31 July 2008

Sequential flowering as a strategy for maximixing the environmental density of pastel shades

Those are all on the same plant, so they more or less have to be life stages of the same flower.
Well, unless one of them is a highly aberrant parasitic flowering plant, but I rather doubt it, somehow.

30 July 2008

Where his sea of flowers began...

Does rather make me wonder what standing in most of a million square miles of this must have been like, back before the prairies went under the plough.

29 July 2008

Here there be spiders!

Well, a spider, anyway, busily spinning a web between some thistle-tops in that slope seeded with wild flowers that has tormented you all with so many poppies.
Least bad view of the web.
I should note that active web construction was going on, so there was not a whole lot of holding still happening.
Least bad of the bunch. Want a tripod next time; the FA100mm macro is a lovely lens, but the brick nature gets to be very noticeable in this application.

28 July 2008

And all love's banners waving

What I now recognize as poppies from across the road from work; it was blowing a fair breeze, so the petals were much ruffled.
Saving to JPEG loses something, but not too bad, all the same.

27 July 2008

One Jay, No Doors

It's awfully shy for such a loud bird. But definitely easier to photograph when there's no door glass in the way.


Insect prey...
And the resulting healthy offspring.

I don't know if the parent is actually the parent of the fledgling; there's a mort of sparrows hereabouts. But the general trend to healthy offspring is quite notable.

25 July 2008

Three Doors, One Blue Jay

That would be the screen door, the glass door, and the other glass door which was slid somewhat open. Both glass doors have picked up a fair bit of guck in the last fornight worth of regular occurrences of hard rain, too, and could do with another cleaning.

So kinda fuzzy, but not too bad for the mood of the creature; I generally hear this particular bird much more often than I see it. I get the feeling it's young and a bit insecure.

24 July 2008

Not bad for a phone screen

As shipped, the thing has this numeric keypad on a phone emulating text entry interface. And a very useful terminal application; it's a linux box, people have got relatively vanilla Debian running on it.
That default text entry mechanism? It has no way to produce / or > characters.
So I'm making a backup of the current state of the flash before I try flashing it with something less brain dead.
It was billed as a developer version; it's not like I didn't know what I was getting into.
But, all the same, I might be getting a little ranty for awhile.

23 July 2008

The rain, it raineth every day

Panasonic LX2, rather than K20D shots. One cannot always be lugging the DSLR to work, especially when it's raining quite so hard and quite so often.
Double pane glass from the (fluorescently backlit) inside, against a grey sky.
And a slightly less grey sky, from further back, a little later.

22 July 2008


My morning commute didn't do quite as well as I might have wished; the YRT bus I was on got clipped by the TTC bus it was creeping past in the Seneca loop.

No one hurt, and I don't think any major harm done beyond the window, but there were the inevitable "bus out of service" side effects.

21 July 2008

The orange and the green

Tired tiger lilly from almost a month ago, in the planters near La Bodega on Baldwin Street. That's the whole frame, downscaled for upload.
Full-scale centre crop as a PNG because, well, it's orange!
(Pentax SMC-FA 77mm Ltd. A lens worth being persistent to obtain.)

20 July 2008

It's been awhile

You'd think I'd learn that black cat plus white object in bright sunlight is not a good idea, but these aren't too bad. Taken from floor level through her cat tunnel toy, so there's a wide border of white fleece and pom-poms that has been cropped out of each of these. Pentax SMC-FA77, a good choice for portraits even of difficult subjects.

19 July 2008

Under the wire

Since in ten minutes it's tomorrow.

The small version.
And the 100% crop as a lossless JPEG, just to see what happens.

Based on prior comments and the utter redness and all, I'm pretty sure this is a poppy.

18 July 2008

The lily of the planters

The planters beside the walkways at work are full of these things.
From which I suppose that they are, as flowers go, cheap and durable, but I rather like them.

17 July 2008

Tree flowers

The whole thing in context; at my eye level and less than 50mm long, if my memory is at all to be trusted.

Just the flower, in a PNG probably forcibly downscaled by the combination of Blogger and Firefox 3:
The tree is growing up from one edge of the bridge between parts of the Americas pavilion at the Metro Zoo; kitty-corner from the Great Horned Owl enclosure.
And, of course, absolutely no idea what it is whatsoever!

16 July 2008

Faded Flowers

Well, a faded flower, anyway.
As usual, I've no idea what it is, but like the colour.
Here's hoping this is a small enough PNG that blogger shan't mangle it.

15 July 2008

Don't know why the beak looks like that

Burrowing owl at the Metro Zoo; that's a painted sky, in an underground display behind low transmissive glass because the animals behind it are crepuscular if not outright nocturnal.

So I'm not happy with this but admit that there's an "under the circumstances" involved.

14 July 2008

Consider the lizard

Another of the chuckwallas at the zoo; this one seems to be shedding a layer of hide, and just possibly contemplating its inevitable transformation into Glorund the Golden.

13 July 2008

Deep purple

Certain allowances of inherent scale being required to be made for the notion of "deep", admittedly.
This is from the steep main-road-bordering bank of the new building across the way from work; some sensible person has planted it in some highly floral approximation of short grass prairie.

12 July 2008

The word for this isn't umbrel

But swelp me if I can remember what the right word is. Small white flower with purple accents, growing in a large outdoor planter at the Metro Zoo.

I have fiddled with the brightness levels somewhat to try to get the detail back in the bright white bits, I think not too severely as one can yet play 'spot the spiderweb' round the flower.

11 July 2008

The languid-jawed Chuckwalla

No, no, that's not the species name, jut my notion of the pose.
The creature sat just like that for a good minute and a half, while I photographed the skink, a toad, and some of its fellow chuckwallas. Don't know if it had given up in disgust or if this is just Lizard Zen in action.

Hastens forth the skink

Glass with glare-resistant coatings, sunlight (and me) on one side brighter than the inside, and the fine wee creature was moving at a fair pace are not helpful; quite pleased that the fore parts of the skink are in focus.

Green banded skink, I think; didn't write this one down.

Where yellow grows the marigold

Choice of title guarantees that this is not actually a marigold, but I thought they were pretty all the same.

10 July 2008

Circling the bus stop

Though not, it must be said, all that optimistically.

I need to get better at focus trap technique for flying birds; this is one of embarrassingly many attempts.

Oh, and for those from other climes, it's a turkey vulture.

09 July 2008

The return of the blue bird of punkness

First instance is here.
Since I like to think I can exhibit learning behaviour, I wrote down the name this time; it's a blue dacnis.

08 July 2008

That's better

My first posted plush-crested jay photo is back here and this one is a good deal better. Possibly the same jay; I can't tell the pair in the Americas pavilion apart, though, so it might well not be.

07 July 2008


I am pleased to get a tapir picture where head detail is visible; the creature normally lurks in such shady places this is quite a challenge. Not pleased that the poor thing is afflicted with flies, but I do suppose that the flies don't much care if you're actually an ungulate.

06 July 2008

Purple and Sunshine

Miscellaneous purple flowers, in one of the Metro Zoo's numerous walk-edging planters.
And the middle of the middle flower.
Taken with the Pentax SMC FA-100mm/F2.8 macro lens, hand held. Shake reduction is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

05 July 2008

Up Periscope

One of the Metro Zoo's wee—they're probably not a metre long—caimans, just surfacing in their pool. I was quite pleased to catch the nictitating membrane still closed.

04 July 2008

Advance in squadron columns

Really, they're still working on 'line ahead', but there are these brief moments of apparent cohesion to the formation.

03 July 2008

Do you figure that's duckweed?

Four of momma duck's six ducklings at the Canadian Domain pond at the Metro Zoo. They were doing a comprehensively disorganized drift-and-sprint routine, interspersed with minor elements of following momma in line ahead and latching on to especially tasty things. By no means sure if they were eating the plant or bugs on the plant.
They were much cuter to watch than a single photo can possibly convey, but one hopes that a bit of sense of the thing comes through.

02 July 2008

Cedar waxwing

It's amazing how much of a difference the angle of the light makes; these are the same bird, seconds apart, but the first picture is from after it changed trees and went from a dark background to sunny sky behind it.

This is only the second time I have seen a cedar waxwing (that I can recall, anyway; the odds of having not seen one as a kid seem low, given the amount of time spent in evergreen forests in winter), and while I remembered the field marks as "like a female cardinal, more cinnamon, black eyes and beak, red spots on wings", the bit about the bright yellow tail tip I did not remember, so I would up thinking briefly about open cans of paint.
Not a zoo bird, but on the zoo grounds; never quite sure how to classify those.

01 July 2008

600 pictures

Went to the zoo today and took 600 pictures.
Not, I hasten to add, as a deliberate plan; that just seems to be what happened.
A surprising fraction of them do not abjectly suck; there may be something to be said for this bright sunlight thing.
These, though, are the first time I've ever succeeded at getting a decent picture of a dragonfly.

I may have to revise my notion of the Sigma 70-300 APO's sharpness, at least when stopped down. (Both taken at 1/200s, F8.5, ISO 200.) And the tripod doubtless helped.