Gossamer Tapestry

Reflections on conservation, butterflies, and ecology in the nation's heartland

Sunday, December 27, 2009

In Which I Shoot My Universe

Steve's blog suggests that he is out of town. Who will take over his efforts to document the beauty of Cape Ann for the blogosphere? Guess I'll have to step in. As is our wont, Leon and I drove around Cape Ann just after Christmas.

We begain at White Beach. A small nor'easter was winding down. The surf was decent and the wind quite high. Rain early in the trip limited photography, and the low tide kept the surf from being as spectacular as I would have liked.

We saw ducks off of the Magnolia shore, but the low tide and wave action kept them too far off shore to see well.

At Eastern Point, the wind kept us off the breakwater

Waves kept crashing over the rocks. Gale force winds made it difficult to hold the camera steady. I had hoped to see purple sandpipers here, but if they were around, they were further down the breakwater.

We did see them over at Bass Rocks. Photography conditions were generally poor today- however bad weather often means that harlequin ducks are just offshore at Marmion Way in Rockport. They were!

Over at Halibut Point we saw the strangest water creatures of the day. Surfers in a nor'easter off of a very rocky shoreline are a sign of complete insanity.

Labels: , ,

Friday, December 25, 2009

Holiday Creations

I've been working for some time now for cheese to accompany me home for the holidays. This is the first year that I have been able to create a cheese flight for Christmas Eve. I began a blue cheese way back last summer, a Gouda around Labor Day, and a Camembert just a few weeks ago. I was especially eager to try the Gouda, as it's the first one that I have made with the Guernsey milk (verdict: better, but still not what I'm looking for).

The Flight (l-r): Karner Bleu, Gouda, Camembert

Chilmark Girl gave me a beautiful porcelain tray for my birthday. It set the cheese flight off nicely.

Jan Hagels

I made Jan Hagels again this year- a perennial favorite (the link will get you to the recipe)

Th Sally Lunn bread came out much better than last year.

Today, Chilmark Girl was typically adept in creating a Christmas feast featuring herbed rack of lamb. I've only been home a few days, and have already eaten far too much. I hope all of my readers have had a fine day.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Media Madness

I'm not happy withthe headline. Otherwise OK.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sssnake Sssurgery

Connie, one of our corn snakes, managed to get herself into a bit of a pickle. We're still investigating how she got herself inside of the tag in one of our volunteer's shirt.

She couldn't move herself forward through the tag, because it was too narrow. Her scales prevented her from backing out. As you can see in the photo above, she was wedged pretty tightly in the tag- so tightly that her eyes had started to bulge.

I was called to bring my small pointy dissecting scissors. I usually use them to clip small pieces of butterfly wings when I need them for DNA analysis. They were perfect for this job. Jamie did the cutting of the tag. I did photo documentation (apologies for the quality- these were done with my cell phone).

Just another day at the office. All ends well.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dragonflies of the Malay Peninsula

Work has been intense the last couple of weeks, hence my lack of posts. I really wanted to get one final post of photos from Malaysia up. Throughout my trip, I was astonished at the beauty and diversity of dragonflies that I saw. They were everywhere, even in really urban spots like Penang.

Neurothemis fluctuans

Family Coenagronidae, possibly Enallagma sp.

Green Skimmer (Orthetrum sabina)

We saw dragonflies in nearly every color of the rainbow, however red was particularly well represented.

In the mangrove forest

Near the hot springs
(Possibly Trithemis kirbyi)

I don't know what most of the species were, perhaps Amila will stop by to help with identification. My favorite sighting was at the tea plantation.

I really enjoyed the dragonfly viewing and photography, even though I didn't see the two species I most wanted a look at on this trip: the Dawn Dropwing (Trithemis aurora) and Neurobasis chinensis. Guess I'll just have to go back some time.

Labels: , ,