Nature Notes

September 23, 2009

Point Atkinson Lighthouse, British Columbia

Filed under: British Columbia,Lighthouse — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am
Point Atkinson Lighthouse, British Columbia

Point Atkinson Lighthouse, British Columbia

Found in North Vancouver in Lighthouse Park,  Point Atkinson Lighthouse was built in 1910. It replaces a structure that was first put up in 1874. There is a bit of a hike in to the lighthouse but it is well worth it as you traverse some remnant old growth forest.

PointAtkinsonLighthouse


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September 18, 2009

“Wildlife” Photographers

Filed under: Animals — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am

GiraffePhotographers

Many people are surprised to learn that that amazing cougar image on their calender, or the Grizzly Bear in a magazine are not taken in the wild. Many of these great images are taken at game farms like Triple D. or controlled situations. When they find this out, they are often upset, feeling like they have been tricked or fooled.

I saw the above controlled scene with a giraffe and trainer, and a crew that was photographing and filming it. They would guide the trainer to move to certain position with a pail of food to get the shots they wanted. If we were to see the product of this shoot, we would probably think it was of a wild animal in Africa.


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September 9, 2009

Cabo St. Vincent, Portugal

Filed under: Lighthouse,Portugal — Tags: , , — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am
Cabo St. Vincent, Portugal

Cabo St. Vincent, Portugal

Cape St. Vincent is the southwestern most point of Portugal. The Lighthouse that is there was built on the ruins of a 16th century Franciscan monastery. Henry the Navigator had a villa nearby. All of the buildings in the area were destroyed by the 1755 Lisbon earthquake.

CaboStVincent2

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September 8, 2009

A Saprophytic flower:Indian Pipe

Filed under: Flowers — Tags: — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am
Indian Pipe, Monotropa uniflora

Indian Pipe, Monotropa uniflora

A walk through our nearby Carolinian forest produces the sight of a waxy translucent flower growing through the dead leaves. It is called Indian Pipe, Monotropa uniflora, and it is a saprophytic plant, that is one that lives on dead organic matter. More correctly, it is parasitic on some types of fungi and its white color (rarely reddish) is a sign of its lack of chlorophyll.

Its flower is also unusual looking as you can see below.

IndianPipe4



 

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September 7, 2009

Rugosa Rose: 9 Image Stack

Filed under: Flowers,Photography Tips — Tags: — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am
Rugosa Rose, Rosa rugosa

Rugosa Rose, Rosa rugosa

Not long ago I wrote a post on Image Stacking and some of the software that can be used with it. It is often used with things like macro shots of insects but I also see it as a very useful technique with wildflowers where the lens used may not always provide a lot of Depth of Field. With this image and the angle shot from, if I used my 180 macro lens to focus on the center stamens, both the petal edges and leaves would be out of focus. I ended up taking a series of 9 images ranging from focus on the edge of the petals and gradually moving back to the leaves. The images were processed in Zerene Stacker which combined them to give a focused image throughout that range.


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September 6, 2009

Common Snapping Turtle

Filed under: Animals — Tags: — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am
Common Snapping Turtle, Chelydra serpentina

Common Snapping Turtle, Chelydra serpentina

The Common Snapping Turtle, Chelydra serpentina, is a large fresh water species of turtle with an aggressive disposition and the large powerful jaws to back it up. They are long lived creatures which can grow to weigh 16 kg. (35 lbs) in the wild. In late spring the female digs a hole and lays leathery shelled eggs, up to 80 a season.

SnappingTurtle3 SnappingTurtle2


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September 5, 2009

Silves, Portugal

Filed under: Cityscape,Portugal — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am
Silves, Portugal

Silves, Portugal

Silves, located in the Algarve region of Portugal, has been an important center of the region throughout its history. It was especially so when it was under the control of the Moors in the Eleventh century, when it was considered the most important city in the Iberian peninsula.

In 1755 much of thew city was destroyed by the Lisbon earthquake although much of the 1000 year old castle remains to dominate over the city. There is a medieval bridge which is said to have a Roman foundation. The image of it below was used for a program shown on Discovery.

Medieval Bridge

Medieval Bridge

Of interest is the Cruz de Portugal, or Stone Cross of Portugal, which is a beautifully carved limestone cross with a Pieta scene on one side and Christ on the other. It is said to date from the 15th century although its origins are a mystery.

Cruz de Portugal

Cruz de Portugal

Silves4 Silves5

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September 4, 2009

Lisbon, Portugal

Filed under: Cityscape,Portugal — Tags: , , — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am
Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, the Capital of Portugal, is a magnificent city, very beautiful with its red roofs and golden brick. It is a very old city going back over 3000 years.

Overlooking the city is the Castle of St. George (photo below) which dates from the second century and has served as residence for the Portuguese Royal Family.

Castle of Saint George

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

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