Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Check out the Claws on This Turtle

Click to enlarge, and take a look at the size of the claws.  This is a Red-bellied Turtle (Pseudemys rubriventris).  The males have elongate claws which they use to stroke the females during courtship.

  Red-bellied Turtles are common here in the Potomac, but are threatened in Pennsylvania, and endangered in Massachusetts.

In comic book terms, this is what happens when you cross the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Wolverine

Monday, January 8, 2018

Now It Is 2018

A week ago I watched Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve (which contains neither Dick Clark nor rock music, but does contain a lot of apostrophes).  And then it became 2018.

How weird is that?

When I was growing up, 1997 seemed like the year in which it would become The Future, in which we should finally have those flying cars.  But eventually 1997 came, and it was no different then any of the earlier years.  And more years came, and we got the internet, and smartphones, but no flying cars, or really, anything else. 

But now, for some reason, 2018 sounds strange to me.  It shouldn’t be 2018.  The world has gone on too long, it’s gone too far.  

But then, I am still trying to figure out what happened to 2005.  

If anyone can tell me, please contact me and let me know.  

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Christmas Music Contradiction

Christmas itself is passed, but I think that by most people’s accounting, we are still in the Christmas season (although Christmas music is no longer being played on the radio).

One popular modern Christmas song is “Please Come Home for Christmas”, the first version of which was sung by Charles Brown in 1960.  It has since been recorded by musicians ranging from Willie Nelson to Kelly Clarkson, but the most famous version, which I hear every year, was released in 1978 by the Eagles.  

  There is a huge internal contradiction in the lyrics that bothers me every time that I hear it.  

Starting with the first four lines of the song, we have:

  Bells will be ringing this sad sad news
  Oh what a Christmas to have the blues
  My baby’s gone I have no friends
  To wish me greetings once again

Then we get to lines ten and eleven:

  Friends and relations send salutations 
  Sure as the stars shine above

  But how can friends send salutations to the narrator of the song if, as we learned in the third line, HE HAS NO FRIENDS??!?

Saturday, December 23, 2017

And Soon It Will Be Christmas

It will be Christmas again soon, when I like to think that everyone can just fall down into the holiday and rest.  

I need a Christmas picture, but the best that I could find was the above.  It shows some pyracantha berries.  Is that Christmassy? It would be better if they were holly berries, but I couldn’t find any holly berries to photograph.  

Let’s all pretend that they’re holly berries.

And, if you have any spare time, read (or re-read) my classic Christmas post from 2012.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Dramatic Sky Pictures

Is it too soon for more dramatic sky pictures? 

Over the years I have taken many pictures like this, particularly in the area of Alexandria along Holmes Run between Duke Street and Eisenhower Avenue, which has very few buildings that block the view of the sky.  

The camera made these three scenes darker and more orange than they were in real life.  

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Feeling Crabby

It might not be the Thanksgiving feast for which you are looking, but my friend Mike sends along a link to a news story with a video of a Coconut Crab killing a Red-footed Booby for dinner.  

Actually this video is creepy enough that it might have been good for Halloween, especially considering the associated story that crabs of this same species may have eaten Amelia Earhart.  

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Trying To Find Something Scary for Halloween

It’s Halloween, when zombies run amuck, or whatever.  Well, really, it’s not zombies, it’s mostly little kids, and they’re usually carefully supervised by parents rather than running amuck.  

On my old computer I had a drawing program that I used for Halloween graphics, like the Scary Pumpkinhead Dude.  But with my current computer all that I have is my photographs.  

I suppose that I should try to find something scary for Halloween. 

Let’s see . . . scary . . . scary . . . scary . . . 

The best that I could find was this picture from a few years back.  It’s taken at a cemetery, but really it’s not so much scary as it is just a wistful autumn sunset that reminds us of the lost days  of our youth, when time passed slowly, and our lives stood waiting before us, ripe and full of promise.