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Archive for the ‘photography’ Category

So I’ve been neglecting this blog badly, and I’m sorry.  Here are some lovely pictures in way of apology. Back in May I went to the Renwick with my daughter, Dottie, my sister, Alice, and my mother.  It was pretty amazing.

There was a gorgeous string rainbow sculpture:

A string and light sculpture based on maps of a tsunami. The colors shifted to show how ocean depth changed over time:

A construction of twigs (willow?)

and an amazing marble installationIMG_1754

I’m so sorry I don’t have better notes.  There was also an installation of huge mounds made from file cards (which was my daughter’s favorite).

I’ll try to post more regularly going forward.  Hope you all had a great spring, and will have an excellent summer.

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Once again, I had all sorts of plans for posts which got preempted by life and by other post ideas. So, today, I will bring you some photos I just had to share.

The first is a series I took at sunrise in Ocean City.  This series was taken from the balcony of the condominium we were lucky enough to stay at.

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I would have done better with a tripod here, but I think the iPhone camera wasn’t too bad.  Of course, the suns disk was visible to the naked eye up until the last one, rather than being full of fire as the camera saw it.

The other great sky scene I wanted to share with you was from just a couple of days ago.  This one was also taken with the iPhone, from a moving car.

Stormy SkyI took a whole series of pictures, but none of them really captured the menace of the scene.  This one came closest.

So that’s it for today.  I hope you enjoy, and I expect to be posting about WiPs and FOs within the week.

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Today’s blog post is to be something different.  I was thinking of writing some flash fiction, or perhaps publishing a rant about race relations, but then my daughter said that we should go down to DC for a day and look at museums.  It’s been a long time since I did the ‘tourist’ thing with this blog.  About a year, actually, when the National Zoo closed its Invertebrate House.

So I present to you the day in pictures:

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Today’s assignment was to photograph my knitting in a different way.  As it happened, I was down in the US Botanical Garden with a WIP and an FO today.

TARDIS with Iris

Here are the TARDIS socks in progress, taken with some Iris outside the conservatory building. I love the blues and purples, and I also love how much richer the socks look in natural sunlight.

Cable with Cactus

This is the Seaglass tote. The picture was taken inside the conservatory, but also in natural light as it’s basically one huge greenhouse. I love how the division betweent he green and aqua is clearly visible here, as well as how the succulents seem to glow with their own light.

LimonAtomic

I published this one before, but I couldn’t resist bringing it up again. It’s the Belle Green Shawl as I’m knitting the stockinette portion. This is two pictures of the same piece, taken while driving through an underpass. You can really see how this yarn fluoresces in the sunlight.

This has been a fun exercise, and a good reminder that I should photograph my knitting in sunlight more often.

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S is for…

S is for Springtime

It’s here at last!

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While walking in my neighborhood a couple of days ago, I spotted a very large bird, scavenging something off of the closely cropped lawn.

I immediately pulled out my iPhone and began taking pictures. I would snap one, take a few steps forward, and then take the next.

At some point, the bird began to become nervous at my approach. He picked up his meal and dragged it a few steps away, but he (or she) never flew off. In the end it worked out very well for me, because he ended up dragging the rabbit carcass out of the shadow.

I got very close indeed.

I’m pretty sure this is a Black Vulture.  They are evidently common birds (though I haven’t seen many around), and their habitat is expanding.  I’m not much of a bird watcher, but it’s nice to document one now and then.

Childsafe 4th

childsafe_4th_mediumWe had a lovely Fourth of July out at my in-law’s homestead.  They have a delightful little place with chickens and horses and my almost two year old niece.  Unfortunately neither horses nor two year olds mix well with fireworks.  Fortunately, cheezombie (on Ravelry) has a yarn version of firecrackers and sparklers.  I made a few from odds and ends of (mostly) acrylic, and they were very much appreciated.

 

 

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In case you haven’t heard, the National Zoo will be closing the Invertebrate Exhibit tomorrow.  It’s almost certainly a ‘done deal’, although you can sign the petition at Change.org to express your concerns (I did).

What the News Has Been Saying

The announcement was made Tuesday (though someone said Monday).  Animals will be found other homes, either in other parts of the zoo (such as the rainforest exhibit) or at other institutions. No animals will be harmed.  The five animal keepers who are employed at the house will be assigned to other parts of the zoo (which is understaffed).  There will eventually (probably) be a biodiversity exhibit and many of these exhibits will be restored then.

shrimp

I get that the hall needed to be revamped, and that the $5 million cost of renovation will instead go to making other exhibits more humane.  I get that there are hard choices that had to be made, and that I would probably be distressed by any choices that they made.  I just really, really wanted to take one last trip there to say “Goodbye”, which I did on Thursday (18 June).

 

So I Went to Say Goodbye

As always, the exhibit was full of visitors and FONZ volunteers.  Many of the visitors, like us, had come for one last goodbye.  Some seemed unaware that the exhibit was closing, which is not surprising, as there had been a total and complete news blackout about it up until the announcement.  I can understand that.  The Zoo, and the Smithsonian, must have anticipated that people would be irate, would attempt to organize and protest, and I’m sure they just wanted to avoid an uproar.  The decision can’t have been easy, and anything they chose to cut would have been controversial.  I’m sure they just wanted to be able to concentrate on what would be best for the animals.

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While I was there I spoke to several of the volunteers, and I learned something which, rather than allowing me a sense of closure and acceptance, really changed the focus of my discontent.

What the News Has Not Been Saying

The story the volunteers told was not touched upon in the news coverage.  The thing is, the staff, and the volunteers, were told about the closure just barely before the news media.  They were told on Monday that the exhibit would be closed on Sunday.   Certainly, there had been rumors, and speculation, for months.  There was no training session for new volunteers when one would normally have been expected.  The giant octopus, who had lived for an exceptionally long time after she laid eggs, was not replaced once she passed.  There were plenty of signs and hints, but no official word.

clams

The Smithsonian press release (linked above) does say that permanent employees will be reassigned.  There is mention of what happens to researchers or volunteers. I, personally, find this unconscionable and undefendable behavior from some of the few institutions which have maintained my trust for years.

comb jelliesIt’s very hard for me to find myself being this critical of the Smithsonian.  It’s even harder for my Mother, who has been a Smithsonian supporter for as long as I can remember, she’s already decided not to renew her  FONZ membership, and is considering letting her Smithsonian Associate membership expire as well.

Obviously, this is an emotional issue for me, and I’m probably rambling. I feel betrayed.  I trust that the zoo is honestly trying to do the best it can for the animals it cares for, but I cannot say that I trust that they are making the same effort for the individual humans they employ, or who help out of the goodness of their heart.  It just seems to me that they were so afraid of the public outcry which closing any exhibit would bring, they rushed to make it a fait accompli, and betrayed their own people in the process.

I want to see the Smithsonian treating it’s people better, even if it means they take a public relations hit in doing so.  I think they made the calculation that by rushing this through so fast, the population as a whole would just blink and move on without really seeing it.

cuttlefish

 

I’m afraid they’re right.

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