I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Backyard, Jaipur style

Two pictures of the same backyard, because I liked both of them, and the idea of having a backyard is more attractive than ever these days.

Okay, it probably has snakes. I'd still take it.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020


I can't post anything about the virus right now, because I'm vacillating between fear and rage and do not want to Go There today.

Fortunately, this truck barreling through a foggy morning on a highway in India makes me smile. Usually I spend a lot of effort getting rid of vignetting -- those shadows in the corners -- but I think it works here, adding to the otherworldly effect.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Astronomy Tuesday

If it’s true that there are billions of universes stacked alongside one another, the thickness of a thought apart, then there must be people elsewhere.  
But wherever they are, no matter how mightily they try, no matter how magnificent the effort, they surely can’t manage to be as godawfully stupid as us. I mean, we work at it. We were given a spark of it to start with, but over hundreds of thousands of years we’ve really improved on it.
That's the great Terry Pratchett, stating the sadly obvious in his inimitable fashion. And this is emission nebula NGC 6188 in the southern constellation Ara. The image was taken over ten hours from a backyard telescope in Argentina, reminding me that humans, despite our manifest failings, do manage to find and memorialize the beauty and wonder in the only universe we've got.

Image Credit and Copyright: Ariel L. Cappelletti

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Sunday bird blogging

If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty of lives and whole towns destroyed or about to be. We are not wise, and not very often kind. And much can never be redeemed. Still, life has some possibility left. Perhaps this is its way of fighting back, that sometimes something happens better than all the riches or power in the world. It could be anything, but very likely you notice it in the instant when love begins. Anyway, that’s often the case. Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb. -- Mary Oliver
I seldom disagree with the thoughtful wisdom of Mary Oliver, but I would argue that this common quail caught mid-step in Keoladeo National Park counts as exactly one crumb of joy. And that's fine. Not a great picture, but I don't think I've ever posted one of this particular bird, and the fact that I had to go all the way to India to do so does make me smile.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Saturday reflections

Still in India -- another image from the road, but the reflections are more pronounced this time and add a dreamlike quality.

Friday, July 31, 2020

More on the road, Indian style

There are annoying reflections from the car windows but I still like this glimpse of village life seen from the highway: getting water.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Color or black and white?

¿Por quĂ© no los dos?

Some pictures just work better in black and white, even in India, like the roadside stand in Jaipur on the right. Black and white makes the detail pop in a way it didn't in the color version.

But most of India can only be captured in color, like the picture on the left, which I took from the car on the way back from Keoladeo National Park. I love those lavender and turquoise bricks.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Life in the time of coronavirus

Restaurants are still limited to outdoor dining, so even places that were always indoor only are setting up areas like this so they can open up again.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Astronomy Tuesday

The Butterfly Nebula, NGC 6302, is one of my favorites -- because it's beautiful, but also because it actually looks like a butterfly!

I've posted Hubble images of it before, but I think this one, released last month, is my favorite so far: a filmy blue creature in a garden of stars.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and J. Kastner (RIT)

Monday, July 27, 2020

Monday elephant blogging

And here is Sampa, the beautiful rescue elephant I got to spend an afternoon with in Jaipur.

She looks a lot smaller when she's in a picture by herself, but standing next to her, I only came up to the top of her trunk. I hope she's still enjoying her retirement, and grabbing all the extra alfalfa she can get.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Sunday bird blogging

I posted a similar picture of these painted storks in Keoladeo National Park back in 2017, but can't resist another one. They somehow manage to look both vaguely sinister and hysterically funny at the same time, and that's a hard combination to pull off.

I will never get used to those knees.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Saturday reflections

I played around with the saturation and added lens effects, and this extremely ordinary reflection of a building in Hell's Kitchen on a summer afternoon turned into something I rather like. A lot.

You know it's July when emptying the dishwasher at ten o'clock in the morning makes you break a sweat.

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