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Monday, May 31, 2010

Lady Fern (Athyrium filix-femina)

A lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina) emerges from rocks along the banks of the Salmonberry River. Spring, western Oregon. Native americans would use this fern to cover food, and eat the filddleheads in early spring.

Lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina)
lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Flying Bee

The same bee from several different angles, displaying different flight attitudes. I mentioned yesterday that this bee was a very graceful flyer, and because of that, I had very little trouble getting these images. 

Mining Bee (Andrena sp.)
digital composite of the same mining bee in flight (genus: Andrena ) 

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Female Mining Bee (genus: Andrena)

This small bee was in my garden and seemed to have a more controlled flight that most bees I have observed. It flew in a steady, slow and generally straight direction. It had full pollen baskets on its legs, and almost appeared to be wearing trousers.

Mining Bee (Andrena sp.)
mining bee (genus: Andrena)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Bumble Bee Portrait

Twenty separate exposures were combined in layers (called focus stacking) to create this portrait of a bumble bee.

Bumble Bee Portrait
portrait of a bumble bee (Bombus huntii).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Yellow Bee (andrena sp.)

This fuzzy, yellow bee really caught my eye. A beautiful insect, doing something it was designed to do - flying.

Andrena bee
male short tongued bee (andrena sp.)

andrena bee
male short tongued bee (andrena sp.)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Camouflage Frog (Pseudacris cadaverina)

A small oasis in the Sonoran Desert with a spring burbling between granite rocks. How do these frogs make it into isolated water in the middle of nowhere? 

Cryptic coloration makes these treefrogs difficult to spot when sitting on a granitic rock. 

Camouflage frog
camouflage frog

Look at the same image a bit smaller. Blends in pretty well doesn't it?

Camouflage frog

california treefrog (Pseudacris cadaverina)
california treefrog (Pseudacris cadaverina)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bat Light Trail

Bat researchers will sometimes place a temporary glow stick on a bat before releasing it back into the wild. This gives a visual cue to someone holding a microphone for recording their ultrasonic calls. On a moonless night in the deep forest, this is a remarkable sight to behold.

bat flight
bat light trail

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Anza-Borrego Sunrise

Early morning hike in darkness. Hit the peak just as dawn begins. Exhilarating.

Desert Sunrise, Anza-Borrego
desert sunrise

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Metamorphosis - Emerging Butterfly

Vpainted lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui)
painted lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui) chrysalis

painted lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui)
emerging painted lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui)

painted lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui)
painted lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui) and empty chrysalis

Friday, May 21, 2010

Transformation - Caterpillar Into Chrysalis

Transformation - A caterpillar transforming into a chrysalis. The beginning of the process of metamorphosis.

painted lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui)
painted lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui) caterpillar

painted lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui)
painted lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui) chrysalis

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tropical Snail

A tropical rainforest is teaming with so much life that it can be hard to take it all in. In fact, much of it is hidden from view. I snapped this photo of a snail in Ecuador. I almost missed it - but the color and pattern caught my eye as I walked past.

tropical snail
tropical snail

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Desert Millipede (Orthoporus ornatus)

Sleeping outside in Anza-Borrego State Park in California, I woke to find several of these millipede's out and about all around my sleeping bag. When disturbed, they curl up into a little spiral - a shape I love.

Desert Millipede (Orthoporus ornatus)
Desert Millipede (Orthoporus ornatus)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

House Centipede (Scutigera coleoptrata)

I find centipedes to be intimidating. They look rather frightening, and are usually quite quick. Most, if not all, are venomous with a painful sting (if they are large enough to puncture human skin).

How would you like to find this creature in your house? I photographed this in Washington state, in a burned forest, but apparently this species is called the "house centipede" because it appears frequently in bathrooms, trapped in sinks or tubs.

House Centipede
house centipede (Scutigera coleoptrata) 

Friday, May 14, 2010

Tiger Centipede (Scolopendra polymorpha)

Out near the Oregon coast as I was working on photographing steelhead, I ran into this little fellow. Quick and fierce looking, and with a red warning color as a bonus, I wasn't sure how well it would tolerate me trying to grab a few shots. 

Not too well really. It didn't like the light, and especially didn't like to be out on the rocks since it seemed to prefer a subterranean existence.

I did manage to coax back into a spot where I could get a clear image, and it helpfully paused to groom its antenna. Even so, I had seconds to grab these before it disappeared again.

tiger centipede (Scolopendra polymorpha)
tiger centipede (Scolopendra polymorpha), also known as the red centipede.

tiger centipede (Scolopendra polymorpha)
legs of a red centipede (Scolopendra polymorpha)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Solar Panels At Sokol Blossor Vineyard

I spoke to one of the vineyard managers about these solar panels that are clearly visible from Hwy 99, in the middle of the Sokol Blossor vineyard. He told me that the panels can provide up to 30% of the wineries needs. Pretty cool.

solar energy
solar panels at sokol blosser winery near dundee, oregon

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Growing Chicks - A Comparison

5 days on the left, 4 weeks on the right. Same chick. To be continued...

growing chick
5 day old Barred rock chick and 4 week old barred rock chick compared

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Barred Rock Chicks 2

These chicks are now 4 weeks old and beginning to show their distinctive black and white markings. You can see them at 5 days old here.

chicken - barred rock
4 week old Barred rock chicken chicks, a color variety of Plymouth Rock chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus)

barred rock chick
4 week old Barred rock chick, a color variety of Plymouth Rock chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Flying Bumble Bee (Bombus huntii)

flying bumble bee
arge bumble bee (Bombus huntii) flies toward the camera after collencting nectar from a rhododendron flower

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Old Logging Remains

Circa 1920's or so, an old stump with a rusted steel cable that was left behind. 

logging refuse circa 1920

tree stump with steel cable

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Sword Fern Leaf (Polystichum munitum)

sword fern leaf (Polystichum munitum)
A sword fern leaf (Polystichum munitum) unfurls in a graceful spiral. Salmonberry River Canyon, Oregon Coast Range.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Snake River Phlox (Phlox colubrina)

Snake River phlox (Phlox colubrina)
Frost bound Snake River phlox (Phlox colubrina) on The Nature Conservancy's Zumwalt Prairie Preserve. This Preserve contains some of the largest, most intact examples of bunchgrass prairie left in North America.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Redwood Sorrel (oxalis oregana)

Redwood sorrel (oxalis oregana)
Redwood sorrel (oxalis oregana) blooming on the forest floor. Oregon Coast Mountain Range.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Spring Mushroom

young mushroom
young mushroom sprouts from the decaying base of a dead tree, surrounded by tangle moss (Heterocladium procurrens) and lichen.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Evening Bat (Nycticeius humeralis) 2

A wild evening bat - flying at night in the Stephen F Austin Experimental Forest, Texas.

Evening Bat (Nycticeius humeralis)
evening bat (Nycticeius humeralis)

Monday, May 03, 2010

Evening Bat (Nycticeius humeralis)

Bats have a remarkable ability to wedge themselves into very small and tight places. This evening bat is crammed into a tiny crack in a bit of decaying tree. The bat was not visible at all unless a flashlight was used to peer in. 

evening bat (Nycticeius humeralis)
evening bat (Nycticeius humeralis)

evening bat (Nycticeius humeralis)
evening bat (Nycticeius humeralis)

This particular bat was going through wildlife rehab after being injured, and was most at home when day roosting in tiny little spaces. Like most bats, it became most active after nightfall.

evening bat (Nycticeius humeralis)
evening bat (Nycticeius humeralis)

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Honey Bee Collapse

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) among honey bees used in agriculture is a growing problem.
"Disturbing evidence that honeybees are in terminal decline has emerged from the United States where, for the fourth year in a row, more than a third of colonies have failed to survive the winter.

The decline of the country's estimated 2.4 million beehives began in 2006, when a phenomenon dubbed colony collapse disorder (CCD) led to the disappearance of hundreds of thousands of colonies. Since then more than three million colonies in the US and billions of honeybees worldwide have died and scientists are no nearer to knowing what is causing the catastrophic fall in numbers.
The number of managed honeybee colonies in the US fell by 33.8% last winter, according to the annual survey by the Apiary Inspectors of America and the US government's Agricultural Research Service (ARS)."
You can read the complete story here.

honey bee (Apis mellifera)
flying honey bee (Apis mellifera)

honey bee (Apis mellifera)
honey bee (Apis mellifera)

flying honey bee (Apis mellifera)
honey bee (Apis mellifera) in flight

Flying honey bee (Apis mellifera)
honey bee (Apis mellifera)

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Large Oak Tree (Quercus garryana)

I spent several hours lighting this large oak tree (Quercus garryana) in the Willamette Valley, Oregon - a remnant of the oak savanna that used to dominate parts of the valley. Less than 2 percent of that oak savanna remains. But research by Oregon State University scientists suggests the scattered giants standing alone in farm fields continue to play a pivotal role in the Willamette Valley ecosystem. You can read more about this story here.

remnant oak tree
oak tree (Quercus garryana)

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Details About Me

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