Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Grooved Brain Coral

Grooved Brain Coral by alumroot
Grooved Brain Coral, a photo by alumroot on Flickr.

I need to get back to the some ocean to do some snorkeling. I miss seeing things like this. If you haven't seen a coral reef, do it. They are amazing.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

strawberry anemone

strawberry anemone by alumroot
strawberry anemone, a photo by alumroot on Flickr.

I just think this beautiful, nothing more, but definitely nothing less. Taken at the Oregon Coast Aquairium in Newport, Oregon.

Monday, August 22, 2011


quokkas by alumroot
quokkas, a photo by alumroot on Flickr.

I loved this photo, but the original has a flaw, a significant flaw for me. The rear quokka had a blade of grass across its face. I had to get rid of it. I did it with very careful cloning, and I think the end result honors the original scene, but I thought you should know.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Capitol after dark

Capitol after dark by alumroot
Capitol after dark, a photo by alumroot on Flickr.

It speaks for itself.

Feeding panda

Feeding panda by alumroot
Feeding panda, a photo by alumroot on Flickr.

I just found this photo; it's not my best work, but still it is a special moment. In 1988 I was an intern at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. A special tour of the zoo was arranged and this was the highlight. I got to feed the panda that chunk of carrot. I thought I had one of me feeding the carrot to the panda, but as with so many pre-digital photos you never knew if you had anything til much later. I am pretty sure this is Hsing Hsing, but I could be wrong.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

View at night

View at night by alumroot
View at night, a photo by alumroot on Flickr.

Vancouver, British Columbia. I need to get back. It is a lovely city.

Another Escalator

Escalator by alumroot
Escalator, a photo by alumroot on Flickr.

I love DC Metro escalators. They offer a reasonably smooth ride, which is perfect for long exposures. They tend to have that "go into the light" feel as you emerge from deep in the dark bowels of the earth.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Red leaves on the way to Broken Top

Some plant with incredible red leaves on the trail to Broken Top outside of Bend, Oregon. I love the low perspective and the trees in the background for scale. It's a pretty place.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Capitol by night

Capitol by night by alumroot
Capitol by night, a photo by alumroot on Flickr.

From a less contentious time.Even when contentious, Madison is a lovely city. This is a winter night from 5 years ago.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Uroplatus toes

Uroplatus toes by alumroot
Uroplatus toes, a photo by alumroot on Flickr.

Walking up glass. This reminds me that things that are often seen as impossible may have a solution, if you keep looking.

Rhythm and Booms - Really red

It was a perfect night for fireworks, no rain, but clouds. It made the whole sky take on the color from the explosions. Between the lake and the sky it was amazing. I missed the show this year, but there is always next year.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Brown (DeKay's) snake

Brown (DeKay's) snake by alumroot
Brown (DeKay's) snake, a photo by alumroot on Flickr.

This is a lovely little snake and very docile. I found it in a location that has been developed. Too bad it was a great spot for amphibians and reptiles in Ann Arbor.

Do I have any clam stuck in my teeth?

Showing off her teeth, this sea otter at the Vancouver Aquarium is washing her face. Still it is a fun photo.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

King of mountain - baby turtle style

We were hatching out turtle nests from south-east Michigan for research on hatchling dispersal and for release. The softshells came from the lake I lived on and during the summers I swam with their parents almost every day. The little blandings turtles are show no fear of people and will crawl around in your hand. The softshells are tiny terrors, snapping at any hand that comes close and that doesn't go away. I kept a few of the hatchlings for a year to get their size up before release and they never lost their willingness to bite.

With a Minolta X370 on Kodachrome 200

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chanterelle mushrooms?

Chanterelle mushrooms? by alumroot
Chanterelle mushrooms?, a photo by alumroot on Flickr.
I think these are chanterelles, but like the lobster mushroom in my stream, I am not sure enough to take a chance, and I strongly recommend that you don't either unless you are sure. Seen just off the coastal path along the Oregon coast just North of Yachats.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Secret imperial napkin fold

Secret imperial napkin fold by alumroot
Secret imperial napkin fold, a photo by alumroot on Flickr.

At the Kaiserappartements, Vienna, Austria. This fold is secret and passed on so that only two people know the secret. Part of the secret is the two bread compartments. I intended to see whether I could duplicate this fold, but in the end, I really did not care that much. But, others are fascinated why this is such a secret and it is a popular photo in my flickr stream.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Coastal Taipan

Coastal Taipan by alumroot
Coastal Taipan, a photo by alumroot on Flickr.

The coastal taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus) is one the most venomous snakes in the World. Taken at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, NSW, Australia. This has been linked to by some blogs as a fierce snake, but it is not. THIS IS NOT A FIERCE SNAKE. Fierce snakes are inland taipans, a different species Oxyuranus microlepidotus.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Escalator by alumroot
Escalator, a photo by alumroot on Flickr.

I'm pretty sure that this is Dupont Circle on the DC Metro. It has been too long since I worked in B&W, I was not sure what I was going for. The people coming down made it harder, because I would have gone higher contrast except for what it would have done to the details of their faces. I am also not sure about the symmetry. I wonder whether it might be better not to have the overall symmetry given the asymmetrical distribution of riders. Suggestions are welcome

Crescent Moon

Crescent Moon by alumroot
Crescent Moon, a photo by alumroot on Flickr.

The crescent moon shines brightly over the lake glowing at sunset. Pickerel Lake Oneida County, Wisconsin

Friday, August 5, 2011

baby turtle belly buttons

baby turtle belly buttons by alumroot
baby turtle belly buttons, a photo by alumroot on Flickr.

A recently hatched Blandings turtle. In the center of its plastron you can see where the yolk sac was attached, so that is its belly button. You can see its face in this shot, where it looks annoyed with me.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

the terrible poison frog

the terrible poison frog by alumroot
the terrible poison frog, a photo by alumroot on Flickr.

Phyllobates terribilis, is more commonly called the golden poison frog. It generates some of the strongest frog toxins, and in the wild it is unwise to handle them with your bare hands, lest you absorb the poison through any small scratch. When I was an active herpetologist I was speaking with a friend who studies dendrobatids in the field. He told me that is was common practice in the field to test the strength of the toxin by touching the tip of your tongue to the frog to see if it went numb. This practice largely stopped upon the discovery of how toxic this frog is, as doing that with this animal in the wild might kill you. They quickly lose toxicity in captivity because they are not fed the insects from which they derive the toxins. Still, better safe than sorry, I always wore gloves when handling its congener, Phyllobates bicolor. Taken at the Audubon Aquarium, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Rana septentrionalis (mink frog)

A mink frog the from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan taken in the summer 1995. Its one of my favorite species of frogs. They are found primarily in the northern Great Lakes states and Canadian provinces from Minnesota and Manitoba to Maine and Nova Scotia. This shows one on the easiest recognized characteristics, spots on leg (rather than stripes found in green frogs). Taken with a Minolta X370 and a Tamron 60-300 SP (probably at 300mm, I don't know how I lived without exif data).

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Looking for mister right

Looking for mister right by alumroot
Looking for mister right, a photo by alumroot on Flickr.

Green frog Rana clamitans -- taken in the University Commons area of Ann Arbor Michigan on 11 May 1997. A gravid female making a bee-line to the calling males in the ponds in the area. I think she is so dark because it was pretty cool yet, only 10 degrees C (50 F) in the late afternoon.

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