all of those names, but I discovered 50 million of them in my compost heap this morning, so I thought I would take some photos. I believe my woodlice are European woodlice (Oniscus asellus). Thanks to Dave Ingram for the ID help.

Help! I have fallen and I can't get up!

I think from now on I am going only going to take photos of things that can't move......I am guessing that it is a hell of a lot less frustrating.

Trying to Escape!
For more Macro Monday, go here.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Macro Monday : Grass of Parnassus

Last week, I posted what I thought was a fiendishly difficult Macro Monday Mystery. Obviously, I was wrong, since nearly all of you guessed what it was.

Sooo, I thought that I would skulk off back to my archives to find something nobody could ever possibly guess - mwah-ha-ha! But then I got sidetracked and found this delightful flower instead. So, you are spared from the agony of a macro mystery and can ponder the beauty of nature instead.

This is the flower of the grass of Parnassus, aka a bog star - not quite such a glamorous name, so I shall stick with the Parnassus name. Parnassus is, of course, a mountain in Greece, sacred to Apollo and home of the Muses, perhaps. This photo was not taken in Greece, or anywhere near Greece for that matter, but in Denali National Park in Alaska, at the base of the slopes of Mt. Denali. Spectacular place, with stunning scenery and wildlife, although I can't really recommend the weather, at least not in July !

For more Macro Monday, go here.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Macro Monday : Mystery # 10 - The Answer

Funny really - whenever I think a Macro Mystery is easy, hardly anyone gets it, but when I think it is a difficult one, nearly everyone gets it!?!

So, well done all of you that correctly identified the photo as a macro shot of some coral.

Here is a shot of a simlar coral from further away:

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Macro Monday : Mystery # 10

I know, I just did one of these, but as I was scanning through some of my photos I noticed this one. It is an unusual photo and I think that it will be quite the challenge for you this week. It almost looks unreal, or perhaps it looks so macro that it could be a component of one of your cells. Now, while I do like really macro and I like to get really close, even I don't have an electron microscope at home! So trust me, you do not need a microscope to see one of these.

Anyhoo, here is your photo:

Since I did not put much effort into this week's photo, I don't really expect you to either. I shall also give you a few clues.........

You will definitely not find this in your garden, now or at anytime of the year, no matter where you live.

Try looking at around 60fsw, and remember, don't stay down too long and never, ever hold your breath on the way up!

Oh, and just so that you know, fsw does not stand for friction stir welding, female sex worker or Fox Sports World!

For more Macro Monday, go here.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

I Had a Little Nut Tree........

And the answer is............hazel!

The first photos are photos of the female flower of the hazel - very small and very sticky, to catch any pollen drifting by.

The third photo is the end of one of the male flowers - the pollen-producing catkin.

Well done Jane!