Friday, April 29, 2011

European Starling

European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

(Good comparison photos here. Compare with the immature red-wing blackbird. And the female, a blah brown, could be difficult to distinguish from other species.)

Here's a good photo comparison of the European Starling at different times/stages.

UPDATE 8May11:


Tree Swallow

(Pretty creamy bokeh background.)

Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)



(I like the colors.)
Females and males must look the same? There were a lot of them and all I saw were the ones that looked like this.

This was a park sign bird house setting, one of the reasons why I got the nice closeup shot above.

Pine Siskin

I think this is a Pine Siskin, which means he's a winter bird for our area. Closely related to the goldfinch.

(Spinus pinus)
"The most common of the irruptive 'winter finches,' the Pine Siskin often remains on the wintering grounds long enough to breed."

(Carduelis pinus)

Carduelis vs Spinus:
itis favors Carduelis.
wiki (1976...Spinus merged into Carduelis)
wiki - carduelis (2009 Cornell link.)

House Finch - House Sparrow

Mr and Ms House Finch and Mr and Ms House Sparrow all on the same tree.

House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus):



House Sparrow (Passer domesticus):

(He looks interesting. I'd sure like to get more/better photos of him.)


I think this is a female house sparrow also (better detail):

Must be nesting. That's a overexposed feather in her beak.


Here's another one of the male house sparrow. He looks so cute. Nesting.


I think this butterfly is a Polygonia comma.
There's a winter and summer form. Must be the winter form.
I was surprised to see a butterfly this early. There was a break in the rainy/snowy overcast weather. It was sunny and maybe 45-50 degrees at about 10:30 am.
(Has pics of winter and summer forms.)
"The Eastern Comma is the most common of the commas and is found throughout the state. Adults of this species hibernate and appear on warm sunny days in the early spring, even when there is still snow present. After a long winter it is a real pleasure to see these butterflies flying around."

bugguide drill down to
Genus Polygonia - Commas, Question Mark
Species comma - Eastern Comma

ND Butterflies

Monday, April 25, 2011

Yellow-rumped warbler

New bird.
A migrant.

Yellow-rumped warbler (Dendroica coronata)


My Dakotas Bird book says:
"Sometimes called Butter-butts due to the yellow patch on rump. Was formerly called Audubon's or Myrtle Warbler."

White throat would be the Myrtle form (SDBirds).
Or Adult Male Eastern (cornell).

Friday, April 22, 2011

Apophysis Windows 7

There is a Windows 7 UI version of 3D Apophysis.

Some improvements, but it's basically the same.

Most of the current online activity for this software is at deviantart.

It's probably easier to google what you want (tuts, news, plugins, scripts, flames etc.) rather than surf deviantart directly.

I didn't see much new beyond very basic tuts. And I think much of the fractal creations rely on plugins and scripts. What I've already posted for Apo info is still relevant and probably still contains the best links.

There also might be some current info at fractalforums.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Muskrat Love

These muskrats are fun to observe (previously). They were out at 2pm this day, so my theory that they are only out and about early in the morning was wrong.

The male was feeling amorous again and his mate looked less than enthused:

Scuffle ensues:

Maybe I'll get baby photos eventually if they stick around the same area.

Muskrat Love, by America.
“This was written by the Texas singer Willis Alan Ramsey in 1972, who recorded it as "Muskrat Candlelight." America recorded the song on their 1973 album Hat Trick before Captain & Tennille recorded their hit version in 1976...
This song really is about 2 muskrats making love. It's not to be taken seriously, and even contains synthesized sound effect to simulate the muskrat copulation. This sound was played at the end of the song and included in the end groove of the 45 single, so when the record ended, it played the muskrats on a loop until the record player was attended. ”

Is that really true? I have no idea, lol.

And now he's ticklin' her fancy
Rubbin' her ties
muzzle to muzzle now
anything goes
as they wiggle
and Sue starts to giggle

And they whirled and they twirled and they tangoed
Singin' and jinglin' the jango
Floatin' like the heavens above
It looks like muskrat love...

Mystical Goose

Canada Goose

I thought this looked kinda cool. Mystical? or something.
I had to do some post-processing work. I cloned out a few branches. The right wing tips were clipped, so I copied mirrored blended the wing tips from the left side. Tone Mapping and High Pass Sharpen to increase definition. But it really was white snow drifts for background in April, yes, it's true. lol.

Canada Geese are very common around here and sometimes considered pests. I don't post anymore photos of them unless something unusual shows up like the photo above.


I finally watched Alice In Wonderland.
Worth a watch.
I liked the song by Avril. I didn't know she wrote a song for the movie.
I recognized her voice when the song played.

Avril Lavigne - Official 'Alice (Underground)' Music Video (HQ)

It can't stop me now
I - I'll get by
I - I'll survive
When the world's crashing down
When I fall and hit the ground
I will turn myself around...


“Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Photo Walk

Spring Thaw:

The usual spring sightings of robins, Canada geese, mallards, and...

Out for breakfast, a muskrat:

Well, that's something new.
Just an insignificant speck in the scheme of things:

Okay, here, take your best mug shot:

And there he was, gone:

I see them every morning about 7:50 am and by about 8:15 am or so they disappear. I see two couples at two different locations. Not much light so my camera is really straining to get a decent exposure and the photos aren't the best, but I'm happy to get something.

Feeling frisky (different day):

And a little further North along the river, a beaver, obviously bigger than those tiny muskrats:

I like the water texture. Moving right along, cutting thru that water pretty fast... and *slaps* the water with that flat tail and disappears.

wiki - muskrat
muskrat? previously
wiki - beaver

Saturday, April 02, 2011

The End - Music

The End by Pearl Jam
What a sad song. Made me cry.
Nope, never heard it before. Found it while googling some stuff on the Castle tv show (Epi 213).

Backspacer Album 2009. 9th album.

I also like:
Just Breathe
Love his deep voice.

Eddie Vedder songs - previous blog posts:
Better Days (Eat, Pray, Love)
Hard Sun (Into The Wild)