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

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sunday bird blogging

Here's a pretty parrot from Kuranda. The tropical weather has mercifully departed but I still have plenty of tropical birds to share. I love the detailed feathers on this one.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Bonus Saturday reflections

Another very New York set of reflections from the Short-fingered Vulgarian International Hotel near Columbus Circle.

Sometimes I do miss Spy Magazine.

Saturday reflections

A cross-section of towers and their reflections, taken near Columbus Circle. I like this one in black and white because it's easier to see detail without the distraction of color.

And somehow it's almost August. I'd say that July has just whipped by except that nothing moves quickly in the tropics.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Urban poetry

Just for fun -- rush hour traffic with an arty filter from Prisma on it.

It makes me feel a little Jessica Jones, as though I'm a character in a stylish noir version of city life, instead of a a thoroughly unstylish woman weaving her sweaty way home through backed up traffic on a steamy July evening.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Astronomy Tuesday

These dark dunes on Mars come to us from the intrepid Curiosity (which is back online after unexpectedly going into safe mode over the Fourth of July weekend -- demonstrating that computer systems do what they damn well please even on Mars.)

This image is compressed to show the waves created by the thin Martian wind, creating shapes that are usually only seen underwater on Earth.

Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, MSSS

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sunday bird blogging

Here's a tropical bird for the tropical climes outside my apartment this weekend: a blue and gold macaw at Birdworld in Kuranda.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Saturday reflections

Cranes make the best reflections. Fortunately, there's seldom a shortage of them on the New York skylines.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Out on the street

It has been a fairly mild summer, but we are now sitting, with most of the country, under a so-called dome of tropical heat and humidity, and anything clever I had to say about anything leaked out of my pores on the long sweaty walk home tonight.

So here's a shot from the Hell's Kitchen flea market last weekend, of two women who clearly handle the heat much better than I do.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Astronomy Tuesday

This beautiful spiral galaxy with the unromantic catalog name of NGC 1309 is about a third the size of our own Milky Way. What I love about this kind of deep space photo is the tantalizing glimpse of countless other galaxies in the background. NGC 1309 is 100 million light years away -- more stars than my little brain can contemplate, all unimaginably farther away, and yet look beyond this, and there's so much more!

Our planet may be having a nervous breakdown at the moment, but we live in a pretty impressive universe.

Image Credit: Hubble Legacy Archive, ESA, NASA; Processing - Jeff Signorelli

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sunday bird blogging

More from the backlog.

I'd completely forgotten about these figbirds -- eye-catching in every sense. I saw them the first afternoon in Cairns, when I was still woozy from jet lag and melting in the heat, and I went for an abbreviated walk along the water. Even so, it's hard to imagine that I could ever have forgotten about these eye-rings -- they're like the least conspicuous burglars ever.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Saturday reflections

Here's a dreamy abstract, of what is in reality a less than ethereal view looking toward the street-side windows in my office. You can see the edges of the various glass partitions on the cubicles reflecting back on each other and the banks of overhead lights, but once the light goes through all those layers and hits the camera, you can't really tell what you're looking at.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Urban poetry

Stick a fork in this week, it's finally done.

Here to celebrate are some stairs and their shadows dancing around some otherwise stolid tanks by the harbor in Auckland.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Astronomy Tuesday

A more detailed than usual look inside the Crab Nebula -- Number One in Monsieur Messier's famous catalog of Things That Are Not Comets -- as seen by Hubble.

The star that went supernova and created this nebula in 1054 has now collapsed into a neutron star -- tiny by astronomical standards, incredibly dense, and spinning at the rate of 30 times per second. You can see the glowing gases swirling in the shock wave it produces.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA - Acknowledgment: J. Hester (ASU), M. Weisskopf (NASA / MSFC)

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sunday bird blogging

I know perfectly well why I never posted this one -- an unusually colorful shorebird at Birdworld in Kuranda -- because I didn't know what kind of bird it was.

I've long since misplaced the handout from Birdworld that identified the various residents, but even when I had it I couldn't find this bird on it. So I labeled it unknown and moved on to the  macaws and parrots, which were considerate enough to look exactly like their ID pictures.

But the file birdworld unk sat there like a reproach all these months and today I finally flipped through the big field guide and found, much to my surprise, that it's just a cattle egret. I've seen many cattle egrets, mostly in Africa, but I've never seen one that wasn't pure white. Apparently this is their breeding display and in the egret world resembling an avian version of Donald Trump is a real turn-on.

Saturday, July 9, 2016


It's stretching it a little to call this a geometric picture. Okay there are some triangles in a great big circle, but it's not the kind of geometric pattern I usually look for.

But I never posted this -- it's a giant gear, presumably from a ship, by the harbor in Auckland -- and just came across it while looking for something else, so here you are.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Urban poetry

The crowd watching break dancers on a steamy July evening on Sixth Avenue. I was on my way to a co-op board meeting and didn't have time to get any decent pictures of the dancers. But these faces make me laugh.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Astronomy Tuesday

The Juno spacecraft has arrived safely in orbit around Jupiter after a five-year journey.

It will some time before we start getting what will undoubtedly be amazing images, but in the meantime here's something much closer to home: a picture Juno took of Earth during a flyby in 2013, when it used our gravity to push off for the long haul to Jupiter.

When this picture was taken, Juno had already been in space for more than two years. Its Atlas rocket was powerful enough only to propel it to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter; at that point the Sun's gravity pulled it back into the inner solar system, where the gravity assist from Earth sent it flying back again to Jupiter. And you think it takes you forever to get anywhere!

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Sunday bird blogging

I thought about cropping this image more to make the duck more prominent, but the setting is so beautiful and the bird -- this is a cinnamon teal, in Grand Teton -- doesn't exactly blend into its surroundings, so I left it as is.

Click to enlarge if you want a better look at what is admittedly a gorgeous animal.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Saturday reflections

The grids and catwalks of the Javits Center are complicated enough; add reflections from construction across the street and you've got -- well, this.

It's the start of a three-day weekend, and outside it's New York, lush and green on a mild July morning. Add coffee, and life really doesn't get better than this.

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