Readers’ wildlife photos

February 1, 2021 • 8:00 am

Today we have some science-themed photos by Joe Routon, and some lagniappe: an art photo with a cat. Joe’s IDs and captions are indented; click on the photos to enlarge them.

Here are a few science-related photos that I made on trips to Italy. The first shows the bell tower in Venice where Galileo tested his telescope.


This sign at the top of the bell tower tells about Galileo’s demonstrating his telescope to the Doge.

The burial place of Galileo is in Santa Croce Church in Florence. Here is his tombstone.

Pertaining to anatomy, which artists began studying in Italy around 1500, I’m posting my photo of the sculpture of St. Bartholomew in the Duomo in Milan.  Bartholomew, one of Christ’s twelve apostles, was skinned alive and then beheaded for his Christian faith. His crime was converting the King of Armenia to Christianity.  The drapes surrounding him are his skin.

A must-see in Milan is the National Museum of Science and Technology of Leonardo da Vinci that houses working models of Leornado’s inventions.

Around 1590, Galileo is said to have dropped two different sized spheres from the leaning Tower of Pisa to demonstrate that their rate of descent would be the same.

In Vinci, where Leonardo was born, there is a museum with working models of several of his inventions. Near the museum is this statue of the Vitruvian Man.

Lagniappe: A photo Joe sent earlier.

I made this photo at the convent of San Marco in Florence, Italy. The Last Supper was painted in 1482 by Domenico Ghirlandaio. The cat, sitting patiently behind Judas is obviously waiting for someone to toss him a scrap of food. In an almost identical setting of the Last Supper at the Franciscan Church of Ognissanti in Florence, Ghirlandaio omitted the cat.

Googling cats, I learned that in the Bible cats are often a sign of pending misfortune and could indicate someone is being deceitful or cunning, which would be appropriate in the painting, since it’s seated behind Judas. Or, perhaps, the church’s main priest wanted his pet cat immortalized.

JAC:  Did you spot the kitty?  Here it is!

11 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

    1. Merely need to grade a large area of ground there so it’s perpendicular to the tower. Then you’ve also got the extra tourist attraction of many leaning towers, leaning the other way, all but the heretofore leaner!

      To get serious, I seem to recall that they have engineered something to hopefully stop any further leaning.

  1. I am not sure that that statue of Bartholomew makes the compelling argument for faith that the Church thought it would.

  2. I don’t think the Bible can be blamed for considering cats a sign of misfortune. As far as I can tell, cats are not even mentioned once in the standard Bible!

    Now dogs on the other hand: Often mentioned, and definitely bad. God clearly considered dogs to be bad, and He should know: He made ’em!

  3. These were terrific. When traveling in Venice, I too saw the bell tower where Galileo peered at the heavens. I could spend weeks in that city!

  4. In the photo of the Leonardo da Vinci flying machine, are those real people in there? I would seem unlikely, but it looks like they’re wearing seatbelts.

    Also, another view on the kitty in the last supper: Jesus was a cat lover!

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