Archive for January, 2014

Pine cones are so commonplace that it only occurred to me recently to look to see what they look like when they are first forming. The mature pine cones from this tree in my neighborhood are large and have hard sharp edges. The newly formed cones, shown here, are soft and rounded.  Young or old, the pine cones settle into a nest of pine needles on the branch. Here the juxtaposition between the rounded softness of the young pine cones and the hard prickliness of the pine needles is my contribution to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition.

New Pine cones - June 09, 2011

This photo is of a worker out on the Tarmac at Denver International Airport. He may know which way, but I sure didn’t. The photo is digitally enhanced using Photoshop as well as the low-key filter in Topaz Lab’s “Adjust” Photoshop plug-in.

Worker on the Tarmac - April 15, 2013 - 0001-Edit

My wife and I live in a very nice neighborhood but I can’t say that we have an exceptional view most of the time. There are, however, certain times when the view gets pretty good if one is prepared and persistent, okay, really persistent. To demonstrate, here is our more or less regular view:


Here is the view of the same house (albeit with more sky) that you can catch  during a summer thunderstorm if you are very persistent and have quite a bit of luck:

3D Lightning

Alternatively, here is a view of the front door of the same house following a rather vigorous winter snow storm over the Christmas holiday in 2012:

Merry Christmas 2013

I hope you enjoy my contribution to the initial Photo a Week Challenge.

It is a little known fact that dragonflies require a regular exercise routine in order to maintain their agility and the ability to fly so nimbly. It is somewhat rare to catch a dragonfly during its workout routine since they typically do it at night in protected areas such as thickets where photography is difficult, It has been hypothesized that they choose such areas for their exercise routines in order to protect the themselves from predators such as the bat, which would naturally be inclined to take advantage of the dragonfly performing its workout routine because, as you can see in the photo below, it is in a vulnerable position. One way that scientist locate dragonfly exercise areas is based on the little known fact that dragonflies sweat profusely during their routines. Dragonfly sweat acts as a powerful attractant to bats and it is not uncommon to find  bats in a frenzy where a dragonfly thicket (almost like a dragonfly gymnasium) is located. By using detectors set to locate frenzied bats, scientist are about to hone in on dragonfly exercise areas.

Dragonfly Workout

I want to make it completely clear that there has been no digital manipulation of the above photo aside from cropping and routine clean-up. You are seeing actual dragonfly behavior in the wild. However, I should also add that to the best of my knowledge nothing in the first paragraph of this post is actually true. One has to be careful about what one reads on the Internet. I want to apologize to anyone who thought I was serious, but the photo is so unusual that I thought it deserve a good story.

Posted in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge.



I took quite a few photos of bald eagles along the Wisconsin River recently. Here is a set of photos that tell a little story.

In the first group of photos, a bald eagle stands alone on a patch of ice in the Wisconsin River. In the second photo it is approached by another bald eagle. In the third photo the approach continues with the first eagle showing some activity at the sign of the approach. Anthropomorphizing this is silly but it here we go. This might be akin to a person standing or sitting alone or not interacting with anyone at a dance or a club. The person is subsequently approached by someone who is smooth, who glides across the room. The person being approached is a little excited by the approach.

Performace of the Bald Eagles - 1  Performace of the Bald Eagles - 2 Performace of the Bald Eagles - 3

After a bit of conversation, it is off to the dance floor where they demonstrate their moves.

Performace of the Bald Eagles - 5 Performace of the Bald Eagles - 6 Performace of the Bald Eagles - 7

Afterwards, they retire from the dance floor, where they talk before going on their separate ways.

Performace of the Bald Eagles - 10  Bald Eagle Watch - January 10, 2014 - 935-Edit


Wow. Thanks for this challenge. Sometimes I can’t think of a thing that I can use for a challenge and don’t have time to take the right photo, but this week’s “Sunday Stills Challenge: F is for …” has delivered a market basket of choices of photos containing or about words beginning with “F”. So here we go:

First, let’s look at FLIGHT. For those of us who love nature we have a bald eagle flying down the Wisconsin River Valley.

F is for Flight 3

If you prefer mechanized and somewhat crazy acrobatic flight, you have the Royal Canadian Snowbirds and their jets:

F is for Flight 1

Taking wing from the freedom of flight, we enter the world of fences. Here we have a photo of the fence around the governor’s mansion in Wisconsin. And talk about luck, the photo shows the fenced-in mansion in the fog thus scoring a “twofer” in the world of photo challenges.

F is for Fence in the Fog 2

I have hundreds of flower photos but I feel confident that such photos will be fertile ground for responses to the challenge so I am skipping these. Rather, I will finish with a photo of a local fireworks display (“Fireworks on the 4th,”another “twofer”) followed natural “fireworks” of the type that come with the changes of the season in one of my favorite times of the year: Fall.

F is for Fireworks on the 4th

Fall Tree (Yellow) - October 16, 2010

Here is my submission for the Ese’s Weekly Shoot and Quote Challenge – Buzz. It is a riff on several meanings of the word buzz. One, meaning is of course the buzz of a bee. Another meaning of “buzz” is the “high” that comes from the use of alcohol or pills. Finally, buzz can sometimes be used in relationship to the positive feelings that addicts get from any type of addictive behavior or even the type of behavior that can be analogized to addictive behavior (as per my quote below).

“Credit buying is much like being drunk. The buzz happens immediately and gives you a lift… The hangover comes the day after.” ~ Joyce Brothers

A Pill with a Buzz