Travels with camera

Was on the road earlier this week, on nonsecure wifi networks, so I didn’t post anything. Wouldn’t want any hackers to be able to take over my blog! Monday night I was up in Boston, helping a friend of mine take care of a very large steak. As you can see, we did OK:

ribeye

Rib-eye, yum.

Of course, I wasn’t in Beantown just to help my buddy eat steak. I was there on business, which went well. But the meal was certainly the highlight of the trip. Unfortunately, even when on an expense account, one needs to pay attention to the wine menu. Turns out that our nice little bottle of Dominus 2004 required me to write a reimbursement check to the company. Ouch!

I suppose, had I been able to deplane right before takeoff, I could have gotten the cash from the pot of gold that was sure to be at the end of this rainbow I saw over Boston Harbor:

potogold

Where's that pot of gold?

Rainbows, of course, are simply sunlight passing through water vapor, which acts like a prism, separating out the white light of the sun into arcs of the various wavelengths that make up the visible spectrum. That is, light hits the raindrop, and is refracted slightly. It then reflects inside the drop, and, upon exiting the drop, is refracted slightly again. This makes a very pretty sight, although the snapshot above completely fails to render the beauty of the scene.

Despite how pretty Boston is, I was really looking forward to getting out to Fern Forest when I got back to Florida. Unfortunately, this plan was delayed by a day, as the lad was slightly under the weather, and daddy had to come home early from work to babysit. Naturally, the boy was full of energy all day long, and it was quite impossible to tell that he wasn’t feeling good, except that he had morphed into a character from Star Trek. Whenever I put him down, he instantly started to wail; couldn’t stand to be separated from me, even for an instant. Have you guessed which character yet? I’ll give you a minute. You’ll think of it…

It’s Worf. That’s right, yesterday my baby boy was a Klingon. Badump-bump.

But eventually (meaning today), I was able to get back to my lunchtime haunts. And I ran across a few beasties today that needed further study. One was that puzzling vine from last week; no one has yet been able to identify it. So I emailed it to the site manager, and I hope to hear word soon on what it might be. [UPDATE: turns out the vine is Old Word Climbing Fern, Lygodium microphyllum. I guess no matter how many times I see it, I never expect it. Now that I’ve seen it up close, I should be able to recognize it again.] Apart from that vine, there were innumerable dragonflies, some of which, for the first time since I’ve been going to the place, met with rather gruesome ends.

The first image shows a Golden Silk Orbweaver (Nephila clavipes) munching on an unknown dragonfly. Since I had my point and shoot camera, which doesn’t really allow for manual focus all that well, I had to take the shot against the sky. No matter how hard I processed the shot, I couldn’t get any color into the shot to try to ID the anisopteran:

spidermealBanana spider gets a big meal

After seeing our native spider taking out one of these big insect predators, it wasn’t more than 5 minutes before I saw one of our alien invaders, a Brown Basilisk (Basiliscus vittatus) munching on its own captured dragonfly.

basilisk

Basilik eating dragonfly

Although I was too slow with the camera to capture the image, through binoculars I was pretty positive that this Jesus lizard was eating one of the more common dragonflies at the park, the tiny Blue Dragonlet (Erythrodiplax minuscula).

All in all, an interesting afternoon at the park.