Search My Infinite Universe

February 6th, 2010 - Upside-Down, Inside-Out

Oh, my. Finally back from a not so brief hiatus. The 'big' news here is, my nice peaceful world has gone all kerflooey, and we will soon be moving to Milwaukee. You know, that place in Wisconsin that is famous for, let's see... beer, The Brewers, Laverne & Shirley, Bernie the Brewer, beer, Wayne's World, beer, ranting socialists, cheese, power tools, and beer.
It is also locally known for the Milwaukee County Zoo, Lake Michigan, the Petit National Ice Center, ranting socialists, cheese, and beer. More on that whole LCE (Life-Changing Event as they say in lawyer-speak) later, hopefully as my mind shows signs of righting itself. If it ever does.
Right now, however, let's catch-up on a few photos, while there's a lull.

I like this picture of the Longfellow House at night, with the stark beams of light streaming out of the windows and the late evening winter sky. I looked up the EXIF info from the image expecting to see some weird white balance setting, but no, just auto WB, auto-exposure in pattern mode, 250 ISO, 3.6 seconds @ f3.5.
It all gives it somewhat of a spooky look. I remember it being it being freezing-ass cold (it was Dec 3rd, 2007) and me balancing the camera on a fence post while I froze my fingers numb.
I normally don't put a lot of clutter like these trees in front of the subject, but I think it adds to the starkness, contrast, size-comparison, and general mysteriousness. We don't often get to see the place all lit up like that in the winter.

This one has also got such trippy light to it, it draws me in. I think the plant may be Rattlesnake Master before it has fully developed, but the late day sun is highlighting just the flower tops and the leaves are in the shadows with the other macabre plants. I keep hearing that STP song "Wicked Garden"...

Ahh, Seth Brundle what have you done..? Even Gina Davis can't help you now. Hopefully you didn't come back as a Deer Fly like this guy or everyone in the world would be on your case. Sounds like the kind of cruel irony that David Cronenberg might inflict though.

Can't remember if this one got any press or not, I don't think so, as it was taken before The Universe began.
It's not something you see every day, even if you are a naturalist. What you are looking at is the underside of a nursing leech, with all her little leechlings suckling at the teat, as it were.
We had one of the summer camp pond-study groups bring her in at Springbrook, so we put her into the pond tank for a week or so to study her for a bit before releasing her back into the 'wild.'
It was pretty cool to watch, she seemed to enjoy sucking onto the glass and at times you could see the wee ones sort of 'waving in the currents' of the tank. She was about three inches long stretched out, and the little ones were about half an inch or so.
Interesting creatures when you think about it. They have to have anti-coagulants in their stomachs so that the blood they feed on doesn't clot up and choke up the plumbing, similar to the way mosquitoes do it. These days it is an interest of scientific research, looking for a possible source of anti-coagulants and blood thinners for medicinal uses. Leeches. We just can't get away from using them in medicine no matter how disgusting some think they are. Suck up to them, they might just save your life someday.

Well, laterz.
Now where'd my cheezehead hat go off to...?