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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

New Web Site and More!

The office has been my primary habitation lately, and while it is exciting to have the image catalog completely up to date, key worded, fully functional - It really isn't a very exciting post subject. However, I managed to get my new web site design up and running, and I like the look much better than the old site. It is simple but functional. It might be painfully obvious that I built the thing myself with no actual working knowledge of web design, but it will serve for now. The image search function has yet to go online, but it should be completed in a week or so.

It is time to make submissions for 2008 calendars, and for the first time ever, I am proposing a calendar photographed entirely with the high speed camera.

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The entire image gallery can be seen here:

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Rat Lowdown

It seems that few people appreciate rats, primarily because we tend to see them in the creepiest places. Like the sewer. Not a lovely spot unless you are pretty low on the totem pole. The sewer rat however, comes from Europe and has followed civilization around the world. They have made an art form out of living off the refuse of humans. It is probably among the least attractive members of this class of rodents. Note the lovely naked, scaly tail.


My wife, daughter and I went to see the new version of Charlotte's Web and I was surprised to see the sympathetic treatment of "Templeton" the rat. Sure he comes across as a self-centered lout, but even he eventually succumbs to the charms of Charlotte and Wilbur and spends time selflessly guarding the spider's egg sac. Templeton appears to be a European brown rat, the same species that haunts Portland's nether regions. However he has the curious habit of collecting trinkets and other curious items. This behavior is more reflective of the pack rat.
Pack rats are native to North America, and I recently photographed one in an abandoned shed in NE Oregon scurrying across a shelf with a rusty old turpentine can.

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Please note the furry tail. While I wouldn't want one in my house, I think these little fellows are bit more gifted on the "cute" end of the scale. Feel free to disagree.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Angry Rattler

I first spotted this rattlesnake in a horse pasture when it startled a horse – the horse then made a brief effort to stomp it to death, but wisely moved away. Then a house cat ran out from garden and began to harrass the thing. The snake went from angry to furious, and began striking at the cat – which was just quick enough to avoid getting tagged.

The snake took refuge under a rock fence brace, and I put the camera on an extension arm which was just able to fit into the hidey hole. I could see nothing, but I could hear the angry snake take offense at the intrusion. I used a remote trigger to quickly crank off a few frames and then left it in peace. Here is one of frames. The camera was outfitted with a superwide lens, so the snake is just inches from the lens.

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Blue Spider Wasp

I'm continuing on the wasp series of images. The wasp below looks black at first glance, but it has a deep blue exoskeleton, and a few other interesting colors on a second look. I'm not sure that this web image does the photo justice, however I did not zip up the saturation to highlight this color.

They are known for feeding live black widow spiders to their young.

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Details About Me

Portland, Oregon, United States
Husband, Father, Student Of Natural History, Photographer