Monday, September 22, 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014

Silly Goose

These Canadian geese were sitting on a log in the Monongahela river.  I imagine they're on their way south, but I wonder if the silly geese know this river is flowing north.

If they stuck it out, they'd eventually be going down the Mississippi.   Wonder how long *that* would take?

Some Googling tells me that it's 102 miles from Morgantown to Pittsburgh.
It's 981 miles from Pittsburgh to Cairo, Illinois.
From Cairo, it's another 871 miles to the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway -- assuming we're going all the way south.

Total = 1,954 miles.    For everything else, there's MasterCard.

One thing for sure, it has to be a lot shorter as the bird flies!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Morning on the Mon

Went to work a little earlier today in the hopes of catching rowers on the river.  No luck; they don't start until next week.   And I'll have to arrive even earlier.

So, here's the scenery without the rowers.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A story with legs

Last Sunday, I took a brief stroll around White Park in the First Ward.  Thought I'd find some mushrooms to photograph, but I was disappointed.  I did got off this one shot of something strange sitting on a burdock burr.

It's kind of hard to see, but this "thing" has legs.  I posted the photo on Google+, guessing that it might be some sort of leafhopper.  By the end of the day, another person on the Macro Photography group that I haunt had identified it:  meet Helia bimaculata, the Two-spotted Locust Treehopper.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Super Moonday

Last night (a Monday) was the night before the official full moon.  This one is the third and last so-called Super Moon of the year.

The first go-round of photographs was a dud.  I'd forgotten the exposure tips for shooting the moon.  Got nice, dramatic clouds but a completely washed out moon.  The trick is to use a tight aperture, like f/16.  It's one of those few times where a manual exposure comes in really handy.

Post-processing is Black & White, using Nik Silver Efex Pro.

Monday, September 8, 2014

No need to die sitting

In the past few years, I've seen several people at work take to using the standing desk.  It was with some relief that I read a EurekAlert posting today, which says that taking a few 5-minute walks can reverse the harm caused to leg arteries during three hours of prolonged sitting.
Sitting for long periods of time, like many people do daily at their jobs, is associated with risk factors such as higher cholesterol levels and greater waist circumference that can lead to cardiovascular and metabolic disease. When people sit, slack muscles do not contract to effectively pump blood to the heart. Blood can pool in the legs and affect the endothelial function of arteries, or the ability of blood vessels to expand from increased blood flow.
Study participants who walked for 5 minutes each hour of sitting saw their arterial function stay the same -- it did not drop throughout the three-hour period. Saurabh Thosar says it is likely that the increase in muscle activity and blood flow accounts for this.

Knock-kneed goats and bow-legged sheep

Meet the White Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima), which is native to eastern North America. Snakeroot contains the toxin tremetol.

According to Wikipedia, when cattle eat the plant "the meat and milk become contaminated with the toxin. When milk or meat containing the toxin is consumed, the poison is passed on to humans. If consumed in large enough quantities, it can cause tremetol poisoning (milk sickness) in humans." During the early 19th century, large numbers of European immigrants were killed by milk sickness.

The plants are also poisonous to horses, goats, and sheep. Signs of poisoning in these animals include depression and lethargy, placement of hind feet close together (horses, goats, cattle) or held far apart (sheep), nasal discharge, excessive salivation, arched body posture, and rapid or difficult breathing.
So, if you're a farmer,watch out for knock-kneed goats and bow-legged sheep.  It could be a sign.