Sunday, August 11, 2019


August 10, Cecropia Caterpillar

The adventure begins at 3:20 of this video, on my foot.

We've raised Luna moths, and a Polyphemus (long ago) but this must surely be the biggest cat I have ever seen. In this pose he/she's 57 zipper links or 23 stitches long, which approaches 3.5". This is a bit unscientific as I can't match up the picture to the exact spot on that insulated bag.

August 11 9am, the web is happening. 
First time-lapse is about 10 minutes of getting started.
11 hours later he/she's still busy in there (about 8 minutes worth).
 I don't think we'll get much of a view when actual pupa happens.

Aug 14 
Today I am told the moth itself may not emerge until next spring.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Monarchs 2019

Milkweed patch started in 2018, looking good in 2019 but no flowers other than Nancy (as of July 3).

May 27 witnessed a Monarch lingering, checked and found eggs.

Eggs hatched June 2 but only found a few tiny caterpillars, this one might be a day or two old. Photographed June 3.

What goes in must come out. Yes the camera is tilted.
June 21
June 23 This one is more interested in stem than leaf at this point, wants fiber I guess.
 June 24 Cha-cha-changes...  Cat#1
June 25 Cat#2 decided to attach to a piece of newspaper lining the enclosure.

Slideshow of photos taken every ten minutes. Clearly that period was too long to catch much of the actual transformation. I consider myself fortunate to have the one shot where the split skin is visible.

Flash forward to July 3. I noticed the chrysalises were dark so hurried to get the camera ready. When I turned around they had both emerged, too quick for me to catch. Didn't even get a shot of the dark chrysalis. (find a shot from last time)
Before I had my wits about me enough to get sharper pictures, I was able to get this little sequence of rumpled wings expanding.

The female (formerly cat#2)
Didn't get a good shot of top wings and it's too bad, she was quite dusky looking.
However, even from the underside view you can see no hindwing spots.

Slideshow spanning a 9 minute sequence of the last pre-release shots of the male.

Free at last. Resting here after short maiden flights.

More eggs and cats found (add some details, pictures and dates here perhaps)

July 21 I was showing Nancy how the eggs got a little black spot when ready to hatch. Hmm that one looks like it's about ready, I wonder if I could possibly photograph the event. Kluged up Nancy's hand lens and voila.

August 6

Sunday, June 16, 2019

June Birds

June 14, 2019 unless otherwise noted.

The funny-looking wet Chickadee is the one got me started on this session.
I like the vertical raindrops too.

Ms Bluebird

Juvie Bluebird from 1st clutch.

Ms Red-bellied Woodpecker
I've read that Cardinals sometimes lose their head feathers, making them look a little like miniature Turkey Vultures. Add some rain and voila!

Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Ms Bluebird again.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Ms Red-bellied Woodpecker again
 Oriole enjoying 1999 vintage Smuckers grape jelly.  
I don't get too many Nuthatch shots, they move so quickly. 

June 10
I put out some grape jelly ("best by 1999") in hopes of attracting Orioles. Success with quick result, with a name like Smuckers...! Thanks to Michael Lavender for the suggestion. Young Bluebird and Chickadee also interested. Got a bit carried away with the merged-photo project, not all birds shown are coming for the jelly. Sandy Ridout you asked about the jelly presentation: lid from vitamin bottle.
Customers so far: Oriole, Juvie Bluebird; Chickadee; female Red-belly; Downy.

Jill Swiss: Do you have a bird/wildlife camera set up? This is incredible!

G: Not really, I'd like to get one. With hopes of catching Oriole(s) at jelly I put the GoPro out, snapping shots every second. We had to go out that morning. The goal wasn't to make this big amalgamation out of it but one thing led to another. Putting it together took me at least a couple of hours I think. Thanks!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Pedal Boards

February 9, 2019 
Genesis Series GSP-500-BK Pedalboard

I'd been getting by with the Electro Harmonix pedal board/bag (bottom of above picture) for a while. However, after damaging the zipper it was a bit cumbersome as the top part could no longer be completely removed (thanks to my repair). Along with a mic stand it took up a fair amount of floor space, so when the Genesis (mid and top of above) went on sale again I jumped at it. Normal price $200, "stupid" deal $100 (excluding the pole which was another $20).

Attaching the Decibel Eleven power block underneath the pedalboard was the first order of business. 

They provide some reasonable clamps for this but the spacing of the back panel is prohibitive, regardless of power block orientation.
Yes I could have flipped the block over with the outlets at the rear (like this) but I wanted the outlets facing the middle of the board dammit, so those short DC wires could reach the pedals. Also I wanted the AC input at the rear. Don't ask why.

I decided to shift that panel down a bit. It wasn't a hard thing to do, just an extra project I hadn't bargained on. I didn't drill/tap any new holes in the sides, just one hole each end of the panel and notches for those edge screws. The above shows the new location, didn't photo the original from this angle but you can see the slots where the screws originally went. Note the picture at top left is diagonally cut off due to rotating it. The side piece slopes but not at such a steep angle.

I don't really trust those clamps, especially as the knurled screws are really hard to turn being recessed between cross-beams as they are. I plan to modify that too.


Speaking of pedals and mods:

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Music Peeps

 2019-01-25_BarrelRun (Video frame compilations)
James Knight & Friends, Carol Caine singing.

 James Knight & Friends. 
Behind, left to right: Gareth; Paul Hess; Dale Huffman; Holly.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Winter Birds

Birds: I love those flocking things!

Oiseaux Out The Wazoo / Feathered Frenzy / Tableau Oiseaux
Like Spenser Quinn's dog Chet I'm fuzzy on the expression but like it anyway (wazoo). Thanks to cousin Ruth for the Tableau suggestion!
January 11, 2019 
An amalgamation of maybe 15 culled from over 3 thousand GoPro shots. I didn't set out to do this, I was time-lapsing in hopes of catching the hawk that sometimes lands on our "strut" (from which we hang feeders). If I get a shot maybe we could ID it (the hawk).
 Again, this is not one photograph of a single moment in time, it is a compilation of something like 15 different moments over the span of half an hour. While I don't use Photoshop, you could say it was "Photoshopped" or manipulated in a similar way. 

To zoom in: click the picture, then right-click and "view image"
(browser dependent perhaps). In my browser (WaterFox) a "+" then appears with the pointer allowing me to magnify.

ID Key for the above: 
CM: Cardinal (male)
CF: Cardinal (female)
CH: Black-capped Chickadee
DM: Downy Woodpecker (male)
DF: Downy Woodpecker (female)
GF: American Goldfinch
RBF: Red-bellied Woodpecker (female)
TM: Titmouse. That might be the same behind/below, flying away.

?: Male Downy or possibly Hairy Woodpecker. It looks big enough to be the latter but that could be proximity to the camera. Any suggestions? The Hairy is a regular visitor but its usually not the male.
Another indicator is presence of black spots on white tail feathers, as can be clearly seen on the flying DM near center image (but I believe are always lacking on the Hairy). However, I've seen Downys where those spots are hard to see. 

January 13
The GoPro captured the Hawk! I didn't find out until almost 24 hours later while examining the video evidence (felt like being on a cop show going through security tapes).
Thanks to Scott Judd for ID: Immature Coopers Hawk. 

January 15, another composite centered on the feeder given me by Serena and Karen when I retired.

Jan. 28
Ms. Bluebird hovers briefly en route to our kitchen window sill. 

Jan. 31
Getting darker outside so I'm resorting to artificial light. Along with the single-digit temperature they seem to shrug it off. 
 This is the longer sequence that the "shrug" comes from. 
I thought this was around sunset but had the time set wrong on my camera and couldn't verify.