Monday, October 27, 2014

How big is Half Dome? Well, can you see the people? =)

So, if you've never been to Yosemite, and wondered how big Half Dome was,
here's a hint.

Half Dome, photographed from Washburn Point

Same photo, cropped and enlarged to show the people at top

Same photo, cropped and enlarged again to show the people

Same photo, the for-sure people outlined
Tiny little bipeds: aren't they cute?


Now go back to the top photo
and mentally picture the people (teeny, tiny specks) there.

So, there's your answer.

It's big.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Uh-Mayzing vid on milkweed, monarchs & more in Yosemite & beyond

 Holy cow.

Another gem produced by Steve Bumgardner.

SO, so great.

Give yourself a treat for 7 minutes. You deserve it. =)

my must-be-planted-in-fall (native to CA) milkweed seeds.

Cannot WAIT to see milkweed in our garden next year--HOORAY!!

Huge thanks to Steve & Erik & everyone involved for this GREAT short film.



Thursday, October 16, 2014

How photography is like meditation

 Photography makes me SLOW DOWN...
focus on one thing,

and then I see things I wouldn't have otherwise (same dahlia),
like a VERY tiny spider,

building a very tiny orb web,
 floating in a sea of dahlia hues.

Found this new ootheca (mantid egg case, on the support for the cardinal climber)
which I hope is from this summer's green mantid rockstar. 

Here she is giving mouth-to-mouth to a honeybee.
Which is what I tell myself so I can gaze at it.
Also, in the photo you can't see the bee's leg twitch.
I had to walk away.

However, notice she's also doing the splits. Woah.
A blue-lipped goddess whom, like Pele (the volcano goddess),
you don't mess with.

Old ootheca on old manzanita branch in garden.
 Those things are AMAZINGLY hard. Like fossil-hard.

 So hopeful: dahlia bud soaking up the sun.

Teensy white crab spider on morning glory, behind scarlet runner bean.

pink-ola dahlia

Honeybee & her adorable shadow on pink zinnia.

Tiny harvest, plus Moby chick.

Another small yet beautiful harvest.

And back to mediation,
was taking photo of this,

Noticed tiny white dust speck on the lower right,

which is this amazingly tiny animal.

And makes me love biology and photography
all over again.



Monday, September 29, 2014

A few Monday Mono pics: the east side of the Sierra

 Traipsed to the east side this weekend.
Didn't take a lot of photos, as it was rainy or sleety, much of the time.

However, I did get a decent shot of Black Point, one of my favorite Mono Lake features.

The cloudiness softened the lighting, in a place that, when sunny, can be BLINDING.

We'd planned on photographing golden aspens,
but they were not yet golden.
So, hung out at Mono Lake instead.

This is the sort of weird, beautiful view of Mono-Inyo craters that you get around here.

Which makes me inordinately happy.

However, I also have to STARE at the beautiful cattails and tule
in the peri-Mono Lake environment.

So gorgeous!

Oh, and earlier this summer we were here,
and some power birders (w/spotting scope) showed me
the osprey nest, which you can still see
on the little island in the middle of this photo.

(hm... blogger is making this very purple. Ah, well.)

Can you imagine being born, and THIS is the first scenery you behold?

And to the left a wee bit, a pretty little squall across the lake.

Driving to Mammoth Lakes, this was the car's view at a rest stop.
I love the tiny, upside down forest vignettes in the water droplets.

So, before we left, we jammed to Minaret View,
a place with one of my favorite views of all time...

Which was totally socked in. =)
But, you can sort of imagine it via what is, no joke,
one of my favorite interpretive displays EVER.
Just a metal cut out, mirroring the amazing craggy skyline here,
labeling each little peak & naming it.

A simple, accurate and durable display.
Show me the data. Love it.

Last: where is the snow line?

If you turn your back on the view of the Minarets, you can see this. Pretty nice. =)

K. That's it.
Hope your week is a delight. =)


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Heads or tails?

Which way do YOU eat a tiny fly
(or, say, chocolate bunny, if that's more your style)?

Heads (i.e. ears, if you're in chocolate bunny-land)?
(Just occurred to me this is one entry point used to embalm mummies...)

 Or tails?

Found this carcass beneath the dahlias which host many crab spiders.
They catch a lot of flower-visiting flies & bees.

On the same day I found a similar bug being eaten
by a crab spider in a dahlia.

Seemed like when spider saw me, it immediately passed the fly over its head.

I wonder if that's a ninja move:
hold victim #1 out of the way w/1 arm,
then prepare to attack again with other 7.

Good move.

Lots of beautiful spiders in this group:

Lastly, a free, helpful hint to anyone trying to run a web site
 about crab spiders and hoping people will use/trust it:

Don't say "bees and insects."

Bees are insects.

So, there's that...

I'm willing to bet has never said that.
'Cause they're awesome like that. =)

So, heads or tails?
I was an eat-the-chocolate-bunny-ears-first kinda kid.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Why I can't deadhead this particular dahlia bloom

 Big ol' pale yellow dahlia flower pretty far past its prime...

This crab spider looks REALLY ready to be a mama spider.

Her abdomen is HUGE.

So, the flower stays.