On this date 28

calcium tube colony in palmFor those of you following at home, I am still working on the site migration, mostly because of WordPress, and PHP 7.2.29. PHP is a programming language, which WordPress runs on, and when it upgraded into version 7, it changed an awful lot of commands, which kicked out numerous scripts and options that were written before that time; this has been a source of much work and frustration on my part for the past several days. I’m still trying to get the blog looking the way I like, but some changes are inevitable – and as far as I’m concerned, not changes for the better, though I’m going to try and make it look that way. There will be a post that announces the changeover, that will only be posted within the new host, so when you see it, you’ll know you’re on the new site. Though I imagine it’ll be obvious anyway…

In the interim, I’m keeping the posts to a minimum, because they have to be double-posted to keep the old and new hosts current, and I could do without the extra work right now. But hey, I started this weekly topic, so I’m obligated to maintain it on schedule, because, you know, chicks are impressed with that kind of thing.

In 2007, I was experimenting and doing detailed illustrations of various odds and ends that I’d obtained years before, and this colony of some kind of tube worm was on the list – I’d done most of the shots the day before, but this one here was shot on this date just to show scale. If it looks familiar, that means you’re both a regular and a possessor of a sharp memory, because it was featured in a post two years ago. I include it because of a bit of trivia – I mean, even more trivial than the topic to begin with. But to do this, we’re going to have to go out of order a hair.

fossil coral underwater venting air bubblesTwo years later in 2009, I was doing some detail shots of a bit of fossil coral that I’d found in a tailings pit, which makes it, um, old. It’s actually hard to pin down, because it was found in sedimentary limestone, meaning former ocean bottom, that underlies the ‘topsoil’ of eastern North Carolina – that all eroded off of the Blue Ridge Mountains, themselves formed when North America was grinding against Africa, pre-dinosaurs. So how old the sea bottom underneath is, no one can say easily, and silly me, I never had this decay-dated (and not Carbon13, because it’s way too old for that to work.) Anyway, I show it here because I find it absolutely fascinating that I was doing detailed photos of old sea-stuff on the same date two years apart. I know, right?

But there’s more trivia to be had in this post! Remember last week’s entry? Well, one week later I’d met with success. Success in which part, you say? The one that required monitoring, of course.

newly-hatched ground skink Scincella lateralis next to empty and occupied eggs
I noticed, last week when collecting images for the post, that the ground skink (Scincella lateralis) eggs had hatched exactly one week later, so they worked well for the On This Date posts (meaning we’re talking about 2008 right now.) Here, a newborn poses alongside two snail shells, two empty eggshells (there’s a sibling hiding somewhere else,) and an egg not yet hatched. Look closely at it, there at the nose of the skink, and you’ll see the break in the leathery shell, which is actually the nose of the third one poking forth. This began a long saga of attempting to capture this emergence on film (this is all taking place in an aquarium, by the way,) which ultimately failed, in a very frustrating way. But that link includes a scale shot, at least, and if you’re thinking the lovely wet sheen comes from being newborns, stop – they all look like this, including the adults.

And finally, we go back a mere four years to 2016 – actually, it kind of startles me that this trip was four years ago.

view of the wetlands in Creef's Cut, Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
This one has appeared before too, within this post – I like the area visually (“the area” being Creef’s Cut in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in coastal North Carolina,) but I’ll be honest, I also harbor distinct memories of just how horrendous the strawberry flies are there. So all such photos are colored in my mind with getting assaulted by bites and swarms. That’s the advantage, or sometimes disadvantage, the viewer has: they don’t have the associations that the photographer might, so the image stands alone. Or it would if I’d shut the hell up about it.

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