Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Crow

Corvus brachyrhynchos



Another Morning Meeting

So of course I doodled another face.

A RATHER HUMOROUS-LOOKING *DOKKAEBI/도깨비*


*A kind of goblin from Korean folklore.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Happier Hummingbird

Over the last couple of days since the previous hummingbird post, the weather has improved considerably.  It was sunny and fairly warm both yesterday and today, and when I saw the critter again it seemed in decidedly better spirits.  At least that's how I interpreted the increase in friskiness and noisemaking.  I think the exuberant high spirits come through in these new photos.

To catch this quick little birdie in flight I had to stand with my camera pointing at the treetops, waiting for it to take off, for some minutes at a time (my arms!).  But its movements were so quick and sudden that carefully following its flight was simply impossible.  Several times I missed the moment altogether, and even when I did manage to track it I mostly ended up wildly swinging the camera around in the general direction of its flight with my finger on the shutter button, hoping I came close.










 DETAIL OF ABOVE SHOWS THEM CRITTERS CAN
FLY UPSIDE DOWN




 THIS DETAIL SHOWS WHY HUMMINGBIRDS ARE CALLED
'BEE BIRDS' IN KOREAN


 SURVEYING ITS TURF



Two New Phrases Coined Today

#1:  "HE SQUIRMED LIKE HE HAD A PAIR OF SNAKES MATING IN HIS POCKET"

Today I was talking to someone at work, and our friend and colleague S.H. came up in the conversation.  It so happens that S.H. walks really, really fast.  He pretty much powerwalks everywhere he goes.  And I don't know what prompted me, but I found myself spontaneously saying "He charges along like he's got two angry horses inside of him".

Interesting.  I kept thinking about that sentence, and eventually it dawned on me that it's not just a single, static phrase but a general descriptive formula with animals and locations as the variable terms.  Consider the following applications:

"She couldn't have been more distracted if she'd had a pair of bickering squirrels under her hat";
"He snores like he's channeling two drunk elephants";
"She hustled and bustled like she'd got a pair of chihuahuas on diet pills inside of her"

And so on.

#2:  "HE LOOKS LIKE A HAIRY BOULDER NOW"

I was talking to R., another colleague, and a certain celebrity's name came up.  This celeb is a veteran actor who is as well known around Hollywood for his strong political convictions and activist spirit as for his acting.  Not to take anything away from his acting prowess, as he is a wonderful actor, but I'm certain his very solid, formidable appearance has been a valuable asset to him in his career.  And since he's also been an actor longer than most of us have been alive, I found myself saying "He looks like a hairy boulder now".


More posts like this:  #1#2#3#4

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"The Decapitated Monk"

ANOTHER ACCIDENTAL PAINTING FOUND ON THE PAVEMENT

If you ask me, the minimalist reliance on suggestion, negative space and fortunate accidents inbues this image with a distinctly Zen flavor.  Hence the title.

TABLEAU-TROUVÉ

And this be post no. 500 -- Yay!

Today's Hummingbird Photos

The first one seen in 2012!  It was overcast and fairly chilly for much of the day, and I'm sure the little guy  was feeling it.  Its plumage was looking rather bedraggled, too.  Poor thing.





Friday, March 9, 2012

They're Back In Force

IT MUST REALLY BE SPRING








I still don't know what they are, what they are doing, how they come and go, or understand anything whatsoever about them.  Their nature is a complete and utter mystery to me.

But how wonderful to see them return in such wild, joyous profusion, and with such extravagant beauty!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Res Ipsa Loquitur

Revelation Chapter 10, Verse 1:

"And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud;  and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun..."




No 'feet like pillars of fire' -- but it's perhaps a good thing that this iteration today of that mighty vision was incomplete.  I don't think most people were ready for the real thing.  I certainly wasn't.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Butterfly Encounter

Around lunchtime today I was out shooting this beautiful sunbow when I saw something else that attracted my attention (below and to the left of center).


Here is a detail:


Struck by its fragile, melancholy beauty set against the grandeur of the backdrop, I took a few more shots in quick succession.  Despite its quick and erratic movements I was able to track the subject well, keeping it centered in the frame.  I was quite proud of myself.



Only later did I realize that the poor creature had half a wing torn away, probably by a bird.  It must have narrowly escaped being eaten.  I know there's a Taoist/Buddhist lesson in there somewhere, about ephemerality, transience and impermanence.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Flying

A SAD MEMORY FROM THE PAST, AND A PREDICTION FOR THE FUTURE


I remember once, when I was little, the womenfolk of the house were sitting around doing something with fabric.  There were rolls of material and piles of scrap in all kinds of textures and colors, strewn all about the floor.  I was playing with the discarded pieces when I found a largish piece of netting or mesh.  I'm not familiar enough with fabric to know what it would be called exactly -- I suppose it was a kind of crinoline or some such.  While playing with it, marveling at its combination of lightness and stiffness, I conceived a brilliant idea.  I drew a pair of wings on the stuff and asked some one of the group to cut them out for me.  This being done, I had them pinned to my shoulders.  I climbed the stairs to the landing, made sure the wings were securely affixed to my shoulders, and took a leap.

How disappointed I was when nothing unusual happened!  While I certainly had not expected to be able to fly around like a butterfly -- I don't remember how old I was then, but I certainly knew not to expect such miracles -- I had hoped and somewhat expected that the wings would at least slow my fall a little (good thing I had not gone all the way up to the top of the stairs!).  That day probably could be counted as the sad day I recognized there is a difference between reality-as-you-think-it and reality-as-you-find-it.

Anyway, thinking about that childhood experience over the years has resulted in another brilliant idea, and a prediction based upon it:  in the future, when mankind has colonized the Moon, one of the most popular sports will be flying.  Real flying, like a bird flies.

Here is how it would work:  a giant domed space would be built;  it would be much larger than any indoor stadium existing today (easy enough in the weaker gravity of the Moon).  It would have air blowing upward from the floor at designated spots, to simulate rising thermal currents and assist with climbing.  The would-be flyer would come in, put on protective gear and step into a light framework made of carbon tubing.  The frame holds the body horizontal like a hang glider, but it would not look like a hang glider;  it is equipped with a large pair of wings, hinged at the shoulders and the arms would be strapped into them.  The joints are rigged with springs to keep the wings open by default in the optimal gliding position (to keep the arms from getting tired), but they allow the flyer to move his arms and flap the wings as necessary.  There are also pull-cords, controlled by the fingers, to change the shape of the wings for fine control, just like a real bird's wings.  The flyer climbs up to a launch pad, pushes off, and buoyed up by strong rising currents, glides up, up and away.

EDIT:  Apparently someone is looking for sponsors to launch a business doing something very much like this!  Balloon-assisted personalized indoor flying!  There's a video on YouTube -- search under 'ParaBounce'.

Another Doodle