Saturday, July 30, 2011

Moves Like Jagger

Moves Like Jagger
By Maroon 5

Good workout song.

I just discovered
It tells you what BPM a song is and gives a list of songs by BPM.

130 BPM

Monarch Butterfly

The first thing that comes to mind upon spotting one is B-I-G butterfly.

Good photos of Caterpillar to Chrysalis to Monarch

The male monarchs have a black spot (scent scales release pheromones) on each of the hind wings over a vein.

Good Male vs female photos here.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Listening To...

One I Love
By Coldplay


Field walk.
The dragonflies were active.

Odonata of North Dakota
Order Odonata (toothed ones) - dragonflies (Anisoptera) and damselflies (Zygoptera)

Family Libellulidae
Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa)

bugguide (libellula - skimmer)

Family Libellulidae
Western Meadowhawk (Sympetrum occidentale)

bugguide (sympetrum - meadowhawks)

I love this one:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sometime Around Midnight

Sometime Around Midnight
By The Airborne Toxic Event

Definitely captures the emotions of the story with this song.
I don't think I'd want to call myself an airborne toxic event. lol

Indie rock band from LA, CA.
On 5 Aug 2008, the band released its first full-length album, The Airborne Toxic Event.
On 6 Dec 2008, iTunes named "Sometime Around Midnight" the #1 Alternative Song of the Year on their Best of 2008 list.

Everything that happened in the song actually happened.
In fact, everything on the record actually happened.
The Airborne Toxic Event album was conceived as a novel until songwriter Mikel Jollett realized his writing went better with music.
The Airborne Toxic Event took their name from the post-modern writer Don DeLillo's novel White Noise which won the National Book Award in 1985. In the story the main character is exposed to an enormous chemical explosion, dubbed "the Airborne Toxic Event," and is forced to confront his fear of death.

A few more of their songs to try:
All At Once‬‬

Fawn Repose

In the backyard. I slowly/quietly opened the side garage door and then took photos.
Fawns are very skittish and I was surprised that he let me get several shots before he ran off.
Oh, he knew I was there right away and was looking right at me.
On this one, I think he was looking for his mama and then took off after her.
I thought that it was the perfect pose.

Chasing Cotton

Chasing a cotton ball (cottonwood tree) with a camera as it wafts down to the ground. Not an easy task to get in focus!

Learning To Fly

Learning to Fly
Tom Petty w/ Stevie Nicks
Live from Gatorville 2006
One of my all-time favorite songs.
I've never seen/heard this version before.

Another Version

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Another one to add to my list of North Dakota birds photographed.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow
(Stelgidopteryx serripennis)

Thursday, July 07, 2011

A Nice Summer Song/Video

Stay The Night
By James Blunt

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Got my first photos of this bird so I can add it to my list and blog it. If I get more/better photos I'll add them here.
This is the first time I've noticed those patches of white on the wings.

Note female is brown with yellow patches and white streaking.
The other bird with the male yellow-headed blackbird was a male house sparrow.

North Dakota Crop Circle

North Dakota Crop Circle - Ha

Tiger Lilies

Orange Tiger Lily (Lilium lancifolium)
They photograph better in the shade. In the sun, the colors look too harsh.

Minot - Souris River

I've been tracking Minot's Souris river levels too, yet another record breaker.
The second crest rose so fast and high that they had little time to prepare for it.
The Souris has never been that high since records were kept dating back to 1881.
Other smaller towns along the Souris, like Burlington (above Minot), Sawyer, Velva (below Minot) also had flooding problems.

Charts mine, data here.

North Dakota Rivers - Souris highlighted:

ND Rivers
ND Cities
(Layer the two on top of each other.)

Garrison Dam - Bismarck - Missouri River

Garrison dam has turned into quite the tourist attraction this year with the first ever spillway opening and the high release levels.
I wasn't all that interested in going there because I had already seen photos and videos online.
I was wrong.
Much more impressive to go there in person and have the sensory experience of that water bursting and splashing out.

The down side is that viewing areas are more restricted so everyone sees only a few views and everyone is taking the same photos and the same videos. They have the spillway parking area so blocked up that at first I didn't even think we could get over to the west side where the water is rushing out. But you can. You can still park in a portion of the parking lot and then you walk across the highway over to the west side of the spillway. It is blocked for vehicle traffic, but foot traffic is still allowed.

The spillway has to be photographed facing the sun (South). High contrast situation. It was a challenge photographing/videoing the water and I didn't like my results much. We were there in the morning. I don't know if late afternoon would be any better for photography. The spillway is East/West direction.

There is usually an abundance of birds, including pelicans, to photograph around the dam area when the water isn't booming out. I could see birds in the far distance, so they were still around, just too far away to photograph.

NDNG Aerial View of Garrison Dam

OmahaUSACE - Corps so better viewing access/different views.
Dated 6 Jun 11 - my notes say maybe about 120,000 cfs.
usace website

Typical tourist views.
Dated 11 Jun 11 - my notes say about 135,000 cfs.

This is what I have for later scheduled releases:
17 Jun11 - 150,000 cfs (That was the maximum.)
27 Jun 11 - 145,000 cfs
09 Jul 11 - 140,000 cfs
After 09Jul11, the releases will gradually be reduced by 5,000 cfs.
18 Jul 11 - 120,000 cfs
29 Jul 11 - 110,000 cfs
The schedule changes all the time.
Corps says effective 6 Jul 11, releases will be 140,000 cfs, so they must have reduced it sooner than previously scheduled.

I think the river level at Bismarck peaked at 19.25 feet on
01 Jul 11.
(Bismarck/Mandan - twin cities.)
That will probably be the crest reported for the year 2011.
The river hasn't been that high since the Garrison dam was built and in operation (1953).

Charts mine, data here.

North Dakota Rivers - Missouri, Little Missouri highlighted:
(Note flooding in Williston and Medora area also.)

ND Rivers
ND Cities
(Layer the two on top of each other.)

NOTE on cfs:
1 cubic feet per second (cfs) = 7.48 gallons per second
7.48 x 60 = 448.8 gallons per minute
448.8 x 1,440 = 646,272 gallons per day
140,000 cfs x 646,272 = 90,478,080,000 gallons per day

Under The Sumac Tree

We were at the monastery beside/on University of Mary campus South Bismarck with overlook views of the Missouri river.

I was interested in these nifty fernlike trees.
I think they are sumac trees.

ND Tree Handbook
(See section III small trees.)

Family Anacardiaceae (cashew/sumac)

The tree body looked more like the image of
Sumac, Smooth (Rhus glabra)
Similar to Staghorn sumac but shorter.

But I think it's probably the
Sumac, Staghorn (Rhus typhina/Rhus hirta)
(See "Male flower cluster" image.)

Mine looks similar:

The sumac trees are probably gloriously ablaze with red leaves in autumn.

The monastery has a labyrinth.
(Better image view of the labyrinth pattern here.)
I'd like to walk it sometime. Maybe I'll return in the autumn, so I can also see those pretty sumac tree leaves.

Four Labyrinths in the state
This one is described as Medieval, 11 circuit, grass pathway, edged with natural stones.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Listening To

Two songs:

Gold In The Air Of Summer
By Kings of Convenience
"an indie folk-pop duo from Bergen, Norway."

The words aren't sad, but the music sure is.
Nostalgic, I guess.
Without giving anything away,
I can say it's by the sea.
It's a house that used to be the home of a friend of mine.
Without giving anything away,
you'll find ships inside of bottles,
and the garden's overgrown,
the house is white but the paint is coming off.
I didn't know if you wanted to,
when I came to pick you up.
You didn't even hesitate,
and now you and me are on our way.
I think I've brought everything we need,
don't look back,
don't think of the other places you should have been
it's a good thing that you came along with me.
Gold in the air of summer,
you'll shine like gold in the air of summer.

Life Is Life
By Noah and the Whale
"an English Indie folk band from Twickenham, London, England"

Wasn't that Noah and the ark, Jonah and the whale? Okay, never mind...

"The name 'Noah and the Whale' is a combination of the title of one of the band's favourite films, The Squid and the Whale, and the name of the film's director , Noah Baumbach."

The scream and running (video) sure fits the topic.

Well he used to be somebody
And now he's someone else
Took apart his old life
Left it on the shelf
Sick of being someone
He did not admire
Took up all his old things
Set em all on fire

He's gonna change
Gonna change his ways
Gonna change
Gonna change his ways

And it feels like his new life can start
And it feels like heaven

Sparrow Headache

Went for a walk in the field and kept getting different sparrow photos.
And I'm like, oh no, yet *another* sparrow. LOL
Sparrows are so difficult to identify.
I think I probably ended up with several ones I already have, Grasshopper, chipping, clay-colored, etc.
I like this one of the clay-colored sparrow (previously):

One sparrow photo really has me stumped, but I didn't like the background on it anyway, so I'm going to see if I can get something better before I blog it. I saw a juvenile robin out there also.

Here's some of the grass photos I like:

No coneflower blossoms yet, but they're coming up.
Too much yellow sweet clover in the field this year. I hope it's not taking over.