Readers’ wildlife photos

November 4, 2023 • 8:30 am

Today we’ll have a mélange of photos that have accumulated over the past months from readers who sent in just a couple of pix. The captions are indented, and click on the photos to enlarge them.

From Jon Alexandr:

I’m not a biologist, but I do occasionally like to take photos of plants and animals, including “bugs.” Because I favor its handy small size, I’m still using an old, first-generation iPhone SE (2016 or 2017), so it’s not “professional” photography. Still, I think the attached impromptu photo of a “grasshopper” in a wood pile next to my house has a certain presence, which is maybe amplified by the lighting, shapes, and textures.
The grasshopper’s body was just slightly more than an inch long, I estimate, not counting the extremities. Location is San Francisco East Bay, Contra Costa County.

From Bryan Lepore, sent October 29:

 I spotted what I think is a tree frog, genus Dryophytes, today. Middlesex county, MA.She is about the size of my thumbnail and has a very long jump span. Usually, I see what I think are Leopard frogs (genus Lithobates) jump like that but they’re green. Maybe she’s a brown variant, or a differeny frog.

Two animals photos and an architecture photo from reader joolz:

 Two of my photographs from the Oceanographic Museum, Monaco 2023.  Taken through glass.
Lion fish [Pterois sp.]. Oceanographic Museum, Monaco 2023. Didn’t take a photo of the info.
Longspined Porcupine Fish – Diodon holocanthus. Info on sign: “At the slightest danger it inflates its body, pushing its spines outwards to protect itself. The fish of the Diodontidae family are toxic and unfit for human consumption. In Japan, where they are eaten in sushi, a special licence is needed to cook them.”

Queen Hatshepsut‘s Temple at Deir El Bahri, Egypt. Taken from a hot air balloon decades ago.

Hatshepsut was very powerful and took on the role of Pharoah. She wore the pharaonic regalia, which includes a false beard, so trans activists claim she was transgender, but there is no basis for this assertion. She just wore the standard regalia that all pharaohs wore. Her stepson Thutmose III had her name erased from monuments and she was unknown for centuries. Thankfully her legacy as a female Pharoah was restored when the hieroglyphs at this temple were translated in the 1800s.

Photos of the solar eclipse that occurred on October 14. The first is from Don McCrady:

Thought I’d send you a hot-off-the-press shot of this year’s annular solar eclipse, this one from Winnemucca, Nevada.An annular solar eclipse is a total eclipse of the sun by the moon, where the moon is far enough away from the earth that its disk does not fully cover the sun’s, creating a “ring of fire” effect such as this one.  I took this with a Canon EOS R5 with an RF 100-500 x1.4 extender, for a total focal length of 700mm.

From Avis James:

Bill and I went to a field half way between Ruidoso and Roswell New Mexico in the path of the annular eclipse this morning.  We took a colander- it is has the Star of David pattern:
Here is the shadow it made at full angularity!  The dot in the middle of each circle is the moon in the middle of the sun!

From John Runnels, “Unknown mushroom species, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.” (Readers: can you ID?)

Finally, a weird giraffe from Bob Wooley of Asheville, NC:

I know you don’t usually do zoo photos, but if you feel like making an exception for an exceptional animal, you’re welcome to use these. You featured a story about this amazing unspotted baby giraffe the other day. I live about 90 minutes from Brights Zoo in eastern Tennessee, where she was born, so today I went there to see her for myself. It’s very difficult to get good pictures of her because her enclosure has a tight-mesh fence that you have to shoot through (unless you have a 12-foot-long photo stick). That’s why most of the news stories just use pictures and videos given to them by the zoo. But I got several that I think are worth sharing, and hold up to on-screen embiggening. She’s a seriously beautiful creature.

9 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. The colander is a (ahem) brilliant idea.

    If anyone is in a jam at the next eclipse, criss crossed fingers can get a similar aperture effect (learned that from .. Bruce Betts – Random Space Fact)

  2. All such wonderful and fun photos!
    I especially love that last photo of the baby giraffe balancing on 3 legs.

  3. I can tell you that the grasshopper is the Differential Grasshopper (Melanoplus differentialis). An amusing detail is that their sternum has a pattern that looks like a lion wearing sunglasses. It really does look like that!

  4. Thanks for the nice variety everyone. That colander trick is very cool. And I love the giraffe variant…what a beaut.

  5. The colander trick shows how simple equipment can be used to view solar phenomena. During the 2012 Transit of Venus, I made a crude helioscope consisting of a makeup mirror covered with a piece of paper which had a small hole in it to project an image of the sun on a wall about 7 metres (23ft) away in a darkened room. The image was about an inch in diameter and clearly showed the black disk of Venus against the sun during the transit.

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