Friday, January 11, 2013

Feeling halfway crabby

But maybe not as crabby as this actual crab:
Half a crab?
I was walking on the beach the other day, when I came upon what I thought was just part of a dead crab that had washed up at the edge of the water. I gave it a little poke, and was surprised to see that it moved.

crab underside
I turned it over and saw that it was a complete, intact, and very stubby female crab, with eggs, even. Don't worry. I turned her right side up again

I was taking advantage of a recent minus-tide for beach exploring. In fact, I try to plan my beach visits specifically during the lowest tide, the better to find stuff. I climbed around the rocky tidepools a little bit, but this becomes physically more difficult for me every year, and since I was by myself without even my phone, I didn't want to risk a fall. But that's OK. It's nice just being on the beach. And on a chilly January day, midweek, it was pretty deserted.

Thinking optimistically, I had brought an empty bread bag with me, in case I found more good shells than would fit in my pocket. But I actually didn't see too many treasures that I really felt compelled to collect, so I decided to use my bread bag to collect trash, which was almost as plentiful as the shells in some spots.

My collection this time
My trash collection

One-footed seagull
This little gull, missing one foot, followed me for a bit as I collected the trash. I wonder if he thought I might have something to eat in there.

The spots you see on the bird photo are from bits of dust that have worked their way inside the lens of my little Canon camera. It doesn't usually show up in macro mode, but it's almost inescapable in longer shots. There's no way to get the dust out. Well, I suppose I could send it away somewhere to be taken apart and cleaned, but that would cost about as much as a new camera, which is why I decided to get the iPhone. (and also because I needed a new phone).

A few bug photos with the iPhone camera

It's been a less than inspiring winter for me. I haven't felt too much like blogging.
I have been trying to accustom myself to the iphone camera. And while it does take pretty good pictures, and I have downloaded a bunch of fun photo apps, I find that (1) the camera is physically difficult for me to hold and manipulate, compared to a "real" camera, and (2) as nifty as all the apps are, they are difficult to see and manage on the iphone, so I usually want to edit them on my ipad or my PC. So that cuts down on the spontaneity a little bit. But here are 3 bug pictures that I've taken fairly recently:

Red Shouldered Bugs
A few red-shouldered bugs hanging out in the sun.

One flower, one caterpillar
Here is a little owlet moth caterpillar, perhaps a Heliothis sp. There was one lone flower blooming on a patch of columbine, and this little fellow was on it.

Fat Green Caterpillar
This fat caterpillar was hanging out under a trash can in my backyard. (pardon the frass)

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