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Archive for November, 2013

“king of birds”

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Wren : “also known as kuningilin “kinglet” in Old High German, a name associated with the fable of the election of the “king of birds”. The bird who could fly to the highest altitude would be made king. The eagle outflew all other birds, but he was beaten by a small bird who had hidden in his plumage.”

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Thought this was a woodpecker, not sure? Maybe a european starling bird, The adult has a black beak in the winter. No wonder the chickadees were having a fit around this bird. Chickadee photo pending….

The European Starling was introduced into North America when the “American Acclimatization Society” for European settlers released some 80-100 birds in Central Park (New York City) in 1890-91. The head of this particular organization, Eugene Scheiffelin, desired to introduce all birds ever mentioned in the works of William Shakespeare.

All the European Starlings in North America descended from 100 birds set loose in New York’s Central Park in the early 1890s. The birds were intentionally released by a group who wanted America to have all the birds that Shakespeare ever mentioned. It took several tries, but eventually the population took off. Today, more than 200 million European Starlings range from Alaska to Mexico, and many people consider them pests.
Because of their recent arrival in North America, all of our starlings are closely related. Genetically, individuals from Virginia are nearly indistinguishable from starlings sampled in California, 3,000 miles away. Such little genetic variation often spells trouble for rare species, but seems to offer no ill effects to starlings so far.


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I failed with getting the picture I wanted of a chickadee minus them with a beak full of lard. So I have settle for the Starling in hopes of seeing a murmuration one day.

A “murmuration” of starlings, as this phenomenon is known, must be one of the most magical, yet underrated, wildlife spectacles on display in winter. Impenetrable as the flock’s movements might seem to the human eye, the underlying maths is comparatively straightforward. Each bird strives to fly as close to its neighbours as possible, instantly copying any changes in speed or direction. As a result, tiny deviations by one bird are magnified and distorted by those surrounding it, creating rippling, swirling patterns. In other words, this is a classic case of mathematical chaos (larger shapes composed of infinitely varied smaller patterns). Whatever the science, however, it is difficult for the observer to think of it as anything other than some vast living entity.



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I’ve been collecting LED lights and hope to do a post soon regarding. My last banana tree photo was lit painting light with a led flashlight.





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Since I started blogging most of my images have been unrefined roughcuts as I have learned the constant digital evolution. I started using Coolpix Nikons and have only had a D3000 a couple of years, pining for a full sensor model. The state of the union now, I’m grateful for anything. My passion for panoramas developed from not having a wide angle lens. These are some images I plan on reworking and more is pending. The first blog which is 4:3 aspect-ratio I was using a tube monitor which the color is not my vision seen on these new monitors. I’ve also noticed of late on a friends larger and more defined monitor, mistakes in Photoshop of my work that doesn’t show up on what I use now. I have no desire to change these post’s but to rework in the future. It’s all about the journey anyway.



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First night shot done with the L6 (2009) which seems to have a better sensor than my coolpix snapshot camera today.






















InLight Richmond

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Mild interest in this, it is always welcomed to be surprised though.

Brian Davis, Woodbridge, VA
Sightline (2011), 2011, 2-channel projection

Bodies of water form a natural boundary between sides. This divide is one that is ripe with both personal and cultural implications. In a city such as Richmond, and at a site so closely associated with American history, these implications can only be magnified. Sightline (2011) places two eyes opposite each other across the Haxall Canal. Taken from video of an actual conversation, the play of the gazes and the resulting light-bridge evokes a possibility of connection across both physical and conceptual boundaries.



Juan Salinas, November 2012

Last year I missed “inLight” to see TLOKE NAHUAKE Traditional Aztec Fire Dancers a family dance circle from Mexico City, Mexico, that were performing at the 17th Street Farmers Market.
This year my “inlight” experience centered around our wood stove and getting warm. Look forward to others photographs of tonights installations.

I love the song of the mockingbird,
Bird of four hundred voices,
I love the color of the jadestone
And the intoxicating scent of flowers,
But more than all I love my brother, man.

—Netzahualcoyotl, lord of Texcoco


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I had been meaning to do this before a hard freeze so in the “inLight” spirit I did my own installation with our Basjoo Banana Plant’s that have reached over 20 ft. this season.

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earlier in the day on Saturday below.

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