Friday, August 31, 2007


This has been an ongoing image I`ve been working on for a few years.
It started as an image of a glass in the garden.
I removed the garden, & put it in the sky.
Then I decided to add a fish which I distorted to fit the optical requirements of seeing a fish in a wine glass.
I had some cloud shots I took yesterday & put the glass of fish into that.
Working with clouds that are ill defined, & glass with it`s transparent reflections are some of the more difficult manipulations I study with. You can see a few other versions of this image, beyond the click.
Have a nice week end, please.


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This is the last image of these blooms in this series.
The background in this image is a piece of whiteboard I have handy when I want to isolate the subject.
The header image is of a carnivorous cactus that surprised me.
I had no idea what it was, but I had mentioned that Teri alerted me to it. There is an image of the pod that turns into a fly eating star, reminiscent of my underwater ones, attached to the header.
The cadaver flies are attracted to it`s scent of rotting flesh, then captured by it`s hairy grapples.
Attached to the main post image is a pair of Worts.
Have a nice day, please

Thursday, August 30, 2007


A daytime visit inside the cactus blooms.
There`s more beyond, and at Planet Earth, the nightly bug visitors.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


This virgin birth is the first of a possible 50 or so that will be bursting on the scene in the next few days. While shooting tonight, a visitor I`ve been meaning to introduce to you, showed up. A Great Horned Owl. It was perched on a Yucca & luckily I was able to stalk it to get it contrated against the moon. I will post more of this series tomorrow, so please come back & the Planet Earth tomorrow. The end of tha owl series is quite dramatic. (That`s only my opinion)
Have a pleasant day, & please be careful of others.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


While I was shooting the eclipse in a timed sequence to be able to create a slide show, the shutter speed had to be altered.
By the time I was below 300/ sec. I started using a 10 sec timer. The aperture was open wide at 2.8 & by the time the moon was completely red, I was shooting at three seconds. Then a huge airliner came in at an unusual glide slope, seemingly to show the passengers the eclipse. I figured it would pass very close to the moon from my vantage point so all I had to do was estimate the time of it`s transsect with my shot & include in that estimate the 10 sec time delay. I had been having trouble also with the change in humidity & temperature that was causing distortion in my resulting shots. I took the best guess & clicked the shutter. .13 secsonds later & this is the result. The wavy lines are caused by the atmospheric conditions distorting the lights from the aircraft that was messing with the sharpness of my shots, but this one proved I hadn`t eaten too many blooms. Speaking of which, this is a replacement post for the one I loaded a few hours ago. I just put this one up to keep the sky watchers here up to date. Please do go see tonight`s bloom though. It`s below this post, & has a few tricks for the experimental photogs that hang here. I`m off to sleep for a few hours.


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While waiting to shoot the eclipse tonight, I decided to go play with my flashlight, a camera & a night bloom on one of my cactus. If you look at this image & look at the lighting of it, it looks a little strange.
This is an eight second exposure at approx F 4 to F5 I`d guess. I set the timer for 10 secs. & with the flashlight held far enough away to give enough light to focus on the bloom (it`s pitch dark out), but not too much to confuse the light sensor, I click the shutter. I then move the flashlight away & position it to start washing the bloom when the shutter opens.
As soon as it opens, I start underneath & in the back of the bloom, brushing the bloom with light & in a continuous motion light up the areas of the bloom a little more where I want the final image to be highlighted. I end up in the front of the bloom & make sure to finish with the light on the area in the front of the subject. It takes a little experimenting but once you start trying things like this, it`s easier to graduate to more experimentation. I just thought of a new thing I will try. Shooting with different colors by putting colored cellophane on the flashlight. Hmmnmm
Well here it is, & there`s a few more on Planet Earth.
Good day.
Since this is Ladies Night here,
this bloom is dedicated to Haylie Norton, a very bright young lady presently on a tour of Germany.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


This is a Trachyphyllia geoffroyi. It has a common figure 8 shape, but comes in a variety of other shapes.
The header shot links to other images of the project I`m working on. I have included detail crops of the larger images, to show the expertise of the artist`s craft. The planes in these images are B-17`s. The image called "Final Approach" is of my friend`s plane. After completing 26 missions over Germany in WW2, he was shot down, & wounded. He spent the remainder of the war as a POW.
He is now 80+ yrs. old, & I`m documenting a lot of his files for history`s sake.
The images are taken from three sources. One is a small photograph (Final Approach) that is 3.5x4.5 inches.
I shoot a photo of it at high res. then enlarge it.
In that image, you can see a detail of a man on a bicycle, smoking a pipe, & wearing a reddish brown jacket & a fedora.
The other image is a color transparency of the same size as the first one. For that one I used a Light Tray for slides, but I got a better result by paper clipping it to a sheet of paper & pinning that to the wall, next to a window in my office, with the subject & it`s paper backing, extended into the sunlight streaming in the window. Both of these images are of paintings in oil, by Merv Corning & commissioned by my friend. I think the paintings are exceptional in their color & the cicumstances depicted.
In "Wounded On Board", the light on the farmland & the details in the image do not distract from the seriousness of the situation. The plane is limping back with one engine out, another spitting up chunks of hot metal, & there are two seriously wounded men on board. I`ve read a lot of the mission reports & feel like I almost know some of the men that were with Dick during those times. He was just over 20 years old at the time. I`ve only known him for 25 years but It`s like I`ve always known him.


On this day I rested

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Today is my sister Andie`s birthday.
She`s still just a young girl, but 2 years older than me. Hey Andie, surprise. I brought you a bunch of flowers you can see beyond this orchid. This is the very last Orchid I shot today, & I will not be shooting in that location anymore.
Due to security concerns, I was told I could not take any photographs in the bank. I will be testing their security though, by shooting from the public sidewalk into the bank, & try & get the orchid I couldn`t shoot today. Most of the orchids in your bouquet, are grown by an old friend of mine who has an orchid farm. He travels extensively & gives lectures internationally on his breeding methods. His orchids are on display in the bank & are changed as new species come into bloom.
I also have a few monsters that are awaiting you on Planet Earth. I know by now you must have received some special company if you are reading these words.
To anybody who visits here, you would not be out of place, giving my sister a big shout out for her birthday.
Andif, I hope I didn`t freak you out.
I wish you all a great week end & HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANDIE.

Friday, August 24, 2007


This little hummingbird is one of the ones we raised from childhood.
I see this one & two more that we`ve had the pleasure to be acquainted with in the past two years.
Others before that are long gone.
Brutus, was one of my favorites. I took him everywhere with me.
You can look behind this image with a click, for more of these darlings.
On Planet Earth, you`ll see some of our other baby rescues. The little common wren is still living in the house with us after a year & one half.
Have a pleasant week end & be nice to each other.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


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This Tomato Clownfish in an anemone, shows you how the anemone can stretch & extend it`s kill zone, to a large area of a tank. These anemones, & there are three in this tank, will move about & then stay in place by the use of a "foot". This does not mean they will stay at that place, but from this image you can see that without moving it`s foot, it can still reach quite far. The front glass in the image is not as clean as I usually keep it, because I do not want to aggravate the anemone. I should mention that the glass is not dirty. Everything that is on the glass is alive & grows everywhere & on all the rockwork inside the tank. We clean the sides, the more to enjoy what`s inside the tanks.
The 3d series is beyond the header to allow more of you to see, if you can, the wonders of 3D.
On Planet Earth, a new cover image takes you to my night blooms from last night. I have a big day tomorrow, as usual, but I do not have the time to post the new blooms from tonight. There are three of them blooming right now.
Good night, & please have a nice tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


This is a Bangaii Cardinalfish Pterapogon kauderni, (Koumans, 1933)
Relatively new to the hobby, this fish breeds very easily in the home aquarium. It a mouthbrooding fish. The male carries the eggs in his mouth till they hatch, then for 5 to 7 more days as fry, before they proceed on their own.
In the header is a leadoff to a series of 3D images, & on Planet Earth, a series of tonight`s Cerus bloom shot by flashlight.
Have a nice day everybody.


This Green Striped Mandarin, is really big on colors, inversely proportionate to it`s size. This one is very healthy, about 2 inches long, & has been eating very very well.
There are a few more shots behind this one if you click on it`s eye. The same is true on Planet Earth. There is also a few mixed images beyond the header that might mix up your mind tracking.
Please all ha.. No I do have to say it this way for a special friend of mine. Since it`s ladies night, this littls bundle of color is dedicated to a very special friend of mine, Darbe Nokes.
So I have to say "Y`all have a really nice day."
That`s how Darbe says it. Darbe, friends don`t get better than you.

Monday, August 20, 2007


This Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp, is performing on stage in a tragic play on words.
I`ll let you click to browse on a collection of other images that includes other shrimp & a long sea slug.
At Planet Earth, a shy beauty from my central cactus garden, tries to hide in the dark. A few of the shots were taken with a flash. The others are taken with a small household flashlight. I might mention that all were taken while standing on the second to last step of a step-ladder.
Have a terrrrriffic day, & try to stay in the shade.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


This is an image I created with the one in the header. It started out with the truck, a gift from Dave Mann, a renowned artist.
I shot it on a board in my field, then cut it out & pasted it onto a longer canvas for the header shot. I took an old pen stand where the pen would hang magnetically under the light part of the lamp standard. The bridge rails I made by shooting some stailess steel mesh, I have around for getting a star effect in photography. I created the light spray on another canvas & copyed & pasted them into this image. A reflection of light off the fast moving water was done by splashing three or four different paint colors & using a blurring motion filter to smooth & haze the water. I also blurred the wheels very slightly with a circular motion filter. This is a model of one of the actual Easy Rider rigs. This one is about 14 inches long. This image is done in 17 different layers then flattened & sized for inclusion in this post. If you have any questions on any aspect of the image or any questions involving whatever you want to question me about I will do my best to be truthful.
Remember, a day of rest is always best.


Teri, called me outside this afternoon to take a picture of a bug. She told me to hurry, as she didn`t know if it would stick around. I was in the shower, but when she calls I`m on it. This is the bug, a praying mantis. It is quite unusual to see this insect here. They are only seen here, from my experience, when it has been hotter than normal. We quickly became friends & after a few shots, she decided to climb onto my hand. She may have been wanting my hand in marriage because she kept licking her lips. They do have lips right?
Anyway, I`ve only seen three of these insects in the many years I`ve lived at the beach.
I don`t know how material the fact is, that the same thing happened to IVG yesterday. It seems that they are wearing different contact lenses, or it`s sunnier where IVG is.
IVG`s Mantis friend has dark blue eyes it seems. This one`s eyes are so light, they were hard to see.
Hopefully, this one will also stick around the gardens here.
You may step into the image on Planet Earth.
Everyone please have a safe weekend, & always remember to be cool.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Today we go green.
This green bubble coral Plerogyra, is one of the nicest ones I`ve ever seen. It is one of my very first corals & it is probably as big as any one of these would ever be. This one, fully extended is about 14 inches long by 10 inches wide. The bubbles are actually tentacles, that deflate at night, when they look more like tentacles as one would imagine them to look like.
The beauty next to the bubble, is a Hawkfish, Cirrhitichthys falco Randall, 1963.
This fish I`ve also had since the Bubble coral.
It is very fast & perches on it`s pectoral fins, anywhere it feels like it can scan the area, always ready to swoop on an unsuspecting prey.
The show attached to this image or the same one one on Planet Earth, is a collection of images that might blow your socks off.
The Green Machine is featured.
Please indulge yourselves & have a great end of the week.
Look out for your neighbors welfare. It`s free.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


This is a brittle star. An OPHIUROID. There are about 1,600 species & they are similar in that they have a central disc with well defined arms or rays radiating from it. Most are relatively small, but some in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, may grow to 10 feet across. For the most part the class is mostly pentamerous, having body parts in multiples of five, & with very few of these animals having body parts or appendages not divisible by five. They move by articulating their arms & move their arms or rays by articulating oscicles rather than tube feet. The mouth opens directly to the stomach which may have different sections but they have neither an intestine nor anus. You may see this mouth & into it in the accompanying slide show. (You may browse those images also)
They also have many different feeding methods, but are perfect at cleaning left over food, dead organisms, & such. One of the strangest is that some extend their arms up into the water current, creating an electrstatic current which then attracts charged organic particles.
This one in my tank, I think is beautiful.
They are mostly nocturnal feeders & I see it occasionally. Sometimes I forget it`s in the tank, & at feeding time it`ll come cartwheeling out from the rockwork like a freaky kind of fivetapus.
I put some flavored drops for anyone with a little cough, over at Planet Earth.In the header, is the panorama from last night. Would you tell me which version you like better.
Have a wonderful day & may the sun set, on you happy.


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This fish a favorite with "reefers" (We`ll get back to that), because of it`s powder blue color is a docile fish, but prone to ICH a parasitic disease, & lateral line erosion. This fish is a rescued fish . It was absolutely in bad shape when I picked it up, from a vets office no less, & soon it was covered in ICH. Ich is a parasite the leaves the fish covered in little cysts that eat away at thefish & must be horrific for the poor dear. Luckily I had cleaner Gobies that ate these parasites & by chance & care, it survived. I rarely saw it for a long time except during feeding. It would venture out to eat then rush back in behind the rockwork. With gentle persuasion & a regimen of my repeated presence, this fish finally came to trust me. I then put her in a much larger tank. It is advisable & even though I do not take my own advice, any new additions should be placed in a quarantine tank for a set period of maybe three weeks & at least ten days after there is no sign of disease. The ten day period is important because that is the egg, to egg laying, time period for the ich parasite.
It is now the designated fish that comes up to where I`m sure to be attracted & does her little game to attract me. I can touch her when I feed the fish. I don`t pet the fish or anything but we can accidently touch & it does not freak out. She comfortable around me. Now to photograph this fish, I get to know how it moves & where her saftey zone is. I try & never frighten the fish in the area where it feels safe so if it does get frightened it will still go to it`s secure spot. This spot for this fish is behind the rocks, but it has different entries. Now that I`ve figured out where the fish will almost always be coming out I set up my photo plan. One must remember a few things about moving objects. First it is very difficult to focus on them. Secondly, once you do have the fish in focus, it`s invariably not there when you click the shutter. After many pictures of rocks, one must do something different. Since I know where the fish will eventually be, I focus on that spot. With this fish, you`ll notice that it is entering the open water of the reef through a cleft in the rockwork. That is it`s usual place coming from it`s safe zone. There area few vantage points from which to focus from. One is from the side & one is from the front.
In this image I`m on the side of it`s tank looking down the length of it. The next consideration is flash reflection. You cannot shoot with a flash from anywhere but with the lens against the side of the tank, IOW`s directly against the glass. Shooting images through a layer of glass, then a thick layer of water precludes one from shooting at anything more than a very shallow angle, because of the defraction , so I rarely shoot at an angle. Now the fish is getting used to the camera action & is more & more at ease. Now I can start shooting the fish from head on. Previously from the side she could not see me until she came out,& by that time I already had the shot. Now she would see me & could choose not to come out through the opening.
By clicking on the image you can browse the series of images or just watch a little slide show. You will see that there are a number of shots of this fish exiting the rocks. Now she is used to having a camera in her face & is getting used to my being in close proximity to her & peering in moving about & flashing lights in the tank. Bythis time I know where to prefocus. All the shots are taken by prefocusing. After a while you can shoot from anywhere in the tank. From the end of the tank I always prefocus on a piece of coral or a similar reference point & wait till the fish passes through that point. If I clean the inside surface of the tank, I can now take many shots with the fish reflected off the inside glass in the tank, & a double reflection from the inside of the outside of the glass thickness.
I ever mess around with buttons or knobs on the camera. I set it all for manual everything. This does include auto focus in manual mode but is not progressive or sequential focus. I pick a point, focus, keep the shutter half depressed & wait. It`s very similar to fishing.
I pretty much use my intuitive experience to change aperture & speed & will sometimes bracket some shots but not very often. There is so much movement going on that it`s counterproductive to do so. There are times that I will quit fishing & go hunting. This is when I have a special mission to shoot one fish in one tank at a specific time relative to its habits. Then I will do a few tests & adjust accordingly. If anyone thinks it`s easy, consider that there are some fish I have that I have only one acceptable shot of, & a few, none.
Last night while I was trying to show you how easy it is to confuse plants & animals in a tank, I had a nocturnal visitor. Since my door to the outside is always open, I shut the porch light off, to not attract too many night bugs. At one point something landed on my head. I knew it was fairly large but could not find it by the light from the monitor. After a while, hearing scrapings & whatever, I finally peeked in under the tray that holds the keyboard & it seems like I disturbed the BEAST .
You can see it at planet earth, & I did not add any more than that one pic of it, but have added pix of some lovely bees, one series inside a succulent flower. Tonights sunset was spectacular so I decided to take KIWI, sa small parrot & go up on the hill to shoot some panoramas. The one in the header, Y color corrected to an illogical tone so you can see that it is made up of 16 panels. These shots are taken with no tripod, just shooting & rotating my body. I overlap the shots by at least 1/3.
I download them, then create a new canvas a little less than the sum of 16 image widths & a few inches taller than one image. This one is about 50 inches long. I then copy & paste the images onto the new canvas. You can click & go see the true color one, which will change slightly before it`s done. Tomorrow I will blend the 16 panels together & show you a finished panorama. I shot 6 of them tonight & did this one in portrait format to show better what it looks like rather than 5 or 6 landscape shots.
Last night`s post was an experiment that I`ve felt horrible about all day. To show how easy it is for people to confuse what is plant or animal in our tanks, & please believe we "reefers" understand & don`t mind although we`re very quick to point it out. Most of the time any plant in a tank is a reference to unwanted algea, & we would never brag about having any. So the anemone last night was a bud from a real plant & not an animal. The fish I planted there to try & see what some one who wouldn`t know, might see the tank in his/ her eyes. I tried to see what someone else sees. I hope you`ll permit me to be sorry for it. Lest you think it malicious, please reread the post. I suggested it was sticky, & that "Reefers" spoke of it`s medicinal properties, which were discounted by scientists (hah). NDD, might have something to say, but we`ll see.
I wish you all a great day, & please remain in the shade. It was almost 100 degrees here today, so I can only imagine how dangerous it might be for the very young, the elderly & the weak in health. Keep an eye on those people.
Any mistakes in this post if any, are due to heat confusion.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Many people mistake some of the animal species in my tanks for plants.
Some of the similarities between the two, excuses these errors with no fault intended. Here are a few similarities.
A great many of the upper reef corals are sustained through photosynthesis. This process is carried out through an even smaller life form that lives within the coral.
Different propagation methods are the same in some plants as in saltwater animal life.
There are similarities in how we see them in regard to coloration, how we describe both as "branching", etc.
So don`t worry if you make a mistake, all reefers do. This animal, & many people would be fooled, looks like a flower, but it`s tentacles have a sticky substance on them that could put the Damsel fish in the background in peril if it was ever in proximity to it. These feelers have a substance with medicinal properties but many scientists seem to discount first hand accounts by reefers of reputation.
This "Ladies Night" presentation is to honor one of the Lifetime Achievement Award members, the lovely KINA.
At the header( love it) a pair of newcomers to my place. Go click the morning ritual.
And on Planet Earth, the Blue Dancer is doing 2 shows per night. (2 drink min.)
Have a nice day, & please stay cool. I understand the heat in most of the country is extreme. Please check on your elderly neighbors.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


This "feather duster", is one of a variety of segmented worms. Those designated as feather dusters all basically have the same head configuration. A crown of tentacles that trap food as it drifts by. These worms are "filter feeders. They filter food out of the water current.
They do not generally survive unless they have the appropriate food available to them. Most arrive in the tank in the substrate sands we use, or "hitch hike" in on live rock. In most of my images you may see a lot of purple coloration on the rocks. This is a living organism, that encrusts & plates, on just about everything in a reef tank. It is coraline algea, & every reefer will remember seeing the first specks of it, knowing the reef is coming alive. The rockwork in the reef is filled with thousands of millions of living organisms & is the machine that rocks the reef. This feather duster although"just a worm", is an apt demonstration of wherein beauty lies. Wherever you look for it.
Please have a nice week ahead & be careful.
Over on Planet Earth, you`ll see the poses of some, at times, promiscuous stars.
If you can`t figure it out, It seems Olivia is pretty quick to point them out.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


These hilarious little fish are Shark Nosed Gobys. Gobiosoma evelynae Bohlke & Robbins, 1968.
They are also called Cleaner Gobys. In the clickable link at Planet Earth, you will also see a similar Goby, called a Neon Goby, or Gobiosoma oceanops, (Jordan, 1904)
Both of these goby species will pick parasites off of other fish, & can be often seen "riding the rails", or cruising with a larger fish, stuck to it`s side, yet moving about on the fish, cleaning it.
They readily breed in the tank & have done so in mine. Both parents protect the eggs, usually laid in an empty shell.
When mine were breeding, & the eggs laid (I`ll find images later, since I now remember I have them on film) I cut a cover from a stack of blank DVD`S in half, & positioned the "egg shell" ( that`s a good one) near the tank side & covered it with the DVD piece.
Under cover of darkness the predators would try & get inside for a nocturnal omlet, but were thwarted by the protective transparent barrier. The Goby, very small in build could easily slip in & out.
When not breeding, these little fish are like little kittens, springing out of nowhere & ambushing each other in wild chases throughout the tank.
Enjoy these diminutive little rascals & be safe out there, please.

Friday, August 10, 2007


If you`ve been reading this blog recently I mentioned how my RBTA`s or Rose Bubble Tipped Anemones propagate. They split into clones of themselves. These clones I readily give to any aquarist who shows knowledge of anemone husbandry. About a year ago, I met a young man from my immediate area, who I found out kept a few aquariums. I gave him some of my fresh water fish, & some frags from my coral trimming. Actually he came over to my place to help in a massive clean up in a reef of mine. I do these clean ups periodically to rearrange things & get rid of "pest" corals. This does no harm to the reef. It basically recreates what a big storm would be like, a recurrent fact of life on a natural reef. At this time, I gave him one of my clones.
He was thrilled as these are highly prized specimens, that sell for upwards of $100.00 depending on size. Along with the RBTA, I also gave him frags from numerous other corals. I`ve taken him under my wing so to speak. He`s a very bright young man, going off to college in late August. All corals grow & show their colors differently in different, lighting & current strength, conditions. He is gone with his family on vacation, him, with trepidation. I`m keeping an eye on his reef while he`s away. Today I went to check it & feed his reef, & took the opportunity to take shots of my clone, now his RBTA. Feast your eyes on this one, & visit the accompanying slide show attached to the click.
The clownfish in the anemone is a Percula clownfish, Amphiprion percula (Lacepede, 1802)
Have a great week end.
OOPS, The bird in the header is a constant visitor to my doorway. Here he`s on another porch stealing the bait from the sprung rat traps.
At Planet Earth, & beyond the click, a Mule Deer that was visiting tonight.


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This post is by special request from Olivia.
This is a great example of natural symbiosis. The shrimp, an Alpheid, nearly blind, lives in a burrow it digs in the substrate along with an Orange Spotted Shrimp goby. Amblyeleotris guttata (Fowler, 1938)
Normally a shrimp would move around with it`s antennae, pointed forward. As you can see, one antennae, is folded back over the shrimp & is touching the Goby. It will never go any farther away than the length of it`s antennae from the Goby.
If danger approaches, the shrimp gets a signal from the Goby through it`s antennae, & scoots down into it`s burrow. The fish then immediately follows.
The shrimp thus is protected by the seeing fish, & in return the fish eats the small "bugs" the shrimp disturbs while burrowing.
These shots are hard to take because of the everpresent early warning system the pair uses. If the shrimp is out when I approach , the Goby will alert it as if I represent danger. This degree of difficulty is compounded by the fact that the burrows, interconnected below the surface, are very close to the tank wall. If they lived further back it might be a little easier because I would not be seen as a danger so readily.
The danger also comes from within the reef itself. By clicking on Planet Earth, you will see a Coral Banded Shrimp on the prowl in close proximity to the burrow, being stood up to by the Goby.
In the header image is where Waldo can be found. Clicking Waldo will take you to Waldo`s world. This crab, unknown Genus, is a little smaller than a dime & often just seem to appear out of nowhere but may have been in the reef for years. It`s always a new thrill when you find a new animal in your tank. These creatures, called "Hitch-hikers", come into the reef in early stages of their developement on live rock, the solid foundation upon which a reef builds. I call him Waldo, because I always wonder, Where`s Waldo.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


Abused by a system that sent this young man into battle, he has devised his own manner in how to deal with fear. He hides it. Deep inside, he knows that if his fear shows, it may spread to other people, who, he is positive would all & forever point at him as the origin.
He must not show what tears at him so he now shows his petaled face, sure that everybody loves flowers. His mother told him so. Here behind the bushes on the edge of the park where he lives, he marvels at the people cheering loud explosions & worries for their safety, having seen the devastation these bombs, bursting in air, cause. He does not comprehend the celebration of independance that shines, reflected on his metal face, positive it could never warm his soul.
Young men like this will be seen more & more as the systematic abuse they have & are enduring starts to bloom . We, who would never use our brothers & sisters like this, are inevitably charged with taking their hand & reassuring them that some one cares. No amount of pills or programs or tests will ever help unless there`s a caring soul to help them along.
The thing that will be difficult will be to make sure these people are not pointed out as the originators of their troubles. There will be many. Please smile at them & be nice. Have a nice day, & count your blessings.
This image I shot at night when while fooling around with the resident skunk, I noticed the light on some statues. I had moved these statues a few days previously & had not yet seen them in the light from the porch. This light was a little behind the statues & a little higher. There were two lights on each side of the porch entry, one red & one green. [Don`t ask].
I went & got a tripod & camera& set up with the camera set at F2.8 & started with a 6 second exposure. I started fooling around with the set-up & went to get a few masks from my collection, & brought along a flashlight. I changed to a 2 second exposure & I would spray the shot with a quick bath of light with the flashlight. This is one of the images from that series. Another image from that series can be seen in a previous post called "DICHOTOMY"
Planet Earth has a few peeks into my other world, & the young lady in the header, will show you the way to the sky. Her name is Liberty, & she is not free.
Good evening.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


 mirror mirror DSCN3898
This is an image I shot in a friend`s tank. He owns an aquarium store in the valley.
This is a great shot to explain a few things about corals. These all come from somewhere, & one might image eventually there would be none left in the wild. None of these corals come from wild natural reefs. Those who are horticulturally savvy, know very well how nice it is to have a friend ask you for a cutting of your prize flowers or some of your special bulbs. Likewise with corals, a cutting will start a complete new colony. In the left foreground is a soft coral. It has no calciferous skeleton. Every little nub on it will produce a new coral. With a razor blade, slicing a piece off, then securing it to a piece of rock with reef safe epoxy or even a loose rubber band, will make a nice addition to ones reef. Within a few months it will look like the parent coral.
All the corals in this tank are clippings from a mother coral or parent coral. Sure, but it had to come from the ocean somewhere.
Absolutely, but you only need a small piece of one to get a new colony started without destroying the parent one. More & more, marine husbandry is advancing to where most clams, & there are some gigantic ones of unimaginable colors, are raised for the trade. We`ll get to trade again in a few . Most of the fish you might normally see, [if you`re a reefer] are now captive bred. This not only lessens the removal of these specimens from the oceans, but during the study of these animals, valuable information about them is discovered which aids in the increasing knowledge of how to protect our oceans. I`ve not met any reefers who did not have a reverence for the oceans & their inhabitants. Another aspect that is not understood is the fact that these animals are captive. In the wild, the animals most aquarist keep, would never venture any further than the limits a tank defines. A shrimp is not found six miles away next week; it has it`s little area it has carved out & in which it finds enough food & enough protection. It will spend possibly 25 years in the same location along with the fish who have determined their own little spots to live their lives. When stocking a tank, one must consider which specimens they would like to keep. This then has to be parsed into who eats who, till one has a selection that includes predators & prey from the top to the bottom. It would not work out, not to mention quite costly, to have a fish that has soon devoured all the others. There is also the consideration of where the fish naturally live on a wild reef. Some fish are crest inhabitants, others are substrate inhabitants & form their little holes in which to carry on their lives . There are cruisers that may be herbivors & cruise the whole reef feeding on algea.
Still, predators are in the tank, but we feed them also, which lessens predation on your specimens. Now that a selection has been made they must be introduced into the tank in an order which allows all of them to live a nice life. The least aggressive fish must be introduced first to allow them to find a nice spot where they can duck into if danger approaches. If you introduce the most aggressives in first, they will chase down the next ones you introduce who have not yet picked a safe spot. They will be killed. So the order of introduction is very important.
Also, once you do introduce a fish, it is very difficult to undo your decision. Catching a fish in a pile of rockwork covered in corals is a really good plan if you`re planning a disaster. So that you better understand reefers dedication to not being a burden on the animals in the oceans & for that matter anywhere, & being advocates everywhere & anywhere for the care of our differing ecosystems, please feel free to ask me about anything that may help you understand the special feelings I have about the animals I have & to answer questions that you may have that are more of a negative nature, possibly because of a lack of understanding how these marvelous reefs work. Now , to get back to trade. Like all trees, plants, shrubs, or grasses, they all grow & must be trimmed. With corals the same is true. We can`t just let corals grow to the point where one is depriving another of light. These are mostly all photosynthetic, so light is a major factor to consider. What to do with all these trimmings? FRAG MEET. There are aquarium clubs everywhere, just as there are sewing circles, photography blogs, motorcycle swap meets & so on. Reefers get together & swap frags, the common name when you cut your corals back & produce fragments of the original. Some reefers are famous for their special kind of species or kind of coral. These are sought after by many, & promises of getting a cutting from the next fragging are pretty much always kept. Reefers are proud of their corals like Margerie, is proud of her roses. So water your gardens & share your Peonies. And please have a great tomorrow.
The eye in the sky, all seeing, in the header is the opposite end of a "Long Spined Urchin". You can click on it for a few more peeks at my mysteries. Also on Planet Earth, a "Christmas Tree worm' in a beautiful color morph can be clicked for a little blues.

Monday, August 6, 2007


Tommy Tomato in Clone n DSCN0079
For "LADIES NIGHT" here on the White Knuckles blog, I present this image for Laura Tate.
This clownfish shot I took this morning. I rescued this fish from a local vet`s office. I actually rescued the complete tank, but it was in sad shape. The anemone was given to me by a friend, to give the clown a more natural habitat.
The anemone when in a healthy environment will tend to reproduce. It does this by cloning itself into two anemones by splitting in two. This is actually the thirteenth clone from the mother one.
I really have no way of knowing if this is the original or not, but seeing as it`s a clone, it matters little.
The anemone is in peril in the wild only when it`s clownfish is removed & the clown suffers the same peril if the anemone is removed. The clownfish will make sure the anemone is fed by bringing food to it. In the tank pictured here, & yes there is water & an acryrlic layer between you & the animals, so you are safe, there are two more anemones from the parent one. The clownfish now serves three mistresses. It also has three secure spots . I use to give the clones to any responsible hobbyist but now I trade them in at aquarium shops for whatever I might need. My clones are still always available to anyone who can care for them. There will be a time when, as a reefing community, we will be replenishing the wild stocks moreso than what we do already. The reef community website of which I am a longtime member has over 130,000 members worldwide. I`ll put in a new slideshow in the "Planet Earth" location in the morning to surprise the guest of honor Ms. Laura Tate. She doesn`t know yet she is gracing us today but she will be notified through proper channels.

Sunday, August 5, 2007


In a world that is now the sum of all that came before, it is astonishing that there is such turmoil.
All the discoveries that have made the world the way it is today, have been from people from around the planet. One would think that working in unison with others, would achieve even more, or at least, in a shorter time period. Yet those who think they have achieved the most, from the same bank of humans we` ve all been deposited into, seem to want to cash in now, & leave other investors broken. This bank is one of immigrants. Everybody came from somewhere.
They came with cures, they came with farming knowledge, they came with engineering knowledge & they came to make a better life for everyone, to all distant locations on the planet. They are the planet. They are the immigrants. We are the immigrants. This is a study in light.
A light that shines on all of us, not a select few. It can not be turned off.
To see more of the light on the immigrants face, click & see this person in different light. See the different moods the light creates. The hope it shows. And be nice to the next immigrant you meet, he is you.
Planet Earth on the right, has more of this Blue Planet`s wonders, & at the top, please do go see my good friend Coconut, showing off by doing a high wire act on my truck antennae

Thursday, August 2, 2007


This image taken at night shows the fluoresence this animal shows off with. This Tube Anemone, a Cerianthus, Arachnanthus or Pachycerianthus is found in all seas.
It must be fed on small planktonic foods. They can be a challenge to keep & are quite dangerous to other corals or giant clams. They create a tube in a deep sand bed or in a mud substrate, & need a space around them as large as the sweep of their tentacles. Anything inside that range is subject to being killed.
By clicking on this image you may see other views of this one, a very interesting animal in my collection.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


 Cerus at 9:00 PMDSCN7564
This is one of two blooms taken within the past hour on a prize cactus grouping.