Saturday, June 17, 2006
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Side, rear and front views. After the photo the beetle on the left knocked the bettle on the right clean off the branch. I guess he was in a fighting mood. I didn't actually expect any of these photos to come out. Low light, through glass smudged by countless sticky fingers of school children. It was much better than I expected. I need to bring in my tripod just for the spiders.
I forgot to read the sign near these guys, but a little search got me to Eudicella euthalia. Not quite, the spots on these from the Butterfly Pavilion are smaller then the ones in the sample photo. It's a start anyway. I guess I could do the easy thing and just send them an email and ask them.
And here's the reason that she's not as popular as she should be. We were at the Butterfly Pavilion when I spotted her. I wanted to show Rowan and a woman overheard the call, "Come check this out!" and came too.
I could feel the floorboards vibrate as she shuddered and scuttled away. Then I breathed on the spider and it scuttled away too. When the spider left there was an interesting shuuuucka-shuuuucka-shuuuuuucka sound, but no floorboard shacking.
The Pavilion uses them to control the cockroaches. Carnivorous pitcher plants take care of a few too.
This is a Huntsman spider holding an egg sack in her jaws -- so I guess she wasn't as chaste as the goddess of the hunt. Naming aside, Huntsman spiders are like Wolf spiders which carry their egg sacks in like fanny packs. Both hunt down their prey rather than catch food in webs and bring their eggs with them.
Huntsman spiders adore cockroaches. They should be popular ...
Friday, June 02, 2006
Thursday, June 01, 2006
The hair on caterpillars are apparently inconvenient for birds. We saw a scrub jay carefully wiping off the hairs off a caterpillar. It seems that the work was worth it since the jay ignored us until he(?) was finished and popped it in his mouth.
New camera: hurrah! Lack of lenses: impatient, spoiled sigh. Here is a story of transition to a "real" camera.
My mum combined every future present I might receive and got me a Canon Rebel XT, my first SLR. This camera takes care of a ton of things that were driving me batty about my FujiFilm S5000, including software that tried to be too clever, no hot shoe, delay when starting up, 3MP, inability to switch lenses, restricted aperature (f/3.2 - f/9), being clever about built in flash, and so forth. The SLR came in a kit with a zoom 18mm - 55mm f/3 - f/5.6, but the FujiFilm could zoom the equivalent of 48m - 480mm, so I've been feeling a little distant. The Canon does take mild macro pictures fairly well without any additional lenses. My Raynox lenses do fit on the end of the camera, but don't function as well as they did on the FF. I think two more lenses will get me to a full upgrade (macro and zoom). Heh, a little rich for my current situation. Anyone have suggestions for good, cheap Canon compatible lenses? Anyone had luck on the used market?
I have tried to sign up with iStockphoto, thinking I might put some money in the piggy bank for lenses, but most of my photos with the Fujifilm have too many artifacts to be acceptable. So, I'll try to combine my learning the new camera with trying to get more stock for sale and reapply.
The big happy, happy is that I have the SLR before our trip to China. That should produce a good photostory. We'll also have two digital cameras for the trip. The current estimate is that we'll be travelling in July to get Li Mei. I've been completely preoccupied by the adoption lately; just like when I was pregnant, my brain seems unable to to think when children are on the way. I have massive nesting instincts.