Macaulay

Ever have one of those days where you just want to curl up with a good book, instead of working? Sure you have. I’m reading Macaulay these days. Yeah, he had a seriously weird attitude towards the Irish, but he’s a damn good writer, very entertaining. I’d go so far as to say, I hate putting this book down once I get started.

20131113-162121.jpg

Winter on the garden

It’s been stressful lately. Coding until all hours, lots of thinking and rethinking and technical backtracking. For an antidote sometimes I look out the window. Not for very long. Long enough to distract myself and forget what I was doing, or maybe take a picture of my poor frozen garden, which needs a good pruning. But the nice thing about a Buddha sculpture is that it looks good 365 no matter the weather.

20131113-160400.jpg

Hydrology at dawn

20131108-113344.jpgA morning walk to start the day off right paid off with many photo ops.  I love the geometry and colors of the silt fences they put up to manage the flow of runoff water in new sections of development here.  In NC, when it rains, it really really pours and since the ground is like cement with a high clay content, there’s no place for it to go except to run down in great torrents. So you see these catch ponds all over the place.  The burlap is to keep silt in the water under control, during construction.

They catch the light in nice ways, and with Photo Toaster, the possibilities are limitless.  I had to hold myself back here from publishing 20 different treatments of this shot.

 

Toxic shock

20131108-113044.jpgI published some pics last week of a backhoe digging up mud.  This morning I was looking at the mostly-exposed mud that got scraped around, after draining one of those catch ponds you see all over.  When the pond was full I would always see great blue herons wading around, and wouldn’t you know, as soon as two inches of water drained into this pond, one of these intrepid water birds was right back there up to his hocks in mud.  I suppose there are tasty morsels in there, but it was downright wrenching to see this beautiful bird hunting in such a ruined landscape.

So I exaggerated the quality and colors of my original high-def shot, to create a portrait of life in the midst of  disrupted nature.

 

You are cleared for takeoff

20131108-103425.jpgMy husband, a videographer, accompanied me on my woodsy walk yesterday.  He’s practicing some techniques for an upcoming aerial shoot and I caught a shot while the quad was taking off.  It cleared off all the leaves on the wooden bridge, which I thought was a pretty cute trick.  If I still lived in New England and had a driveway full of leaves, this would save all kinds of time.

Anyway, you can see the GoPro camera hanging off the quad.  Seems he was videoing me taking a picture of him.

Just to satisfy the geek in me, some technical notes:  the shot was actually taken from farther away, and it was pretty dark, so I used PaintFX to brighten, sharpen the crop, and applied HDR to bring out details lost in the low-light situation.

Jellybean Tiger

 

20131105-084055.jpg

Jellybean was rescued as a cub from a zoo, and now lives in a beautiful, large, natural enclosure at the Carolina Tiger Rescue.  He eats a whole-carcass diet, gets daily enrichment to stimulate his mind and instincts, and is cared for by a staff of professionals.

Contrary to what many believe, white tigers are not a breed, nor are they albino: the white fur is a genetic mutation in a Bengal tiger. That’s all.  One white tiger was discovered in the wild in the 1950s, when it was captured and bred in an effort to produce white cubs which could be sold as a novelty.  The white tiger was bred with an orange female, and the cubs were orange.  He was bred with another orange tiger, and produced orange cubs.  So they bred him with one of his own daughters, and that time there were white cubs.  That litter became the breeding stock for 60 years of inbreeding, malformed cubs (very few even survive) and problematic health for those animals that do grow to adulthood.

However, white tigers can be sold for a lot of money, and the people that do this don’t care much about anything else.  The next time you see a white tiger being used as entertainment, think about where it came from. If you can stand it, think about the conditions it most likely lives in (small cramped cage, poor diet, lack of exercise, cruel methods of physical control).

At Carolina Tiger Rescue we are opposed to breeding for profit, private ownership of big cats, and the use of them in entertainment.