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First sentences

If I don't write these things down they will not happen.
160 lbs of rumpled khaki on an old mountain bike.
Yesterday Alex and Jim came over for some fire pit and running around the snowy yard time.
Sittin' on the floor with the CuddleBim.
When I posted my last snapshot (of a fluorescent light panel) I skipped songs until I got to "Fluorescenses" by Stereolab.
I didn't mean to make it look like Maggie was wearing a dunce cap, honest.
Early on Sunday we discovered two charismatic predators in the yard.
Unfortunately, yellow jackets were hermetically sealed within the butterfly pavilion.
Instead of our usual type of event (go someplace, walk in one direction for a couple hours) the latest Urban Nature Walk meetup was a moth night.
Our Kenyan sand boa was impossible to see when hiding under the bark mulch substrate.
At this point I feel like I'm just documenting the steady decline and demise of my camera.
Standing at the top of the stairs, waiting for my turn in the shower; we went to a wedding on Saturday.


Now you see me

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Looking up at us with its beady eyes (the beadiest!) is this Kenyan sand boa under the misapprehension that it is hidden below the sand?

Winter mushrooms

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Growing inconspicuously inside a huge hollow stump (probably an oak, based on the size and location), I nearly missed these mushrooms. It was December 24th 2014 and the cluster of caps glistening there looked like--if you'll pardon some zookeeper earthiness--a pile of deer scat. But it was levitating near the rim of the hollow stump, so I stopped and angled my camera down to look at them from below. I will guess that these are Mycena mushrooms, pending confirmation from the experts.

3:00 snapshot #1848: Wednesday

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Intensity level: Spaghetti mop.

3:00 snapshot #1847: Tuesday

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While visiting the MSPCA today I had to get this t-shirt. The front of it is a pit bull face that looks suspiciously like Maggie.

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While I was there, a video monitor that cycles through pictures of adopted shelter pets happened to show my friend's pit bull!

3:00 snapshot #1846: Monday

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Me and the manager of the zoo gift shop.

Camera test: lichenized fungi

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Here again I'm testing the camera's macro ability--these are lichens and mosses growing on the surface of a storm drain. I'll have to assume here that the mosses started it, and then the lichen fungi found the moss covered metal to be close enough to earth to colonize. My field guide doesn't have a section on lichens growing on steel. These are probably Cladonia sp., but again I'd love input from the real experts.

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This crustose lichen on smooth tree bark is probably something in Lecidela, Lecidea, or Porpidea.

Camera test: H20, Kingdom Plantae

With no insects to get close to, I have to test the macro ability of the new camera on other things. Can you identify this plant from this hirsute leaf, and its water-repelling ability?

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3:00 snapshot #1845: Sunday

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Carlisle and Jim--yes that's right, for the next 10 days we're a 4 dog household! I'm taking it as a household/marriage stress test.

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No bugs to photograph, so I'll test the new camera on some snowflakes on the picnic table.

Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory

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This is Don, he works at the Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory. I didn't know this when he came along on the Urban Nature Walk at Great Blue Hill. All I knew was that he knew his way around the hill well, so I let him lead the way. When we got to the top of the hill, there was the observatory. He led us in and showed us around.

The instrument he is touching is a Campbell–Stokes sunlight recorder. There was another one on the roof of the observatory. It consists of a crystal ball mounted in a bracket that holds specially shaped strips of paper below. When the sunlight hits the crystal, it focuses on the paper, burning a line across as the earth rotates. You can see a bunch of the papers in the lower part of the photograph.
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The Urban Pantheist

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December 2014



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