Saturday, October 15, 2005

Fly, Fly Away

I'm always trying to get pictures of birds in flight, but they rarely look decent. Either blurry, or too far away, or out of frame, or something. But I got this one today, and it's a little better than half decent. This is a great blue heron, and he was at the north end of Anna Maria Island here in Florida. I was suprised to find that they had great blue herons up in Ohio, and I even saw one while I was there. I couldn't get a decent picture of him, but I saw him. Ohio herons migrate south in the winter, but ours are year-round residents.

Another Green Heron

I showed you a green heron last night, but I came across another one today, and I got a better picture. If you look close at this one, you can see why they are called green. I don't know why they are called herons, though...

Pink And Pretty

If you were a bee, would this flower be attractive to you? Probably. It's odd that these flowers would just be coming out now, given that it's the middle of October. But this is Florida, and that's just the way things are around here. These blossoms are from a silk floss tree, which you have to admit is a weird name for a tree. But after the flower dies, and the seed pod matures, it opens up and releases a ball of silk-like threads that help to disperse the seeds. It looks more like cotton than silk to me, but they didn't ask me before they named this particular tree.

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Shorebirds Of Island Park

Here are a few birds I shot this evening while at Island park in Sarasota. I had wanted to go down to the beach to shoot the sunset, but at the last minute, I decided to go to this park just outside of downtown Sarasota. Sunset was a bust, so I was glad I stopped there and was able to shoot these birds. The guy with the crab above is some sort of sandpiper, I believe. The dark colored fellow below is a reddish egret, I think. He's a little big to be a little blue heron, and he's certainly not a great blue heron. He's lacking the reddish color on the neck, as well as the puffy feathers, but the dark tip on his bill seems to be the giveaway. Next down the page is a green heron in mid-hunt. These guys are really skittish, so I was lucky to get a good shot. Twice already I had scared him off when I got too close. And speaking of getting too close, the last shot is a great white egret in flight. I got too close to him, too, but I was able to squeeze off a couple of blurry shots of him flying around. Don't look at that one too close, since it's not the sharpest image I ever snapped.

More Stink

Did I mention the stink flower is blooming again on the porch? It's got an open flower and a large bud on it right now. If the bud hurries up, I might get some shots of two flowers at the same time. Below, you can really see the red fuzz that covers the petals.

Where Candy Grows On Trees

I took close to 6000 pictures during my 10 days in Ohio. It sounds like an awful lot, but I tend to take many different versions of the same shot. At the end of the day, I usually find it was either the very first or the very last shot I took that winds up being the keeper. I'm not sure how that works. But I have digressed from the subject of this post, which is yet another shot from Ohio, this time of a strange bush who's berries look just like candy. I don't know the type of bush, but if I did, I think I'd try to grow one. Those berries look really cool. Hopefully they aren't poisonous, otherwise there are going to be a lot of sick kids around!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

My Friend Flickr

Sorry about the lack of a post today. I've been busy trying to set up some stuff over at Flickr, a photo and image sharing website. I may start using them to host some of my pictures for the blog here. If I can figure it out, you'll see a neat little thing below that should link you over to my Flickr page.

Nope, not gonna work. Gotta figure this thing out.

I think this is the link to my pictures...

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Modern Cult Audio Library

Here's a set of five records that no home should be without. From The Audio Bible Society Of America, this is Modern Cult Audio Library. With these records, you can learn everything you need to know to be in a cult. No, wait, this is an anti-cult collection. You can learn the theology and history of six different cults, and how you can meet their arguments. The six cults in question are the Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Christian Scientists, Unity, Unitarianism and Spiritism. Hmmmm, I'd better lay off the sarcastic comments, or I may get in trouble all the way around. I just hope Tom Cruise doesn't stumble across this post. By the way, each of these records is on 7" vinyl with a big hole, but they play at 16-2/3 rpm. I don't have a turntable that spins at that speed, so you're going to have to live without the audio from this collection. Sorry...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Wild In Ohio-Part 5 (Chip or Dale)

I think it was my second day in Ohio when I saw the first one. I was inside Stan Hywet when I saw something run across a brick wall outside. At first I thought maybe it was rat, but then I noticed the color. It was a chipmunk! We don't have chipmunks here in Florida, well, other than Chip and Dale up at Disney. So I started watching out for them. Turns out they are fast little buggers! I spotted them quite a few times, but didn't get any decent pictures. The above shot is from a walkway about 15 feet above a riverbank, so that guy probably had no idea I was up above him shooting downward. And even then he didn't stay still very long. The fellow below is a better story, though. He was running through a crevice in a large rock, and probably thought I couldn't see him. But I could, so I turned the flash on and shot. I didn't see what happened next, but I am told the little guy went ballistic after all that light came out of nowhere and lit up his formerly safe hiding place. By the time I got out from behind the camera, he was gone.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Your Records Are Worth Caring For

From the same inner sleeve as the previous post, here's some sage advice from Mercury Records about handling your valuable LPs.

Oodles of Doodles CXXXIX

I almost missed this delightful beach themed doodle. but at the last minute, I pulled out the inner sleeve of a record I've already shared with you, and there it was. This doodle and the next post are both from the inner sleeve of Eddie Layton At The Hammond Organ-Great Organ Hits (Mercury SR 60639). I've got to start doing a better job of looking inside these records.

The Mystery Revealed

Well, you've all waited patiently for the answer, or maybe you didn't care, but here's the name and location of our mystery building. This is the Peter B. Lewis Building at the Weatherhead School of Management on the campus of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Well, I think I got all of that right. The architect is Frank Gehry, who is known for similar curvy building with metal cladding. Photographs really don't capture the scale and shape of this building. All of its overhangs and curves make it look like something truly out of this world.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Oodles of Doodles CXXXVIII

One more doodle before bedtime. This minimalist doodle is from Movie Cocktails-Anton Karas, Zither-Eduard Mrazek, Piano-Vox Sinfonietta, Vienna-Hans Hagen, Conductor (Vox VX 25180, 1956). There is actually a more complex version of this doodle in color on the front of the LP, where a martini glass is turned on it's side and made to appear like a movie projector. Well, that description doesn't do it justice, but I'm too lazy to scan it in. The cover version of the doodle is signed by Herschel Levit, who appears to be a well-known American artist and illustrator.

The Next Week In October

The calendar photo of the week is a yellow-crowned night heron, casting his reflection upon the still water in which he hunts. Gee, that almost sounds poetic, doesn't it?


Here is a unique view of the Rear Range Lighthouse on Gasparilla Island that I shot this weekend. You've seen this lighthouse here before, but not from quite this angle.

Oodles of Doodles CXXXVII

Here's a happy dancing Russian couple for you from Leonid Bolotine And Orchestra-Around The Samovar (Warner Bros. WS 1255, 1959). I'm not sure how this LP of Russian music slipped out from behind the Iron Curtain back in 1959, but at least it brought a nice doodle out with it.

An Exciting Evening At Home

I've spent many an exciting evening at home, but never with eleven lady friends. I even have a fancy stereo, and I'm sure if I looked hard enough in all these records, I could find a slab of red vinyl. Anyhow, this lucky fellow hails from the cover of An Exciting Evening At Home With The International Pop Orchestra (Cameo C 4001, 1962). The stereo equipment in the picture actually gets a credit on the back cover: Stereo Equipment Courtesy Almo Radio, Philadelphia. Even those eleven ladies didn't rate a credit. What's up with that?

Here There Be Dragons

By now you've probably seen the story about the giant python that died while trying to eat one of our Florida alligators. But did you know that in addition to the non-native snakes, we also have non-native giant lizards running around? Yep, it's true. I ran across this guy down on Gasparilla Island, near Boca Grande. He just sat there on the side of the road, keeping a good close eye on me while I shot from inside the car. I knew he'd run if I tried to get out and get closer. I probably shot for five minutes before he wandered off to an area where there was less paparazzi. I did get one neat shot below where he's in mid-blink. That's always a bad thing to get with people, but pretty cool with a two-foot long reptile. I believe this guy is an immature black iguana, native to Central America, not Central Florida.