Sunday, May 31, 2009


I need...

...more practice...

...at this.

Still less than ideal results, but there's a lotta luck involved. When's he gonna come out? Which way's he gonna fly? Which one has he gone in now?

On Objectivity 

"There is no such thing as objective reality. You color everything."

~ Deng Ming-Dao, via whiskey river

Saturday, May 30, 2009


You wouldn't believe how many failed shots of tadpoles it takes to get just a couple of passable results. The combination of light loss through the polariser resulting in large aperture and consequent narrow depth of field, manual focus so as see through the water's surface, shaky hands holding a 400mm equivalent lens at a metre distance... yeah, I know; bad workman blames his tools and all that. But I guess these are taken at the border of what's achievable in the circumstances. One moderate success to a couple of dozen failures.

But who's counting, anyway? Sitting cross-legged at the end of the pond, the sun on my back, oblivious to the outside world, absorbed in the lives of those who populate this watery universe in front of me - what better way to spend to warm and sunny Saturday afternoon?

We keep fishing out the blanket weed (Spyrogyra) that drapes this fella's nose, but I read today that that just releases more spores and make it grow all the more.

Two way traffic (unless they're up to something else. I confess I don't know much about the reproductive habits of snails):

I'm still getting to grips with the 45 - 200mm lens on the Panasonic G1. Sometimes things come out okay, sometimes they don't. This one was okay-ish. It's not a macro lens, closest focus is a metre, hence this is a crop. Nowhere near as good a result as I could get with the old Olympus C8080. As far as I know, Panasonic haven't announced any plans for a macro lens for the G1 yet.

The pond's not a year old, yet it's fascinating how much life congregates around water. These Large Red Damselflies for instance:

Wildlife, did I say?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Artistic universe 

For sheer wow factor, today's APOD takes some beating:

Suburban Jungle 

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Isn’t it enough simply to survive each day? 

Isn’t it enough simply to survive each day? To make it through the conscious hours unscathed, completing one’s allotted tasks, without giving upset to another, without being unduly upset by another; to be fortunate enough not to know hunger, or physical pain, or disease; to sleep at night safe in the knowledge that the hours until dawn will pass undisturbed?

For almost all of human history, from the time our ancestors came down from the trees to live in caves, right up to just a few generations ago, this life of ours would seem, if viewed from the perspective of those ancestors, just a couple of degrees short of heaven. After so many millennia of struggle, you’d have thought it would be in our genes to welcome such an easy life; to be content with days that contain so few challenges, so few fears. No tigers outside the circle of fire, no brigands at the door, no secret police in the dead of night.

Why then do I feel so powerfully that mere survival is so far short of being enough that it’s barely worth the effort?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Words I would do well to take to heart 

"To laugh is to risk appearing a fool, to weep is to risk appearing too sentimental, to reach out for another is to risk involvement, and to expose feelings is to risk exposing one's true self.

"To place your ideas and dreams before the crowd is to risk their loss, to love is to risk not being loved in return. To live is to risk dying, to hope is to risk despair, to try is to risk failure.

"But all risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

"The person who risks nothing also does nothing, has nothing, is nothing. If we avoid risk we may avoid suffering and sorrow, but we simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love or live."

~ Leo Buscaglia ~

There are many things for which I thank my parents; regrettably, a sound education in the hazards of risking nothing isn't one of them.

Hat tip to Laura Young

Update: It seems more than coincidence that Rob Paterson posts this. The risk in my case is not about doing, it is about being.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Idly flicking around, as you do, I came across something I wasn't looking for...

One of the greatest TV shows ever. Ever. Oh to be as human as those guys... They don't make 'em like they used to.