Monthly Archives: August 2010

Boggy Business

The Heath at Saco, ME, is a wonderful place to visit.  The Nature Conservancy has a boardwalk built through the adjacent woods and out onto and through a raised bog habitat.            I have visited this area at several times of the year, including during the winter.  Each visit has been a pleasure and there is... Continue reading »
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WCSH 6 Sidewalk Art Festival

This Saturday, August 28, 2010, I am participating in the 45th Annual WCSH 6 Sidewalk Art Festival in Portland, Maine.  I haven’t attended it before, but my daughter, who has been a Portland resident for the past 8 years, has attended several times and says it is excellent.  Each year the show has 300 vendors... Continue reading »
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Spadefoot Toad

Gena Todia of Wetland Resources Environmental in Fairhope, Alabama, identified this fellow for me as a spadefoot toad.   According to Dr. Robert H. Mount in his book, The Reptiles and Amphibians of Alabama [(1975:82-83)], the Eastern Spadefoot Toad (Scaphiopus holbrooki holbrooki) is the only spadefoot toad found in Alabama.      Also according to Dr. Mount, in Alabama... Continue reading »
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Betsy Rolls

My coastal biological guru, Larry Lewis,  of Brown and Mitchell  a consulting engineering firm in Gulfport, MS, identified these bundles of wave-washed grassy litter as “Betsy Rolls”, apparently named for similar features that washed ashore in quantity during Hurricane Betsy. It seems that chunks of soil containing beach grasses and/or marsh plants are eroded, washed... Continue reading »
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The Brown Pelican Revisited

Since I wrote the note about the Trio of Fishermen, I have found my reference to the pelican ditty.  Although I have seen at least one author attribute this limerick to Ogden Nash, David Stewart (“The limerick is furtive and mean; …”, Smithsonian – September 2002, pp 90-96) lists Dixon Merritt as the author.   I... Continue reading »
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Redox Sheen Features

This photo represents a real “Crocodile Dundee” redox sheen (“This is … a redox sheen”).  In my personal experience, so far, this is the best, most clear-cut example of the metallic shine and broken, angular pieces that don’t rapidly re-coalesce that I have seen. In this photo, it appears that the iron redox materials are... Continue reading »
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Really Big Dragonflies

Currently I am classifying dragonflies into three size categories: small, big, and really big.   Clearly I need to see more dragonflies. I am tentatively identifying this big dragonfly as a “darner” of some sort, possibly a Green-striped Darner (Aeshna verticalis).  My ID is based on looking at the pictures in Kurt Mead’s book:  Dragonflies of... Continue reading »
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Wetland Moss Features

As I began to look closely at moss trim lines, especially as I analyzed lots of photos of these MTL features, I was amazed at the variety of mosses involved and where they grew.   One of my first questions was whether these MTL features were restricted to live trees, or if they could develop on... Continue reading »
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White Balance Considerations When Photographing a Blue Moon

As you read this little note, you may want to play “Blue Moon” by The Marcels as a pleasant musical accompaniment.  I have seen or heard three definitions for a blue moon.  First, my dictionaries indicate that a blue moon is a long period of time.  Second, one text on meteorology suggests that blue moons... Continue reading »
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Simple Flash Photography for Wildflowers

Here’s how I take flash photographs of wildflowers with my Sony Cybershot compact digital camera: use the manual mode; set the ISO to a low number (i.e., 100 or so); select a subject and frame a composition; choose an f/stop (my camera gives me two choices and I generally select the one that gives me... Continue reading »
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