Just once, part 29

I was a little surprised to find that I’d only ever featured a long-billed dowitcher (Limnodromus scolopaceus) once before, because I was certain that I’d gotten other images of the species – and I had, even featured here before. Kind of. Here’s how it works.

The source that I’m using to find the ‘Just Once’ candidates is a dump from the database of tags read more

These are not snakes

No, I’m not trying to show off my amateur naturalist cred, and no, ‘amateur naturalist’ doesn’t mean I’m bad at getting nekkid – that’s ‘naturist,’ goober. And you still wouldn’t want to see it.

No, I’m referring to the fact that all of these were shot while I was looking for snakes for World Snake Day, which is still going on as I read more

It qualifies

Today, as you undoubtedly know, is World Snake Day, and while you might think this is one of those crass bogus holidays that I make up to feature some convenient photos on hand, this is for realsies. Knowing that this was coming up, I went out to find some world snakes to feature, knowing that at the very least I was in the right geographic area (the world) to do so.

This is a northern read more

Blink and you missed it

The conditions held and I did get out to watch Spica disappear behind the moon. I tried a short video clip, unable to tell if it was actually capturing Spica or not but suspecting that it wasn’t – the frame rates for video translate to a pretty short shutter speed and even as bright as it was in comparison, Spica was still pretty dim. Upon returning home, I found that read more


Just now, took a peek out there as the sky was darkening, noticed that it was more than clear enough, and did a couple of test shots. I also noticed another speck in the viewfinder and reframed, but I was still working handheld and sharpness was lacking. As I was setting up the tripod and getting the remote release out and the camera set for mirror lockup*, the last little light read more

Watch Spica vanish before your eyes!

I really haven’t been finding posting material recently, because I’ve had a lot of other things going on, though I have a few unrelated pics that may show up a little later. Right now, I’m providing what little warning I can, having discovered only this morning that the moon will be occulting Spica this evening.

Basic orbital dynamics: the stars move across the read more

Just once, part 28

This week we have a curious specimen that was rather obvious when spotted that one time, nine years ago, because of both its size and its coloration. This is an elephant mosquito (Toxorhynchites rutilus,) and it was surprisingly easy to catch when it was perched atop the car, less so to photograph even with the help of a terrarium – the top image was tweaked to remove read more

This evening’s display

Late this afternoon or early this evening – before sunset, anyway – we had some storms roll through, looking quite ominous for a bit, but what we ended up with were summer showers. The scattered nature of the thunderheads did let the sun poke through, and so we got a quite vivid rainbow for a decent amount of time, but granted, I boosted contrast on these for better read more

Just once, part 27

While we found several examples of this species on the day this was taken, to my knowledge, I’ve never seen it before or since. Yet this red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus) was found in the best location nearby to find salamanders and newts of any kind, which is West Point on the Eno River in Durham, NC. read more

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