Bright, vibrant colors in winter can be hard to find, but sometimes all you have to do is look up.
A belated response to the Daily Press weekly photo challenge: Oops!
I am an utterly hopeless bird photographer. My camera is bad for it, but on top of that, I’m bad at it. The only birds I have ever successfully photographed have been at the beach, where there is tons of bright light and the birds are more or less standing still.
Any other bird? It looks semi-okay on my camera’s little screen, but then I get it onto my computer and, wow. What is that, even? Is that a bird? It just looks like a blurry, grainy, underexposed mess.
This is one of my better attempts.
Not a nature photo. This is a response to the Daily Post’s photo challenge theme: Gathering.
This is a photo from the Moral Monday protests in Raleigh, NC last year. This protest was polite, organized, and huge. There were groups there supporting civil rights, labor unions, public education at all levels, immigration, environment, healthcare… you name the cause, the state government had damaged it.
There were poor elderly people from the middle of nowhere talking to young grad students. There were Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Unitarian Universalist leaders on stage. There were people who normally wouldn’t necessarily dislike each other, but who would just never see one another in their everyday lives, holding hands and holding signs and cheering for each other’s causes. There were signs in English, Spanish, and Arabic. There may have been other languages.
You want to get a bunch of disparate people all working together? Give them a really awful governor.
Lizards eat small invertebrates. That’s what lizards do. Insects, spiders, ticks, grubs– all tasty morsels for your local lizard population.
When I lived in Florida, I had geckos in the house. I didn’t put them there, but they came in, and I happily let them stay. Because of them, I never had spiders on the ceiling. Lizards eat spiders. It’s the way of the world.
But sometimes… Sometimes, a spider defies its destiny.
Victory goes to the spider this time.
Sometimes you see a flower and think, “Oh, isn’t that pretty?”
And then there are the times you see a flower and think, “Whoa, Nature! You’re just going overboard now.”
This Passiflora incarnata flower is an example of the latter.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Treat,” here’s something I never seem to do anymore. I have a kayak; I know there are rivers and lakes around here, and yet my kayak has been used more often as a container in which to carry my belongings on top of my car than as an actual boat in the past few years. It makes a really good car-top container, but it’s a lot more fun as a boat.
So here’s a picture from several years ago, on the Econfina Creek in northwest Florida. There are actually two rivers called Econfina in northwest Florida, and they are not connected. This is the one north of Panama City. It’s a beautiful little river, overhung with greenery and fed by deep, clear springs that keep it cool. If you ever get the chance to canoe down it, do so — and stop and swim in the springs on the way.
Everybody has something they enjoy but somehow never get around to doing, right? What’s yours?
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Careful.” I don’t think this one needs an explanation.
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “(Extra)ordinary,” here are some leaves from an extremely ordinary tree. Turkey oaks are all over Florida. They’re so common you kind of stop seeing them after a while. They are scrubby, brittle trees that fall over if you look at them wrong. But that’s fine, because a hundred little saplings will sprout from the roots.
I took this on a cold morning a few years ago, when I was helping with a bobwhite quail survey in the Florida panhandle. I arrived at dawn, took up my post on a specific point at the edge of a field. It was a very cold morning for the area, and there was still frost on the leaves and grass as the sun rose. It made even the ordinary, scrubby, weed-like turkey oaks beautiful.
I took a couple of pictures and then stood there, shivering, and listened very hard. After a while, I almost started to hallucinate possible quail calls. Then I heard some real ones that reminded me of what they really sound like. You can hear it, too.
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Happy Place.”
The North Carolina Museum of Art is one of the places that, when I first moved to the Triangle, convinced me that I’d made a good decision. It’s a museum, obviously, with a large collection of art from an amazing range of time and space. As you would expect.
But there’s also an amphitheater where they hold their summer concert series. Their concerts are popular events: the bleachers fill up fast, but then people bring chairs and blankets and sit on the lawn. I usually sit on the retaining wall in the back. I don’t get a good view of the band there, but I can hear just fine and also watch the people mill around and the fireflies come out, and not get stepped on or bumped into. I’ve seen the Lost Bayou Ramblers, the Indigo Girls, and Iron & Wine there, as well as an impressive show by Paperhand Puppet Intervention.
And it has a lovely park outside, with miles of walking and bicycle trails where sculptures loom up along the way. Like these. They have real names (mouse over to see them) but I am not very sophisticated about art, so I think of them as the Corn Cob, the Stargates, and the Dragon Ribs.
And if you go on a cold, sunny afternoon when you have nothing pressing to do, you’ll follow a side trail until you’re away from the main part of the park and down the hill, so that even the giant Stargates are mostly out of sight. And then you’ll take a few more side trails off that, and you’ll come to this tiny dome-shaped building. It’s just out there in the woods. No big, obvious signs pointing to it. The trail is small and easily missed. The builder can’t have expected many people to see it, but there it is. Just for you, the aimlessly wandering person who happened across it.
No Featured Creature post today. School has taken over my life for the next few weeks. I’ll have some guest posts to fill in the gap. In the meantime, here’s my submission for The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Boundaries.”
It would be hard to think of a situation where boundaries are more important than in prescribed fire! Here’s one of my professors making sure a fire in the North Carolina sandhills doesn’t cross the road and re-ignite all those fallen needles on the other side.