Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Big'uns in the Grass

Relatively cool and rainy July weather has been conducive to at least one thing:

Behold the Agaricus campestris growing on a nearby lawn (iPhone 4 photo).

Cactus bloom

An unidentified cactus/succulent bloom.  We have several cactus dishes that we set outside every summer.  This one apparently liked the warm humid weather we've been having.

Shot with the EF-S60mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens; 1/60 sec;   f/22;   ISO 100; using a ring flash.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Sunday flower garden, part 3

A couple of shots that didn't make it from yesterday.

One rather emaciated fly.  I love the macro detail on the bell flower anatomy.

 A scrunched up honey bee, but otherwise nice detail.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Bud to an aster

A bee to that aster

An Ode to Pollen

I heard this bee tell me today:

"I don't just like pollen.
I LOVE pollen!
Cover myself in it until all you see of me
is pollen.

Going to shake my face in yo anthers
and go bwahaha!"

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Web crawler

The back porch exit was blocked by this last night:

The Orb-Weaver spider (Araneidae family) is putting the finishing touches on a new acquisition.

This was the first time that I tried using the ring flash on the Canon EF-S17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM lens.  The 77mm flash mount to the lens caused a very pronounced circular tunnel effect in the picture that I have cropped out.  That little glow at about 8:00 (p.m.) from the center of the web is a clouded-over moon.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

An Unexpected Jest

I don't often bother reading the details behind the latest updates on my iPad apps.  This one, however, from the International Movies Database caught my eye:

"Bug fixes.  Nasty tricksy bugsies.  We hates them!"

The Mascaron Mouse (or the Green Rodent)

I've had a fascination with Stewart Hall, having photographed it several times. I've heard tales of an architectural Easter Egg hidden in the interior, and today was my first chance to look for it.  Figures that I didn't have my DSLR handy.

The nice lady who pointed out the mouse to me is also apparently the one who also dressed this particular one up for Saint Patrick's Day.  Yes, I know it's now the middle of July.  Maybe it should have been done up like Uncle Sam.

I've been told that there are four such mice (rats?) on four pillars on the first floor.  If you were to look for them, look up, because they're about seven or eight feet up from the floor.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Yesterday & Today

It's been too long since I put the camera to use.


One side of the house has been planted with flowers that barely get noticed by anyone, as it's the narrowest portion of our lot and is mostly hidden from the street.  It was surprising to see a few gladiolus blooming there.  A juvenile praying mantis was keeping a lone vigil on the siding over the flower bed.  On some sort of white coneflower, a honey bee was making its rounds.

This was the best shot:


It has been too long since I've been on the bicycle.  My endurance suffered for that fact this morning, abetted by July morning heat.  I didn't see much worth shooting, and even less that's worth posting.

I did manage to get as far as my favorite place for finding true Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis scorpioides) growing by the river's edge.  One of these times, I'm going to go prepared -- water-proof boots or water shoes -- so that I can get into the water's edge, where they grow the thickest.  Someday.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Difficult Trip to Swallow

Yesterday seemed like it was going to be a nice day, so I printed off driving directions to Swallow Falls State Park in Maryland.   Now this is going to be hard to believe,  but the directions that I printed off from home are not the same (more straightforward) directions that I get on my office machine this morning.
  • From Morgantown, turn right to merge onto I-68 E toward Cumberland, MD    27.4 mi
  • Take exit 29 for County Rd 5 toward Hazelton Rd    0.3 mi
  • Turn right onto Co Route 5/Cuzzart Rd/Hazelton Gladesville Rd
  • Continue to follow Co Route 5 0.3 mi
  • Continue onto Co Route 5/18     2.7 mi
  • Turn left onto Co Route 11/Mountaindale Rd
  • Continue to follow Co Route 11 Entering Maryland 2.3 mi
  • Continue onto Blooming Rose Rd    0.3 mi
  • Turn right onto White Rock Rd    4.1 mi
  • Slight right onto Cranesville Rd    9.3 mi
  • Turn left onto Swallow Falls Rd    1.3 mi
  • Turn left onto Maple Glade Rd Destination will be on the left
Instead, the directions told me to bear right onto  Cuzzart Rd.  5/11, which took me 'round way of Robin's Barn and down some roads that resembled a World War I battlefield.  I ended up near the entrance to Big Bear Lake Campground, where the attendant there told me I should have gone up to the next Interstate exit before turning off.

Heading back in dismay, I noticed a sign for  Mountain Dale Rd.   Could this be the same as Mountaindale Rd. on my directions?  What the hell.   It indeed led to eventually to Blooming Rose Rd., which is aptly named.  After some driving on much improved two-lane highways, I eventually got to Swallow Falls park. 

I didn't know that I'd have to pay an out-of-state admission fee (or any fee, for that matter).  I hiked down one of the trails leading to the main falls. It looked like a tornado might have recently gone through there and cut a swath through what was once a pretty Hemlock forest.   My reaction to the falls was "Meh."  The water was a silty brown caused by recent heavy rains. 

"Well, I'm here," I thought.  May as well take some pictures, since I hauled along my tripod and camera.   That was when I discovered that my camera was dead -- as in the batteries.

So, once again, my life is a cautionary tale.  I'll never again leave on a trip before checking on the batteries in my camera.   Had I known, or been better prepared, I could have at least had my spare component that holds a bank of AA batteries.