Sunday, April 28, 2013

All you need is a camera and talent.

 I was fascinated by these images taken by photographer Svjetlana Tepavcevic when I came across them in New Scientist.  Being too lazy to get up and fetch the magazine before I wrote about them I thought I would just search for 'seed photographs' and did I get a bonanza of a site when I recognized one of her seed photographs.  I'd love to know why in a search for seed photographs I managed to get so many wedding photographs, strange.
Svjetlana became interested in seeds after finding a strange object near her house in Los Angeles.  She plans to publish a book of her photographs but in the meantime go here to see some brilliant examples of macro photography.

This is the inner lining of the seed pod of Marah macrocarpus or bigroot, a type of wild cucumber that twines around trees.
This is the seed pod of Koelreuteria elegans, the Chinese rain tree.
And a nutmeg seed still wrapped in its outer covering strands of mace.
Tomas Rak's speciality is photographing insects and don't do what I did and put it up as wallpaper and forget. It's a real heartstopper when starting up the computer in the morning.

This one is even better as wall paper if you have the nerve.
Don't miss looking at Corrie White's lovely water drops either or miss the wonderful macro images of snowflakes.  There are so many other images I think I'm going to enjoy

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Stranger things.
When I posted that I didn't think anything larger than splinters would ever be found but then I read this in The Age this morning with the above image.

"A piece of landing gear believed to be from one of the planes destroyed in the September 11 attacks has been discovered wedged between a mosque site and another building near the World Trade Center.

The part includes a clearly visible Boeing identification number, New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said Friday (local time). The twisted, rusted metal part has cables and levers on it and is about 3 feet (0.9m) wide and 1.5 feet (0.5m) deep.

The piece of equipment was discovered Wednesday by surveyors inspecting the lower Manhattan site of a planned Islamic community centre, at 51 Park Place, on behalf of the building's owner, police said. The inspectors called police who secured the scene, documenting it with photos."

Hopefully this is not a nasty practical joke by a looney band of haters or 9/11 deniers.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Wearing bling in a large manner.

 Now a post for Elephant's Child .
She is under the impression that's she's too large to wear a tiara (I bet my bum is bigger than yours) so here's Maria Theresa of Luxembourg wearing some serious bling.  She's not so tall but a little broad across the beam and she carries off this many diamonds like a champ. The Luxembourg Empire Tiara, not for the small and timid. 
Although if you're just popping down to the corner store for a coffee and muffin, this smaller bandeau of rubies and diamonds would be quite in order.  Just make sure the thongs match and you're wearing gloves.

Lenticular clouds.

Rather than trawl through my files to find a lenticular cloud over Mt. Fujiyama for River  
I used that  popular search engine and found the one I wanted.  It's not the top one either.
I am getting suspicious of any photo that looks too good to be true and the top one is photoshopped. The bottom one is genuine and the first cloud layer is exactly the same in both photos and the other layers are also the same just graduated upwards.  Clever little bunnies ruined a great natural photo, I spit upon their skillz.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


This tiara has nothing to do with the post, I just happen to like it and want it and am going to try and make a hair comb in this fashion.  Drooling and thinking  how good I would look in any tiara is what happens when you start googling for a particular tiara and get sidetracked.

Anyway, April is almost gone and so has the autumn allergy rash, almost.  Whatever I'm allergic to in autumn and spring gives me a rash from knee down to ankle on both legs. It doesn't go any further, just there is enough to send me insane from the heat and the wanting to scratch my legs to ribbons.   But this past two weeks I've had a scratching urge for both arms and my neck.
This is different, no rash appearing above the skin not like the legs which makes me wear very long dresses.  I go through the diet to see if I've eaten anything out of the ordinary, nope.   I've already had to cut down on tofu as soy interferes with one of the diabetic medications. Grapefruit interferes with cholesterol medication and I've had an intolerance to grapefruit for years. Latest thing is that all citrus, even marmalade, could interfere with certain medications.  That's a problem as some mornings are just toast and marmalade mornings and nothing else. (don't mention the porridge) I don't change soap, powder, washing powder or food if it agrees with me.
The only thing I have done is open a bottle of Estee Lauder Youth Dew which I've been saving until I'd finished another bottle of Arden's Green Tea.   Bingo!  Some medications can make a person photo sensitive and the itchyness is where I've sprayed perfume and I've had sun on my skin.  My sister has already offered to take my brand new bottle as it's her favourite but I can spray it on my clothes before I put them on, no itchy.  But I must have looked great, scratching like a crystal meth addict all over Southland not to mention getting out the magnifying glass to see if there were any little red tracks which meant I had scabies.  Don't laugh, in and out of hospitals and the Home, it can happen although not to me.  From now on, it's night cream only for the old face as some creams are also photo sensitive.  
You know I haven't had an urge to scratch all day, until now. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

It's in the genes, my side of the pool.

I don't get a photo very often so even if it's a lousy iPhone one, I'm happy and more so since the email arrived on what would have been my son's 42nd birthday.  He would have been so proud of his daughters.  Granddaughter on the left had just turned 18 and GD on the right turned 20 in February.  

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Glowing, glowing, glowing.

 A brilliant image taken by Yuri Beletsky (Las Campanas Observatory, Carnegie Institution) in the southern Atacama desert of Chile where the air is so clear the Magellan, the du Pont and OGLE project telescope domes were built just for the star gazing. The Atacama desert is so inhospitable that it's used for trialing equipment for planetary exploration.
On April 11, 2013 about midnight Yuri took this mosaic of 3 minute long exposures and revealed an unusually intense atmospheric airglow which is the light of electronically or vibration-rotationally excited atoms and molecules 80 km or higher. While the airglow looks like an aurora and is found at similar heights it's quite different in execution, aurorae come about by collisions of energetic charged particles and airglow is from chemical reactions to the Sun's ultraviolet radiation.
Beside the airglow, just about at centre of image is the faint bluish cloud called gegenschein, German for "counter glow" which is sunlight back-scatered off small interplanetary dust particles. These dust particles are millimetre sized splinters from asteroids and orbit in the ecliptic plane of the planets. Far right in the image is the Milky Way rising above the Magellan telescopes.

Nobody tell me if I got my airglows and aurorae mixed, my mind seized up in the finish.

The Bird.

Thanks to Antikva whose comments about our mystery bird have just as mysteriously disappeared into an internet black hole.
The rest of the comments identifying it as an Indian Ring neck Parakeet get a star.
The bird at top is the male and the ring is very visible.
The bird with only a lightly visible ring is the female so our visitor is a lady.  Their tails are almost a third as long again as their body and those beaks are as sharp as they look.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The night sky without city lights.

 A lenticular cloud forms in air that passes over a mountain, in this case the beautiful Mt. Hood in Oregan, rises up again, and cools past the dew point -- The layered nature of some lenticular clouds may make them  as large alien spaceships.
Lenticular clouds can only form when conditions are right and this is the first time astrophotographer Ben Canales has seen a lenticular cloud at night near Mt. Hood.
The above image was taken in mid-March about two hours before dawn.

Mt Hood makes a great background for all things spacey so a re-visit to Comet HaleBopp over the mountain is in order.  Steven Nehl took this image in l997. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The earth does move.

 On the left is the connection cover of the storm water drain.  On the right is where my storm water drain should connect to it. The connecting collar has disintegrated and I have a hole in the ground instead.
I should have put a measure in this photo as the cover is about 40cm below the level of the surrounding grass. The mess in the background is my laughable rockgarden. I haven't been near it since hernextdoor came in to complain about the noxious climbing weed which wasn't mine and thanks to her, the wheelie bin ran over my foot and took my big toenail completely off.
The little guy spent about an hour just digging yesterday, first to find the cover then to find the broken pipe.  Believe me that's a heap of dirt piled up under the lemon tree.  Thirty years ago that cover was above ground which is why I remembered it.  Little guy asked if I had kids and should he make the hole safe. Sweet thing to think I was young enough to have small children. Mind you when they were doing these drains I could never keep the swines out of the holes.
So, 13 degrees this morning and I'm sitting in a chair to protect the precious Bear from falling down the hole. He's already snacked on grass ready for a revenge barf because I'd just put flea lotion on him after getting an arm full of flea bites last night. Notice his lovely new diamond and blue velvet collar?
Can you see the eyes? They're saying "There's that bloody woman with that camera again"
Aha, something new.  I'll take my time and creep up on it and that's what he did, with me freezing my bum off in a chair while he stalks a hole in the ground.
Through the lemon tree, stop off for a spray on the rose geranium.  Thank you, must remember not to put that in the potpourri.
I haz a hole! And with black dirt, so fetching on my white coat. I missed a shot here where he lay down in the dirt to play with the sand cascading into the hole. I may or may not have been trying to find a lemon to throw at him.
The ears are back, the message must have gone through, "If you go down that hole, I'll bury you  without kibble".  Just look at all that lovely dirt and I have a white doona cover on the bed where he's going to spend the afternoon. If he doesn't barf up grass and expect me to change it.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The bird is back.

 I was photographing from inside a window and trying not to scare him away.  I also photographed a lorikeet to give you some idea of the size of both birds.  It didn't really work out well.
I brilliantly photographed Mum's birthday Bird Bath through the screen door so just think of it as arty and not a mistake.
So any ideas about his species even with my lousy photos.  I tried to get the very red beak and I think this is a good representation of the two blues of his colouring.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Out of disaster, great ideas.

I was reading a small item in the paper last week when a dingdong went off in my brain and I went searching through my huge file under the inspiring title of "Blog Fodder". I knew the article I wanted was there, after all I'd just spent a day going through the pages, throwing out anything I'd lost interest in or technology had raced by it.

What started my 'Indianna' search was reading that New York city officials are still cleaning up debris from the World Trade Centre.  They had another 560 cubic metres of material including some found after the demolition of the former Deutsche Bank Building.  Since 2006, the remains of 34 additional victims have been identified, mostly from DNA analysis.

I had kept an interview from 2008 given by anthropologist Professor Richard Gould.  His wife was working near the Twin Towers on the day of the planes and three weeks after the towers came down Richard Gould, walked to Ground Zero.  In the grey ashy residue lying everywhere in lower Manhatten, he found fragmented human remains even a piece of human scapula.
He realized then that remains would be found a great distance away.  He wrote and pestered those in charge to listen to him and go further afield but already the washing down hoses were at work and he knew what was being lost.

In 2002 he was finally invited by the medical examiner's office to do a trial excavation outside Ground Zero and this was the start of his Forensic Archaeology Recovery Group, a team of volunteers who help recover human remains after disasters.
Work was finally stopped at Ground Zero early March, 2008 but human remains were still being found way outside the immediate area.  Paper containing human blood stains was found in Brooklyn, several miles from Manhatten.  Professor Gould thinks they will still be finding material for years as it works its way underground even now remains have been found in underground pipes.

Nearly 3000 lives were lost but around 1,100 to 1,200 people remained unidentified in 2008 but in 2013, victims identified have gone up to 1,634.  Disaster archaeology is an outgrowth of archaeology, using the same methods to find and identify remains of recent disasters as they do find physical data of ancient disasters.  The team cleans up the human remains and physical effects left behind so they can be identified for forensic and legal purposes.  The team must record exactly where, when and how they were found as this is important for the court proceedings following any disaster.  Their archaeological skills such as surveying, site recording, sieving material and DNA collection are all important as is their ability to work as a team. This team ethic is important for their mental health,  recovering humans remains will never be easy, it's stressful and counsellors are often needed.

One man's good idea has helped survivors of many disasters over the years.  

Thursday, April 11, 2013

There's a hole in the backyard!

Not so big as holes go, wouldn't swallow the cat yet but sank Eric the Mower up to his ankle.
He got a stick, had a poke around, prodded the sides (mushy) and finally felt a clank about  40cm down.
The backyard in that place meets up with 3 other backyards and I distinctly remember when the sewerage was put through that right about there 4 pipes joined up and a concrete lid went on top.
This was so if anything went wrong the pipes could be  accessed so the big question is sewerage pipes or storm water drain.  A hell of a lot has happened in 30 years so I can't remember and dirt and grass has grown over the concrete.  I know it was there because the incinerator stood on top.
I was married to a fire hazard.  Every autumn he would burn everything he could lay his hands on, every leaf, branch or newspaper and that was when he wasn't burning chops on the BBQ.
Some weekends he'd have the incinerator going in the backyard and the BBQ in the front.
I had such a wonderful feeling when he left and I took a sledgehammer to it.  Not the incinerator though I took that apart and used it to bolster up the back fence when the idiots there decided to dig their garden two feet down and I was losing dirt by the bucketful and it looked like the fence might follow.
The smashed up BBQ went into the corner to make a rockgarden so I know there is a concrete thingy down there somewhere.
SouthEast Water are sending an inspector tomorrow but if it's storm water then I have to deal with the Council, that will be a joy.  Thank you Doc Marvin for putting up my anxiety medication.
I don't have a melanoma, the lumps on my leg are old age, the rash intrigued him since I only get it in autumn and spring, I had the flu vac and a pint of blood taken.  Every time  the Diabetes magazine turns up there's something else to frighten the hell out of wimps like me but he said not everything can be put down to overweight and sugar so the blood test will tell him why my joints are painful and why the muscle spasms are hitting all over.  
I should have rung today about the results but I was busy with a hole in the ground.  It's a worry, if Eric the Mower sank, what would have happened to me. 

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Moaning in da house

No, it's not IceBear but it could be except he's not wearing a blue velvet collar with a diamond heart on it.  Dumb animal seems to think my verandah is a verandah and likes to lie across it at night for an ear scritch and a pat.
Not a lot of wellness going on around here and I'm seeing Doc Marvin tomorrow morning. I could have seen him this morning but fortunately not as I forgot about the bloody clocks. Cat must have thought it was Christmas getting fed at godonlyknows what time.
I think I know the Doc well enough now for a whinging session about every inch (kilometre if you watch the Biggest Loser) of what's this spot and why am I falling apart and why is my brain hiding under a rock in terror.  That last isn't funny, how can I miss a whole day of doing blood sugar tests and I missed last night before bed. Diabetes educator will have a melt down.
I've only had one doctor who I could confide in without wondering if I was going to be judged by weight or whine but since Ma has just bribed him with a handmade birthday card and a Garfield tie for his politically incorrect collection of attire for a serious doctor, I think I can get away with it.
So far this year has been a real  nerve cruncher. Three times I've had to put the funeral home on speed dial but Teflon Tessie still reigns supreme. She's in bed a lot more than last year, no interest in cards except for special people but she's reading on her iPad, watching dvds on the little viewer and annoying me on the mobile.  So I relax, relax just a little too much actually. I relax into a full meltdown and it ain't pretty.  I haven't upchucked in years because I usually read the signs and throw down enough tranqs to stop Black Caviar but I missed this one.  Didn't even make the loo, but the bath was closer.  Lordy I could never be bulimic, it's ghastly and the ribs hurt and I feel like I should shove my throat back into place.  Go back to bed, take pill, get up for pee, take different pill, go back to bed in dressing gown to stop the shakes since shaking is making brain hurt. All I need is to rest, calm down, maybe a little sleep. The Bear needs feeding, stagger up, feed, go back to bed with Bear following.  Dear thing lies all over me to keep me company and probably judges how long the body could keep him from hunger before I was found.
Right, shakes stop, sleep is imminent until postie clangs the gate and the lump jumps high enough to qualify for the Grand National.  Settle, calm, courier clangs gate and throws parcel at the front door, lump flies off the bed.  Settle, calm, no shaking, cat fed and the bloody mobile rings and it's out in the lounge and I have to get it in case it's the Home and I have to speed dial the funeral home, wrong number.  Farnarkling wrong bloody number.  
By this time it's midday so I decide to try toast and a cuppa.  Go back to bed for a bit and mother rings.  "You don't sound well", no I'm bloody not.  But I must be because I'm talking to her and would I please look for nighties with long sleeves, her arms are cold at night and bring a party pie (stomach did a flip) because tomorrow's Friday and she hates fish.  
Surprisingly I came good about 11.30 p.m. just in time to go to bed.  Friday I found shopping easy, found her nighties with 20% off, found the Midsomer Murder she didn't have and bought the damn party pies.  It was kind of hilarious watching her trying to get the sauce out of those little plastic tubs, I had to tell her the secret in the finish or I would have worn it.  
Just to round the day off, nasty-old-bitch up the other room, said in a very loud voice, "Who is that great big woman?"  Carer said I wasn't all that big and I was very nice. Nasty-old-bitch said I was big, enormous in fact.  Restrained myself from slapping the old cow.
Glad to be home even glad to drag the groceries in. The IceBear had his head in the food box, probably counting the tins.  Finally I sit down to a plate of Brushchetta and a ginger beer (diet).
That was an up the ladder day, Saturday was a down the snake day and a good cry because I was too terrified to go to a great party that night.  I couldn't do it and I felt like I should have made the effort but it was a no go.  This time the pills went down before any dramas but that's when I decided that I must share my hysteria with someone qualified other than you, my ill healthed, hysterical, pill popping blog mates.  You know who you are and we are all in the same boat, it's called The Titanic.