Readers’ wildlife photos

October 25, 2014 • 8:51 am

We have not only some wildlife today, but also some astronomy, as this seemed the appropriate place to put it.

Apparently there was a partial solar eclipse yesterday, and reader/photographer Ben Goren caught some nice images on his camera:

Here’s the haul from today’s partial solar eclipse. First up is from a little after the maximum extent of the eclipse…and, excessive pareidolia notwithstanding, I’ll be damned if I don’t see the ears, eyes, and nose of a cat in this picture. Proof of the Most High Ceiling Cat! [JAC: I can’t see the cat!]


This is a really great one:

And, second and last, from a while later, I managed to catch an airliner with contrail in front of the Sun. To put things in perspective…most people are familiar with the size of an airliner. The Moon is about the size of Africa. The dark circular part on the left of the big sunspot in the middle…that’s about the size of the whole Earth. And you can see the jagged edge of the mountain ranges on the moon!


For those who care, these were both taken with a Canon 5DIII and a 400mm f/2.8L II lens with a 2X teleconverter and a Baader filter at f/11, 1/250s, ISO 100. These are straight out of the camera, 100% crops (1500×1500 pixels out of the center of the original 5760×3840 file), no adjustments, not even any sharpening.

And Diana MacPherson continues to document her eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus):

The chipmunk shows up now and then to collect some more seeds. I suspect they are starting their torpor now. The last picture is cute. You see how chipmunks can flatten their ears, which you don’t normally see.
The chipmunk can see me here and is keeping an eye on me while grooming.
Chipmunk Nervously Grooms Arm
Chipmunk grooms back foot.
Chipmunk Grooms Foot
Chipmunk bum – the white back of the ears looks soft.
Chipmunk Bum
I put on my 40 mm lens to show how little the chipmunk is. I cropped it even still.
The actual size of a chipmunk
The chipmunk was chasing sparrows away from the seeds. They even flatten their ears for speed!
That chipmunk isn’t touching the ground!
Chipmunk Darts Away
Finally, Professor Ceiling Cat, while visiting the Archaeological Museum in Sofia this morning, came across a hooded crow (Corvus cornix), which had apparently purloined some piece of meat. It was all fluffed up against the cold, as it was snowing:
Lunch! (I wonder what this crow’s cholesterol count is. . . ):

35 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. I’m glad Ben took some eclipse photos. I looked at through a special filter but was too lazy to photograph it (mostly because there were clouds starting to obscure things and where I am, the eclipse wouldn’t be as good as it would be west from me).

    What a cute hooded crow! I hope that crow had his cholesterol checked and maybe blood pressure. I don’t like the snow. It will arrive here soon too and I will only have a month or less left to drive my roadster before I hibernate it for the winter.

  2. Very nice. I tried to see the eclipse, but where I am it was not going to get under way until towards sunset. As was usual this time of year, the western sky clouded over right then.

              1. I can’t reply to the ‘bulk homeopathy’ post for one reason or other, but it is brilliant! I ‘m also going to get me some prayer powder right now! Thanx for the tip. I’m sure it is going to change my life!

      1. Still excellent photos though. With a 1/100th exposure, you could probably have got them hand-held, but with 800mm of focal length I bet you used a mount of some sort.

        1. The image stabilization on this lens would certainly let me get the shot at 1/100s…but it would get tiring holding it for the whole duration of an eclipse.

          So, yes. The tripod is the fantastic workhorse of the Manfrotto 3021BPRO, with a Wimberley gimbal head. The head is really impressive…once you get the kit properly balanced and positioned, one finger effortlessly points it wherever you might want to point it to, and it stays put without having to tighten anything down.


    1. I thought the sun was cool, and it is,

      Compared to a fresh neutron star, it’s not significantly different to absolute zero.

      but the bloody anti-gravity squirrel is amazing.

      I suspect that gravity is going to catch up with the sqrl some time soon. (sorry, chopped monk? Minced nun? Something like that?)

  3. Wow, sweet job on those eclipse shots, Ben!

    Diana, what a perfect juxtaposition. Oddly enough I’ve had a similar one–I used to attend the monthly Kalamazoo Astronomy Society meetings, which frequently boggled the mind. At that time we had the sweetest guinea pig, who’d come over to one edge of his tub and stand up against the side, looking for a kiss. I’d come home from the KAS meeting and give him his usual greeting kiss (more of a snuffle on his part), all the time shaking my head over the switch from intergalactic scales to this small warm living (& affectionate) rodent. May sound strange, but I considered it one of my “Carl Sagan” moments.

    Great shots of the cute little charmer, and I add my plaudits for the midair capture. 🙂

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