Checking in

It’s been a little longer between posts than intended, but this only means that truly major, insightful, earth-shaking stuff is coming soon (yeah, yeah, I know; save the sarcasm.) I’ve had a couple of projects going, and have been commenting in other locations, such as Sean Carroll’s Preposterous Universe blog, or maybe it’s S=k. log W, or simply Sean Carroll – I honestly don’t know what he calls it. Anyway, I’ve been having fun with those who have been trying to defend philosophy, and if one thing’s been demonstrated quite clearly, it’s that believing in the power of philosophy doesn’t contribute a damn thing to maturity. I have been nice (well, to a degree anyway) and not resorted to various doth protest too much arguments, which really don’t address the points anyway. And as hard as it may be to believe, I’ve actually been very kind to the evangelist in the comments.

At the same time, Jerry Coyne was trying to help me get through whatever enigma is preventing me from commenting over at Why Evolution Is True, and in thanks I sent him a pic, which he decided to feature. This appears to have opened up his inbox to various other photographic contributions – or perhaps he always gets stuff like that, and because he’s still recovering from his illness he’s simply putting up more effortless content.

Since I try to space out the photographic and critical-thinking and total nonsense posts, I’ve avoided posting more pics, even though I’ve done more shooting in the past few weeks than I did throughout the winter. So while I’m going to throw up another image now, I’m at least going to avoid the arthropods in favor of something cute. Not fluffy, but cute. Hey, at least I’m not featuring photos of the cats all the time…

This eastern fence lizard (Sceloporus undulatus, more or less – herpetologists are still pinning down subspecies, and if they don’t know I’m sure as hell not going to be too specific) was found on a tree while I was trying to collect tardigrade specimens – she was counting on both camouflage and a lack of motion to escape my attention, but she might have fared better had she put her head down and not been sticking out into midair. I automatically assumed the “horn” was just a loose scale, since fence lizards do not have such body features, but it doesn’t really look like a minor injury on close examination – perhaps I just had a new mutation in my hands, and let it go merrily on its way (fence lizards being one of the best species to communicate “merrily,” of course.) If you look close, you’ll notice lots of dewdrops all over the head, proof that my model was foraging recently I think, and I like both the visible eardrum and the delicate color of the eyelids at this range.

Tardigrades are far too cool to ignore, but since they run less than a millimeter in length, getting useful images without a photo-microscope could be more of a challenge than I can meet (there, now I’ve covered my ass over any failures.) Still, it’s one of the projects I have going, and I’d be pleased with at least some images in my stock. Watch this space to see if anything actually pans out, and as a bonus, I’ll soon put up my despairing fly pic, which certainly should become an internet meme if you ask me…

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