Readers’ wildlife photos

November 25, 2020 • 8:00 am

Don’t forget to send in your good wildlife photos. I bet many of you have been putting it off, but I’ll need them as the holidays approach and nobody feels like sending anything.

Today, Joe Routon is back with some “street photography”, which today is really diverse. I’ve indented his captions.

Here is a potpourri of some of my photo interests. This first is one that I made of a cataract surgery. The instrument in the ophthalmologist’s right hand is a phacoemulsifier, used to send ultrasonic vibrations that emulsify the cataract, allowing the particles to be vacuumed out through the instrument. The phaco, as it’s affectionately called, then inserts a new and clear lens. The procedure, which is 99% effective, usually lasts about 20 minutes and produces spectacular results, in most cases.

This is my macro photograph of an Eupatorium perfoliatum, a wildflower commonly known as the Common Boneset. This entire bundle of exquisite flowers is smaller than an M&M. Each blossom is about a millimeter across.

My favorite subject for photography is the human face, especially when it’s combined with my passion for travel. I photographed this young lady on a street in Tokyo.

What would a photographic sampling in WEIT be without the ubiquitous duck? This is eine Ente in Deutschland.

On my daily social-distancing walk I photograph flowers in the neighborhood. I think this is Clematis vitalba, also known as “Old Man’s Beard.”  I’m not a botanist, so I expect that my identification will be challenged by others on the list.

I enjoy the fun of manipulating images. For example, here’s what you get when you crossbreed a sweet gum seed pod and a potato. It appears that the bloodshot eye might be the result of the potatos early fermenting into vodka.

My final photo is of one of the main gems in Philadelphia. In the Curtis Building, across from Independence Hall, is a magnificent work of art that few seem to know about. “The Dream Garden,” a mural made of 100,000 pieces of hand blown glass, was designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, based on a landscape by Maxfield Parrish. It’s 15 feet tall and 49 feet wide, and is breathtakingly beautiful!

12 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Nice photos Joe, and a great variety!

    When I saw the big mosaic, I immediately thought, Maxfield Parrish”. 🙂 I’ll have to see that in person some day.

  2. About “eine Ente in Deutschland”: is this a mallard (Stockente) whose head has been photoshopped blue???

    1. From CutterLight:
      “Green-heads,” they’re often called. But, as angler-biologist A.J. McClane observed, color is often an unreliable characteristic, and yet it is generally the first thing we look for. He may have been referring to attempts to differentiate among species of salmonids, but he could as easily have been referring to birds. In every on-line and in-hand field guide I have at my disposal, the descriptor for drake Mallards in breeding plumage is universally “green head.” So what are we to make of those males sporting what appear to be purple or even blue heads? Neither the Internet nor the books I have on hand offer much guidance.

      1. Yes, the iridescent effect of the feathers often makes the head look blue or, more commonly in my experience, purple. 🙂

  3. Great pictures! I like the framing and sheer whiteness of the portrait background.

    I was fascinated by The Dream Garden mosaic. First, for an overall sense of scale, I wondered about the size of the pieces. Dividing the overall size of the mosaic by the piece count we get that on average, each tile must be about 1 square inch in area.

    Great technical and cultural
    background on the glass production, selection, and cutting, and actual closeups of the pieces (otherwise elusive) is at:

  4. Very cool! The eye surgery scene has lovely lighting, if that is possible. The patients face looks odd, but perhaps it is covered in a protective adhesive covering.

    1. Speaking from personal experience, it is covered in a protective adhesive covering.

      And in pre-op they must have asked me a dozen times which eye was being done and then they finally marked the area with some sort of pen, they really, really did not want to do the wrong eye.

      And while the procedure was explained to me in great detail, including the pureeing and vacuuming out of the old lens, before the operation (actually 2 of them, they do each eye separately for very good reasons) I had never seen any images of an actual operation before.

      Most unsettling I must say.

  5. As a fan and occasional writer of horror fiction, I have to say, that “crossbreed a sweet gum seed pod and a potato” picture is wonderful, and needs to be on the cover of a very good collection of horror short stories or similar.

    All the pictures are wonderful, come to think of it.

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