Tag Archives: Photo Challenge

Smithsonian Submillimeter Array

Smithsonian Submillimeter array

Smithsonian Submillimeter array dishesSmithsonian Submillimeter array dishes with textAnother response to the last edition of the WordPress photo challenge with a theme of ‘All time favorites.’

I post this for two reasons. The first is that recently I had an exchange on this blog with the wife of the Director of the Submillimeter Array (SMA). The second is that Mauna Kea is a favorite place of mine to visit.

So here are a couple of photos of the SMA taken a few years back. The dishes are mounted on those little round pads in the photos, and they can be moved to different pads to produce different configurations. In my ignorance of most things scientific, I marvel at the idea of moving a dish a few meters makes a big difference in observations of things way the heck out there in space. That’s not an official measurement there.

The top photo shows seven of the eight dishes that make up the array.
The photos at left, of three dishes and what immediately popped into my head when I saw them, show why I never made it as a scientist.

For more information about the Submillimeter Array, go to https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/sma/.


The eyes have it

Sheep with older lamb

Another response to the last edition of the WordPress photo challenge with a theme of ‘All time favorites.’

After a recent hike, I was returning to my truck and saw a small flock of sheep ahead on the track. These two caught my attention. The smaller one on the right was, I assume, the other’s lamb. Just before I took this photo, I saw it going for milk with that pneumatic drill approach that lambs have.

Before and after that, the ewe stood still, unwaveringly fixing me with those intense eyes. Then the two of them ran off to follow the rest of the flock that had already moved on.

Devil scorpionfish

Devil Scorpionfish displaying

Devil ScorpionfishAnother response to the last edition of the WordPress photo challenge with a theme of ‘All time favorites.’

There’s no doubt that moving to Hawaii has allowed me to gain an appreciation for creatures that live underwater. Where I lived before, in Washington State, getting in the water involved a huge amount of courage, which was rewarded by hypothermia and death 15 minutes later. I still consider it something of a minor miracle that I can jump in the water here, swim around for an hour, and emerge alive!

Photographing those underwater creatures is always something of a challenge. My camera is, essentially, a little point-and-shoot and I have no special lighting. The water is often murky and it’s always moving, I’m moving, the fish are moving. So I’m happy when I get a decent shot.

I spotted this devil scorpionfish when I was following a different fish and saw this unusual-looking ‘rock.’ It’s typical scorpionfish behavior. They have such good camouflage, that they can sit on the bottom in the open and not be noticed. After a few moments, the scorpionfish moved off and, as it did so, flashed the colorful undersides of its pectoral fins. This ‘flash’ serves as a warning to would-be predators that an encounter is not likely to end well for the attacker as the scorpionfish has venomous spines.

As for the photo on the right, I have it on good authority that his mother loves him.

Adult black-crowned night heron

Black crowned Night Heron on old tree

Black crowned Night HeronAnother response to the last edition of the WordPress photo challenge with a theme of ‘All time favorites.’

I’ve run photos of black-crowned night herons a few times before, notably here and here. Both those posts could qualify as favorites, but they showed juvenile herons and one feature of the juveniles is that they don’t have a black crown.

These photos are of an adult bird and make it fairly obvious why they have their name. Another feature of this breeding adult is the long white head plume. And finally, all I can say about the photo at bottom right is, “I love what you’ve done with your hair.”

Black-crowned Night Heron with fuzzy headBlack-crowned Night Heron preening

Bee on clover

Bee flying to clover

Bee on clover flowerThis is the last edition of the WordPress photo challenge with a theme of ‘All time favorites.’ Since I don’t want to rerun photos I’ve used previously, I’ve decided to interpret this challenge as favorites among photos I haven’t yet used. I’m also throwing in a touch of favorite subject matters or, basically, whatever strikes my fancy.

First up is a favorite subject – bees. These photos were taken in the front yard when I noticed a lot of activity around the many patches of clover there. One aspect of a decent photo is being in the right place at the right time. That was very true in this case. The bees were urgently buzzing from flower to flower collecting. I was, just as urgently, down on my knees taking photos. And all the time, the sound of the lawn mower got louder and louder …

Bee on clover