September 2014 Calendar – End of Summer


August is coming to a close. September is nearly upon us, and with it we’ll likely have our first snow (typically around the third or fourth week, but indications are for an early winter, so maybe earlier).

Hard to imagine as I look out at our flowers that the majority of them will be gone in as little as a few weeks, but that’s the reality of it. Overnight temperatures are already dipping into the high 30s, and at least a few mornings in the past few weeks we’ve had our furnace running.

I like the change of seasons, but it really is a short growing season here at 7,300 feet of elevation. Late May to mid-September is all one can hope for.

Anyway, here’s September’s calendar. I do hope it’s error-free, but I have no illusion as to the number of people who make use of it, so I won’t worry much about it.

Sep2014-Cal-Flower_Blog-72dpi

Right-Hand Click anywhere on the pictures, and Choose “Save Link As . . . “.

Note that clicking “Save Image” will download the resampled image (640×954, 72dpi) WordPress created for the post. Suitable for viewing on the screen, but not suitable for printing.

Save link as” downloads the native size of 11×17, 300dpi, but can be printed smaller. Printing larger may have mixed results depending on how knowledgeable you are.

Of course, saving is not required . . . one can just ignore the post.  If you are adventuresome, and it does not work, let me know, and I’ll try to fix whatever WordPress screwed up.  

Disclaimers:  I do not guarantee accuracy of the calendar. My general understanding of time is limited to it being (mostly) an arbitrary demarcation of the unidirectional flow of existence. Many instances in my life have demonstrated to me the disconnect between any hard measure of intervals of time, and the perception of said time intervals.

It’s getting so I’m having difficulty coming up with stuff for this portion of the post. I want to be funny, but these days the world seems like it’s imploding. I know this means I should try to be funny, and help alleviate the mental burden of watching go to heck. Before I do, I need to see some funny stuff myself. Ooops, too late; I need to post this.

Remember, you don’t have to use the calendar portion . . .  you can cut out the bottom part, and you have a picture to hang on your wall.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Intestinal Explosion

Intestinal Explosion

Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.  

If you click on the doodle, and nothing happens, this is the link it’s supposed to go to: http://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/palm-vx-and-i/.  

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at Disperser.Wordpress.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline nominations whereby one blogger bestows an award onto another blogger, or group of bloggers.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I would much prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would actually mean something to me.

Should you still nominate me, I will strongly suspect you pulled my name at random, and that you are not, in fact, a reader of my blog.  If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards          About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not personally hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.  

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Calendars, Humor, Musings Stuff, Photography, Photography Stuff | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

My First Guest Post


There are lots of new bloggers every day, day in, day out, weekdays, weekends, holidays . . . even on Sunday.

Many are old hats at having an internet presence, but many are taking their first baby steps in the shark-infested waters of blogging.

One of the best places to get information, get questions answered, and learn a lot about blogging is the onecoolsite blog.

Run by a very nice lady that goes by the moniker Timethief, one could not do better than learn at the feet of her blog. Not only that, but if you’ve ever posted questions at the WordPress Forum chances are one of the answer you got was from her (typically faster than the actual support stuff).

Recently she ran into health issues that curtailed her posting schedule. She asked if anyone was interested in contributing guest posts while she regained her strength and recovered. 

Many did. I was one of them.

Per her guidelines, I won’t reprint the piece here, but I can link to it for them who are reluctant to miss even a tiny bit of Disperser Wisdom. You can read my contribution HERE.

While you are at it, read the contributions of other guest bloggers and, if so inclined, perhaps you too can add to the support in thanks for all she has given to the blogging community.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at Disperser.Wordpress.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Creative, Stuff, Writing Stuff | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Fierce Hummingbird – 01Aug2014


Late in the evening, when hummers are wanting to top off before retiring, this guy was playing guard on all seven feeders in back. 

2014 Hummingbirds,

You can see the result of one encounter with what it considered trespassers on more sugared water than it could drink in a month. 

2014 Hummingbirds,

Yes, that is a feather at the end of its beak, and not one of its own.

. . . and look at that fierce expression!

. . . although, he was not super vigilant . . . 

2014 Hummingbirds,

However, after what seemed like brief catnaps, his attention would return to the feeders.

2014 Hummingbirds, 2014 Hummingbirds,

. . . well, mostly . . . 

2014 Hummingbirds,

For them who are actually reading this, I’m at the sliding door to my deck, and its sitting on the flower basket on the table about six feet away. 

2014 Hummingbirds, 2014 Hummingbirds, 2014 Hummingbirds,

Yes, he kept flaring his throat feathers, and I wondered if he was preparing to mount an offensive campaign directed at me.

But no, he just headed to the feeder on the window, and here’s where it gets interesting

2014 Hummingbirds, 2014 Hummingbirds, 2014 Hummingbirds, 2014 Hummingbirds,

As I snapped away, I slowly crept closer.

2014 Hummingbirds, 2014 Hummingbirds,

I was pretty dang close for these next two shots, and he never moved. I ended up backing off to let him drink in peace.

2014 Hummingbirds, 2014 Hummingbirds,

He certainly was a pretty fellow, and you can now understand why I tagged this post with “macro”. I got closer to this guy than most flowers I shoot. In all fairness, he’s smaller than most flowers I shoot.

Anyway, there I was on the deck, camera in hand . . . I meandered to the hanging feeder.

2014 Hummingbirds, 2014 Hummingbirds,

I do like it when they let me get close.

I don’t know if this is the same female (they all look alike after a while – birds, not actual females), but this one at a different window feeder also let me get close, but not as close as the earlier male.

2014 Hummingbirds, 2014 Hummingbirds, 2014 Hummingbirds,

We’ve already noticed a drop-off in the numbers of hummers at our feeders. I only have to fill them every other day, and some don’t get used nearly as much. In another week I will start pulling some of the feeders, making sure to leave enough to minimize the early morning and late evening territorial wars.

I will miss them when they are gone, and will look forward to their return next May.

As usual, you can click on the photos for a larger version, but many of these are worth examining at full resolution, and you can do that at the SmugMug gallery HERE.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Note: if you are not reading this blog post at Disperser.Wordpress.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Birds, Hummingbirds, Photography, Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Photography the Disperser Way – Color


My typical workflow when processing photographs is rather minimal; some cropping for them that needs it, a few presets adjusting contrast, saturation, brightness, sharpness, and maybe adding a frame. I have a couple of presets for Lightroom that will take the photo to neutral settings, and then run a macro in either onOne or DxO. I then look at the output, and I have a few more presets specifically for post-DxO or post-onOne processing. It sounds complicated and time consuming, but it’s not.

Occasionally I get an itch to travel different paths. For them who feel the same, here be some thoughts on my off-color travels. 

2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers,

Let me start by saying color photography is my overwhelming favorite. I am not colorblind, and I enjoy the variety of hues associated with, for instance, flowers.

That said, of the subjects that lend themselves to B&W processing, flowers rank high in my list. That’s because the architecture of flowers are nearly as interesting as the colors. Some might scold me for using the word “architecture” to describe the spatial relationship of flower parts. It’s my blog . . . amo take some liberties.

This next one is an example of a flower that is very striking in its color but that, in my opinion, also works in B&W.

2014 Flowers,

Are you noticing something? I call them B&W but they are not B&W; some have a tint to them. For that matter, to be exact, B&W is not that either; it’s shades of gray. True B&W would be look a lot like an ink stamp.

Not only that, I call the next shot B&W even though its obviously not limited to shade of gray. Off-color processing is more involved and takes a lot longer specifically because different colors react differently in conversions to shades of gray. What works for one photo might not work for another.

2014 Flowers,

Someone with a degree in art and visual presentation can give you the technical term for what I did there. My take on it is as follows; the photo looked a little flat. No drama, nothing to draw the eyes, nothing that grabs you by the short ha . . . er . . . grabs you by the shirt collar and tells you to look.

The splash of tepid yellow grabs your awareness and makes you take note of the picture; it forces the mind to characterize what its looking at, and it does so by introducing a surprise into the expected.

2014 Flowers,

You can do something similar by the use of shadows and blacks . . . in this case, I’m trying to add drama to the mini story presented by the photo.

Tell me you look at the above and immediately don’t think of the following:

It knew its days were numbered. It knew its existence was fleeting, but with all its soulless being it struggled to make something of itself. No, it would not go quietly into the night, but rather face the scorching sun full-on, and live to the fullest. It’s better to burn out than to fade away! It would be the best flower it could be!

The secondary drama is that eventually it will fade away, shrivel up, drop to the ground, and rot. Now, ain’t that a powerful metaphor for human existence? No siree, you cain’t get there using colors; too festive, don’t you see?

Does B&W work for everything?

2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers,

Photos with lots of details don’t seem to lend themselves to B&W treatments, at least not by me. That’s why I tried different things with the previous two photos.

Don’t believe me? OK, I’ll show you.

 Take the following . . .

2014 Flowers,

Striking, ain’t it?

2014 Flowers,

Not as much, don’t you agree?

You can play with filters, changing the way some colors show up, but still, not as striking.

2014 Flowers,

Sure, the lilies now draw the eyes, but you lose the cohesiveness of the original.

You could try going the other way; adding color that was not there to begin with . . .

2014 Flowers,

Some people like that, but I prefer another tact . . .

2014 Flowers,

Desaturate some colors, mute others, add a little glow, and voila! Something semi-interesting.

By the way, you can click on the pictures to get a larger view, otherwise it all looks bland (WP still don’t have the hang of treating in-line photos with respect). You can also go to the SmugMug gallery HERE, and really look at stuff in great detail.

Now, there are techniques one can use to enhance the blandness of the grayscale photo, but they typically involve dodging, burning, layering, masking . . . all terms that have to do with post-processing software.

BUT . . . what if you are old like me, and every minute spent processing is one less minute spent eating?

Here’s a trick that sometimes works. Let’s start with a photo converted to B&W from the original file.

2014 Flowers,

Not awful, but your short hairs are in no way going to feel threatened by the above.

Here’s what I do. I take the original, and crank it up. I have a few presets for doing just this, and the exact preset depends on the colors and subject. For the above, I did this.

2014 Flowers,

Saturation, contrast, exposure, vignetting, color temperature and more all modified to give me a somewhat interesting, but not stellar color photo.

. . . but look what happens when I convert to B&W.

2014 Flowers,

Compared to the original B&W, and you might agree with me that the above has more drama, more punch. Or, you might not agree with me, but in my book you would be wrong.

One of the bigger conflicts in the history of mankind involves disagreement between straight up gray-scale photos and tinting. OK, I’m indulging in a slight exaggeration; the conflict between people who like Nutella and people who don’t care for it is a much bigger, and more important to the wellbeing of the human race, but tinted photos are somewhere in there in the list of strife-causing stuff.

For example . . .

2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers,

I’m hard-pressed to choose between these two. But what if I would have just presented one version? Like, for instance . . .

2014 Flowers,

Without seeing the alternative, the above is probably fine as is.

This next one is also presented in only one version, and people are happy to accept either the photo above or the one below on their merit. It’s only when we are asked to compare two different treatments of the same photo that things come to blows.

The silly part is that the brain has no preference. You might as well flip a coin; but once that coin is flipped, watch out. Hell hath no fury like a brain challenged about an arbitrary decision.

2014 Flowers,

“What about bugs?”

“What about bugs, Bob?”

“Well, how do they fare?”

“Well, Bob, they are generally not welcomed in most places. Most people think nothing of taking a rolled newspaper (or flat Kindle) and smash the gooey stuffing from any bug they encounter. Not me, by the way. My home has strategically placed Bug Transport Vehicles specifically to escort bugs to the great outdoor.”

2014 Flowers,

That fly would stand out quite well in a color photograph. But what about here? Which version shows the bug best?

2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers,

Well, Bob, they all work. The reason? there’s not much in way of background for the bug to get lost in.

But, what do you think of this one?

2014 Flowers,

By the way, the fly is now on a weed . . . this weed.

2014 Flowers,

See, that’s borderline being too busy. But, back to bugs. What if the coloring of the bug and the coloring of the background are not that different?

Well, we are pretty good at distinguishing shapes, but it becomes more difficult for some subjects like, for example, this spider wrapping up its latest catch.

2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers,

I mean, you can see the dang thing, but some details (the spider’s eyes and the prey itself) get lost, blending into the background.

Oh, by the way, here’s another treatment of the weed.

2014 Flowers,

Anyway, sometimes that lack of a clearly defined boundary can be used as an advantage. Especially when, as I am about to claim, creating art.

2014 Flowers,

It almost looks like the orderly pattern is borne out of the rock. That works for this fallen pine cone, but it works less for the pine cone still on the tree.

2014 Flowers,

The first, pretentious art. The second, meh!

Here’s another fly . . . 

2014 Flowers,

That fly is fairly visible, but you can do a few tricks with contrast and tinting that will make it jump out a bit more.

2014 Flowers,

Sometimes color is the only choice. This next fly has a black body . . . I tried to make it work in a B&W photo, but it would have none of it.

2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers,

Still, these photos were tweaked to differentiate the rock from the fly. The brightness is increased to bring out the details of the fly, but the rock has been dulled, thus providing a decent canvas for showcasing the fly.

It’s a neat fly, isn’t it? Here’s a few more shots.

2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers,

Worth looking at in a larger format.

Salsify . . . I’ve been letting them grow in a few places in the yard in the hopes of being able to photograph one of the seed balls. No such luck! I keep missing them, even as I’m on the lookout for them.

At first I thought it might be due to the winds we’ve been having, but then . . . 

2014 Flowers,

There are the seeds, just under what would have been the seed ball, now devoid of seeds. What the heck! They just fell off and laid there!

Well, at least it gave me a chance to stretch my artistic wings. By the way, none of these photos are posed. What you see is what I saw.

2014 Flowers,

I call it Life and Death

Why, if I had a recognizable name, or had done something terrible or wonderful to another human being, and if I were dead, the above shot would sell for thousands – or possibly, millions – of dollars. As it is, maybe five people will see it, and maybe as many as two of them will really look at it, and one of them is me. 

Unfortunately, I don’t have that kind of money to buy it, especially if I were dead.

2014 Flowers,

That is yet another Robber Fly. After the initial sighting, I see them all over the place. I thought that was an interesting contrast to the rock, but this next one . . . this next one required a special treatment. Not only is it feasting on a victim, but the body of a previous victim nearby lends pathos to the scene. Wait . . . was Pathos one of the Three Musketeers? Or was it Four? Ah, who cares; here’s the next shot.

2014 Flowers,

This would make a good Games of Thrones scene if the book were about bugs.

This next fly was difficult to process because it was on one of the blocks I used for the flowerbed edging, and I could not make it ‘pop’. The best I could do was to highlight the eyes, and let the viewer’s own eyes flow from there.

2014 Flowers,

Ah, but then it moved to the mulch, and I got one of my favorite shots of this series.

2014 Flowers,

I call it “Fly Taking a Dump”. I mean, it wasn’t, but I claim artistic license.

Flowers, like I said, are a bit easier to render in grays . . . Here’s two different, if similar flowers treated in two different, if similar ways.

2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers,

Aahh . . . we come to the Pond Damsel. I think it’s a female Familiar Bluet, but I could be wrong.

2014 Flowers,

This also posed a challenge as both the Russian Sage flowers and the Damsel are well-defined in the photo. I hope my choice does it justice.

2014 Flowers,

I played with a number of filters before I was satisfied . . . and I then forgot to save the preset. There is a high probability this particular combination of grays is unique in the history of mankind since even I can’t be sure of the settings I used.

2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers,

Yes, that is a dead Robber Fly. 

. . . it still looks fierce, though. I could not figure out if it died of natural or unnatural causes. What I found interesting was the position of the legs. They were drawn up so that the feet all touched each other.

Still, few things beat a live Robber fly feasting on a live prey . . . 

2014 Flowers,

I could not be sure, but it looked like some kind of wasp.

But there is not just death in my yard . . . here’s a closeup of an aspen runner bursting out of the ground.

2014 Flowers,

Perhaps that’s worth seeing with some color . . . 

2014 Flowers,

For them interested in that sort of thing, the SmugMug gallery is HERE.

By the way . . . it’s a little late, but fair warning . . . this is a long post.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Ghoul of Doodles Past

The Ghoul of Doodles Past

Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.  

If you click on the doodle, and nothing happens, this is the link it’s supposed to go to: http://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/palm-vx-and-i/.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Note: if you are not reading this blog post at Disperser.Wordpress.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Black & White, Black & White, flies, Flowers, Photo-effects, Photography, Photography Stuff, Spiders and Insects, Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

A Day to Remember


It’s nearly midnight, and the end of a beautiful day . . . low 70s, a nice breeze, clouds lazily drifting overhead, and pizza.

I was sitting at the table, eating the last of the allotted slices when out of the corner of my eye I catch a movement through one of the smaller nook windows. Hummingbirds were out there dive-bombing each other, so I thought nothing of it, and I continued looking out through the sliding glass doors.

. . . and I see a bear calmly walk along the back fence of my lot. 

“Bear!” I yell as I get up and go out onto the deck. 

“Bear!” I repeat, since Melisa did not hear me. 

We both get out there and watch the bear climb the fence and drop into the neighbor’s yard. It looks around, and we notice he’s heading toward the court to our north. Children were playing in the yard of one house. 

We yell out repeated warnings, but they don’t hear us, or didn’t pay attention.

The bear double-backs into the yard of our neighbors to the NorthWest. He goes out of sight, and we hear a scream and the slamming of a door just before the bear reappears in the yard to our West. Luckily the two small dogs that live there were not out.

I ran in and call the Security company to let them know of a bear sighting.

You have to expect that this time of year.” So says the nice man on the other end of the call. “I’ll drop by to keep an eye on it.

Well, I’ve lived here nine years, and this is the first I’ve seen a bear in my yard. I don’t have pets or kids, but you know, I have one of them there soft fleshy exteriors. 

Melisa occasionally asks me why I always wear a gun, even when working out in the yard. From now on, “bear” will be my one word answer.

We were lucky; there are normally more kids out playing in the yards all around us. Not that this bear was aggressive. It looked to be scoping out the place, and did not seem frazzled nor concerned about our yelling. 

It headed West, toward the highway, going from backyard to backyard. I grabbed the camera, and went out onto the street. I was hoping to catch him when he crossed the road.

I stopped in front of the house at the end of our street and looked at a spot about 150 yards away, where I thought the bear might come cross. 

Then, I saw a rabbit booking not 40 feet in front of me, crossing the drive of the house. I knew why, and I backed up across the street. Sure enough . . . 

He's maybe 60-70 feet away . . . it looks young, which could be bad (they might not be so good at gathering food, and be hungry).

He’s maybe 60-70 feet away . . . it looks young, which could be bad (they might not be so good at gathering food, and be hungry).

But no . . . he just wants to keep moving.

But no . . . he just wants to keep moving.

Bear Bear

He looks small here . . . that's deceiving.

He looks small here . . . that’s deceiving.

Bear Bear Bear

He does cross the road heading out of the subdivision, and heads toward the highway (about a quarter mile away). But first, he must go through a few more yards.

Bear Bear Bear Bear

There are fewer houses and more trees across the highway . . . I hope he made it.

Meanwhile, perhaps I’ll not work outside in the evenings. At least not until winter sets in.

BUT . . . the day was not over!

We had just finished watching the new Doctor Who (meh) that we had recorded, and I stepped out to look at the sky. Stars shone brightly above me . . . and then the whole eastern sky lit up, showing a massive cloud. 

I assume it was cloud to cloud lightning, but there was no sound. I called Melisa and we watched in awe of the spectacular show. It reminded me of the cloud in Close Encounter of the Third Kind (at the 1:33 minute mark), when the giant cloud approached, lights playing within it.

We watched for a good five minutes before I remembered the camera. The photos are not that good as I was trying to figure out the settings I could use, and tried to capture the flashes when they occurred (not as difficult as it sounds since they were nearly constant).

3.0 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 6400

3.0 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 6400

My neighbors keep their lights on, so the foreground takes away from the show above . . . trust me, it’s not something we will soon forget. The pictures do not do it justice.

3.0 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 6400

3.0 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 6400

You can click on the photo for a larger view, and you can see the stars in the clear areas of the sky.

3.0 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 6400

3.0 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 6400

Those were taken from the sliding door. A small cloud was passing overhead, and dropping some rain on us, otherwise I would have been outside.

I then moved to an inside window, and set up the tripod, although by then the show was not as dramatic.

3.0 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 3200

3.0 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 3200

I took a few more at different settings, but they did not work out.

I checked the radar loop . . . it was a very strong cell about 25 miles away, and we never did hear any sounds of thunder.

All in all, a GREAT day!

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Note: if you are not reading this blog post at Disperser.Wordpress.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Animals, Black Bear, Photography, Stuff, Weather | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments

Flowers and Flash


The world right now seems even more so the type of place I want to desperately leave. 

2014 Flowers,

2014 Flowers,

Make it stop!

Copyright 2014, E. J. D’Alise

Chapter 1
Claire covered her ears. The words became indistinct, but she could still hear the tone. Anger. More anger. Loud. Louder.

It was always the same . . . One of them said something, usually something Claire did not understand. It triggers a snide retort, and that lead to accusations, and accusations lead to yelling. 

Claire closed her eyes, shutting them tight as if doing so would also shut the noise. It didn’t. Her tightly closed eyes did not stop tears from forming and silently rolling down her cheeks, disappearing into the fabric of her nightgown.

She lost track of how long before the yelling stopped. She removed her hands from her ears, and waited. She could hear no sound, but she did not yet dare hope that it was over. A minute, then five. She opened her eyes and stared at the closet door. The small space was her refuge, her escape. She got up, and cautiously opened the door. Climbing into bed, she pulled the covers up to her chin, holding them tight. 

As she drifted to sleep, Claire counted the years, months, and days until adulthood. She would leave this place, these people, and find peace. Find a true refuge.

Chapter 2
Twenty-two years old Claire hugged her knees as she watched the images flash across the screen. As if those were not enough, a scrolling marquee told of other horrible events.

War. Riots. Killings. Bombings. Famine. Disease. Hate. More hate.

She rocked slightly, hugging her knees even tighter, as if doing so made her small enough to escape what seemed a world gone mad. It was not enough . . . she would never be small enough.

She turned off the television, and pulled the covers up to her chin, holding them tight. For a moment the quiet enveloped her, and then she heard a siren in the distance. Someone’s life had just taken a turn for the worse.

A tear rolled down her cheek as she realized there was no refuge. There was no place far enough, no closet to run to for escape  . . . the world was too small. 

The End.

2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers,

Have you ever looked around your office, and I mean really looked, and found the place was kind of messy? 

Messy enough that you would not want a stranger to see it?

“How did it get like that,” you wonder?

You start to pick things up, filing some stuff, throwing other stuff away. But the mess is too much for a quick clean-up. All you end up doing is rearranging a few things, and promise yourself you’ll not only not let it get worse, but will clean up the place. 

Only, a month later you notice that it’s worse.

That’s how the world feels right now.

2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers,

Resting Place

Copyright 2014, E. J. D’Alise

Joe stepped up onto the wrap-around covered porch. He put down the duffle bag he carried and turned.

To his left a thick wall of trees seemed to swallow up the driveway that came up from the main road. To his right, a small patch of grass sloped down to the water, and the view opened up onto a five acre lake. All of it was in the middle of a 35 acre parcel of land.

He turned to look at the house. Smallish, but enough room for him. He dug into his pant pocket and took out the key to the front door. 

The inside already held his belongings. They had been delivered the week prior, and the local realtor had been kind enough to be here to receive them and make sure they were unloaded properly. Joe looked forward to setting up the few things he had kept.

He thought of Claire. She would have liked it here. She had lost her battle with cancer a few years back. Joe had known what he would do when the time came. He suffered through the condolences, the words of concerned family and friends. He did not need to hear them, but it helped people to speak them. 

He went to one of the boxes and pulled out a coffee maker. Six cups ought to do just right.

He walked out and sat on the chair by the door. He could hear the coffee maker percolating. He heard the wind through the pines. He heard a few birds. He listened to the lapping of small waves onto the shore.

He closed his eyes, and rested his head against the wall behind him. 

Perhaps he’ll wait a while before getting an Internet hook-up. Perhaps he did not need a hook-up after all.

The End.

2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers,

Do you know what I think? I think humanity needs a frontier.

We don’t have one, you see. They say space is the next frontier, but there is nothing in the immediate horizon that will open that particular frontier to regular people.

A few millionaires will go up in orbit, but there won’t be the equivalent of forty acres and a mule opening up travel to the stars. An asteroid and a space tug as an incentive for people to venture off-planet is not around the corner.

People don’t want to admit it, but the universe wants to kill us. Everything out there is multiple times deadlier and more unforgiving than what we face on Earth.

2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers,

One Way

Copyright 2014, E. J. D’Alise

Joe had jumped at the chance. He might have been in his seventies but was still fit. Aside for a few aches and pains when he first got up, he was mobile, still relatively strong, and healthy.

The ideal candidate, especially since by now he had lost contact with nearly everyone from his previous life, when Claire had still been alive. 

Joe grabbed the hand-hold to his right, planted his feet, and pushed off. He drifted slightly; something he would eventually learn to compensate. He had about seven months to practice.

He caught the other hand-hold, and pulled himself so that his face was as near to the thick glass as he could. 

“Lights off,” he spoke softly.

He looked out at the points of light. As his eyes adjusted, he started to see more and more. It was beautiful.

He sensed rather than saw the movement. He looked over at Sarah, her face also pressed against the glass. 

“Sorry; did I wake you?” He spoke in a near whisper.

“No. I don’t sleep much these days.” Sarah answered in kind.

They kept their voices down as they tried to identify various constellations. Tony and Lucy were still in their sleep rotation.

After a few minutes, Sarah turned to Joe.

“Ever have second thoughts?”

Joe thought a moment before answering. 

“No. Not even once. You?”

Sarah turned back to the window and did not look his way as she answered. 

“No. I dreamed of this since I was a little girl.”

“You dreamed of being an astronaut?”

“No. I dreamed of getting away from Earth.”

“Even if it’s a one way trip?”

“Especially on a one way trip.”

Joe turned to once more look out. Their names would live in the history books, but all four of them would die far away from Earth, setting up and preparing the first outpost for future space travelers. He thought of Claire, as he often did. She would have liked this.

The End. 

2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers,

As I finished writing the above piece, and as I write these words, I am listening to this song:

There are those who poo-poo discussions of overpopulation.

“We have more than enough resources!”
“Technology you can’t even dream of will solve most of our problems.”

They do not understand . . . it’s not the depletion of resources, the cost of providing water, delivering food, cleaning up our garbage. It’s the fact that there are so many of us. 

2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers,

It’s about the quality of life, you see. 

Sure, by some metric we should be happier than pigs in excrement mud. But by other metric, we are in excrement mud, and not all of us are pigs. 

2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers,

My gut tells me to run away. To go far from the things of man. 

. . . but there’s no frontier, you see. Beyond that, there’s no place where the world is not going to touch your life, and that introduces a measure of sadness that permeates every aspect of our lives.

You can have momentary escapes, but everything done by people, even people with good intention, will affect your life beyond your ability to control how it will unfold. Sure, you can’t predict or control most things in your life, but humans are especially good at throwing obstacles in each other’s way. 

. . . it gets old . . . hell; it was old thirty years ago.

2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers,

Well, I hope I cheered everyone up.

Just a reminder about the SmugMug gallery HERE

That’s it . . . . this post has ended, except for the stuff below.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Note: if you are not reading this blog post at Disperser.Wordpress.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Creative, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Flowers, Macro Photography, Musings Stuff, Personal, Photography, Photography Stuff, Religion, Writing Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Grass Does as Grass Seeds


Over the past few weeks I’ve been collecting grass seeds specifically with the intent of recreating the success of my previous seed post. We’ve had a fairly wet Spring and Summer, and that means lots of grasses doing very well.

I planned on using one of the penguin bottles I have . . .

seeds, grass seeds

. . . but upon reflection, I decided for something with a duller finish.

seeds, grass seeds

I think it goes better with the seeds. Just handling this particular stalk caused a number of the seeds to separate and drop . . . in my office, in the great room, on the stairs to the basement, and on the treadmill (my staging area). Let me tell you, these seeds are a bitc . . . er . . . difficult to pick up.

The spindly strands seem to push away from you as you try to pick them up. You can’t group them, can’t carry them, can’t do nothing but swear at them.

seeds, grass seeds

Most of the seeds around the base came from this particular stem. When I picked it all of those strands were lined up along the seeds, giving it the look of a horse tail. Within a day of being picked, they flared out. It makes the seeds easily dislodged by either brushing them or blowing on them.

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

Here are the pair of seed stems . . . both of these have lost seeds.

seeds, grass seeds

Here are a pair with all their seeds (as far as I can tell).

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

Here’s a closer look at the two . . .

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

These next seeds are from a relatively low-growing grass. The stalks are fairly rigids, and the seed part waves a bit like a flag on the stalk.

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

These are both angled upward, but when still attached to the rest of the plant, the seed pods hang slightly down, and even the slightest breeze will set them swaying. A bunch of these plants together in a group look kind of neat.

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

These next seeds are from a much taller grass, and the seeds themselves are substantial.

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

Here’s some close-ups . . .

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

By the way, these photos are also in THIS SmugMug gallery.

Some seeds resemble cypress trees.

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

Even though I grouped these two together, I don’t think they are the same plant or seeds.

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

Another seed stalk that looks a bit like the others but is not the same.

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

Here’s another cypress-like stalk, but not quite the other two.

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

These next two stalks are actually quite heavy. I mean, I’ve been working out, so they were no match for my brawn, but they felt substantial when holding them up.

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

And wouldn’t you know it? . . . it rained. Yes, right there in our entertainment room.

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

Now, this next one is from one of my ornamental grasses . . . 

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

Very thin, wispy, and prone to move from what appeared my breathing about 2 feet away, or even the air currents generated from me moving my hands.

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

And yes . . . it rained again!

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

I was hoping for better photos, but I was fast losing the light, and Melisa called me; my mushroom risotto was ready.

Sorry folks, but these are the best I could do. I mean, I like you guys, but mushroom risotto! I can’t pass that up! I’m rushing these last ones; I got to go.

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

As I said, the SmugMug gallery is HERE (there are a few more photos in the gallery).

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Dark Turns the Mind of Men

Dark Turns the Mind of Men

Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.  

If you click on the doodle, and nothing happens, this is the link it’s supposed to go to: https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/palm-vx-and-i/.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Note: if you are not reading this blog post at Disperser.Wordpress.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Photography | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments