Posts Tagged ‘Biology’

You’ve heard that old saying, It’s strictly for the birds, well today’s (again I seem to be a day late) blog post is for the birds, about the birds and in celebration of our feathered friends!  The phrase is used to denote something worthless, trivial or of interest only to gullible people. Not so here!

I wish I had gone along with Murray when he went out to take these photos because I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of these beauties in flight!  Magnificent and not necessary to say anymore!

All photos courtesy of Murray Head

Beautiful Blue Heron

Beautiful Blue Heron

If there’s one bird I never take for granted and each and every time one stops by my feeder, I stop to look at it.  Looking through binoculars at this handsome prince of a bird is always a thrill for me.  Really who doesn’t love Cardinals?

Who Is That Masked Man?

Who Is That Masked Man?

Of course we’ve seen flocks of birds everywhere but this particular group of Gulls reminded me of something that surely no one under the age of 40 will know what I’m talking about! 



Murray Head took all these photos and with his artist’s eye he captured this bird in flight at precisely the right moment as it flew past the house.  It looks as if the bird were placed there as a prop for balance in the photo!

AIWYFI-Art Is Where You Find It

AIWYFI-Art Is Where You Find It

Sea Gulls seem to be a bit territorial and not social when it comes to food and mating!  Sometimes when I throw bread to them,  one will come along and scare another one away from a piece of bread and now they’ve both moved away from the piece so a third one comes by to snatch it.  In this photo, it looks some other male was trying to move in on the Gull’s Girl!

You Better Take Off!

Get Outta Here!

When you’re wet and cold at the beach, you wrap yourself up in a towel and sort of fold into yourself.  Just look how this Crow is sitting on the wire.  Looks like he went for a quick dip! 

Brrr brr

Brrr brr

The Laughing Gull is a favorite of mine at the shore. His head is more rounded than other gulls and this species seems to be a bit more clever at grabbing food tossed in the air.  They spend more time circling me as I toss bread in the air  rather than gathering on the sand at my feet.  They are very compact and streamlined.  Look at those great feathers!    

Aerodynamically Perfect

Aerodynamically Perfect

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Central Park is so  full of life! Over the past couple of years, I’ve posted photos of the park’s four-footed and feathered denizens.  You’ve seen the spectacularly colorful Wood Ducks, the entertaining squirrels, the royal red Cardinals, the fierce-looking Red Tail Hawks, flocks of Mallard Ducks, frolicking dogs, and shy raccoons.  Today, it’s all about the Blue Heron.  Strung together, these pictures seem to tell the story of the Heron who went out for a walk  and realized too late that it had snowed.  His feet were cold so he tried standing on one leg and then the other. He looked very uncomfortable.  Finally he thought it better to just leave.

"Well, I certainly didn't expect this"

“Well, I certainly didn’t expect this”

"Maybe I should go back"

“Maybe I should go back”

"Ooh that's cold"!

“Ooh that’s cold”!

"Extremely unpleasant"

“Extremely unpleasant”

"I'm Outta Here"

“I’m Outta Here”

"Now where should i go"?

“Now where should i go”?

"C'iao for now"

“C’iao for now”

All photos courtesy of Murray Head

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Murray sent me a terrific group of Dragonfly photos.  They were taken on Thursday and should have made the FAB FOTO FRIDAY post but as you can see, there was no Friday post.  SO today I’m posting the photos AND writing about the many characteristics and principles associated with this beautiful winged insect.

dragonfly, Central park

Beautiful Blue Dasher Dragonfly

Maturity and a Depth of character
The dragonfly, in almost every part of the world symbolizes change and change in the perspective of self realization; and the kind of change that has its source in mental and emotional maturity and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life.

The traditional association of Dragonflies with water also gives rise to this meaning to this amazing insect. The Dragonfly’s scurrying flight across water represents an act of going beyond what’s on the surface and looking into the deeper implications and aspects of life.

dragonfly, Central Park

Brown Hawker Dragonfly

Power and Poise
The dragonfly’s agile flight and its ability to move in all six directions exude a sense of power and poise – something that comes only with age and maturity.
The dragonfly can move at an amazing 45 miles an hour, hover like a helicopter fly backwards like a hummingbird, fly straight up, down and on either side. What is mind blowing is the fact that it can do this while flapping its wings a mere 30 times a minute while mosquitoes and houseflies need to flap their wings 600 and 1000 times a minute respectively.

The awe inspiring aspect is how the dragonfly accomplishes its objectives with utmost simplicity, effectiveness and well, if you look at proportions, with 20 times as much power in each of its wing strokes when compared to the other insects. The best part is that the dragonfly does it with elegance and grace that can be compared to a veteran ballet dancer. If this is not a brazen, lazy, overkill in terms of display of raw power, what is?

blue dasher dragonfly, Central Park

Poised to Perfection

Defeat of Self Created Illusions
The dragonfly exhibits iridescence both on its wings as well as on its body. Iridescence is the property of an object to show itself in different colors depending on the angle and polarization of light falling on it.

This property is seen and believed as the end of one’s self created illusions and a clear vision into the realities of life. The magical property of iridescence is also associated with the discovery of one’s own abilities by unmasking the real self and removing the doubts one casts on his/her own sense of identity. This again indirectly means self discovery and removal of inhibitions.

2 blue dasher dragonflies, Central Park

Not An Illusion-Two Blue Dashers

Focus on living ‘IN’ the moment
The dragonfly normally lives most of its life as a nymph or an immature. It flies only for a fraction of its life and usually not more than a few months. This adult dragonfly does it all in these few months and leaves nothing to be desired. This style of life symbolizes and exemplifies the virtue of living IN the moment and living life to the fullest. By living in the moment you are aware of who you are, where you are, what you are doing, what you want, what you don’t and make informed choices on a moment-to-moment basis.

This ability lets you live your life without regrets like the great dragonfly.

Brown Hawker dragonfly

In the Moment

The opening of one’s eyes
The eyes of the dragonfly are one of the most amazing and awe inspiring sights. Given almost 80% of the insect’s brain power is dedicated to its sight and the fact that it can see in all 360 degrees around it, it symbolizes the uninhibited vision of the mind and the ability to see beyond the limitations of the human self. It also in a manner of speaking symbolizes a man/woman’s rising from materialism to be able to see beyond the mundane into the vastness that is really our Universe, and our own minds.

Here’s Looking At You Kid

All photos courtesy of Murray Head

Text from Wikipedia



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I wonder how many of my readers have ever seen a Cormorant?  This is one big black bird, with an impressive wing span and a hooked beak.  This is NOT your ordinary backyard-feeder bird.  And in fact this is NOT your average lake/pond denizen;  no cute cuddly duckling, no elegant and graceful swan, no brilliantly-colored wood duck – THIS IS A CORMORANT.  Murray, Pbenjay’s official photographer described this photo-op like this: ” Sometimes everything magically comes together… I have always wanted to get a good photo of a Cormorant… their azure jewel eye, and rich black feathers made such a wonderful subject.  Yet they were too far, the sun too bright which made the feathers look light gray or the background just wrong.  But sometimes everything magically comes together…like today.  The moment serendipitous…and in this case dramatic.  The subject amazingly beautiful…. The subject casually poses in a variety of ways…The distance is right… The background is right…The light is right.”

Central Park sailboat pond, Murray Head/, cormorant

“I Have Arrived!”

Central Pond, duck, duckling, cormorant

“Shoo, I Want To Get On There”

cormorant, duck, duckling,

“I said ‘Move It’, Kid”


“Yeahhh That’s More Like It”

cormorant, Murray Head

“Check It Out “

cormorant, Murray Head

“I Heard What You Said”


“Paul Newman Has Nothing On Me”


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Fab Foto Friday

Murray has been back in Central Park where there are gardens galore.  And where there are gardens, there bees, yellow jackets, hornets, wasps and butterflies.  Today’s Fab Fotos are all about being the Queen.  Unfortunately in this case, the Queen works as hard as any worker bee.  Also I don’t believe this is a Queen Bee BUT that’s what we called these big black and yellow/white buzzing bees.  We were very afraid of getting stung by one of them because it hurt much more than a yellow jacket or bumble bee, I wonder why??

Probing the Pod for Pollen

A Queen's Work Is Never Done

Knee and Neck Deep

Queen Bee on Delicate Purple Flower

And What Exactly Was The Fly Doing

All photos by Murray Head


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And the answer is BECAUSE when early settlers of North America spotted this little creature they called it King Billies, referring to William of Orange who was King of England in 1689.  Wow who knew???

These butterflies are beautiful, delicate and luckily for us, inhabit most of North America.  Murray took some lovely photos of the Monarch butterfly.  You can almost feel the velvety texture of its wings.  And as a bonus, there are couple of photographs of a SpiceBush Swallowtail whose markings are quite similar to the Monarch. And I have absolutely no idea why that butterfly is called a SpiceBush Swallowtail!

Long Live the Queen

The Monarch is an industrious pollinator

Note the distinct markings of the Monarch

The SpiceBush Swallowtail

A Swallowtail Swooping Away

All photos courtesy of Murray Head

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Just another sunny summer day, not unlike most of the rest of the past two weeks.  Blue cloudless skies and warm weather, a macro lens, and some really cute creatures make up this week’s Fab Fotos.

Black wasp, daisies

The lazy, hazy daisies of Cenral Park and a black wasp!


Such a Beautiful Bird

japanese beetle

Japanese Beetle, A Tourist, I Hope!

A Darning Needle



Oh my, what a long nose you have!

All photos courtesy of Murray Head


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I received this photo after I had already posted the other Fab Fotos taken today featuring some amazing macro lens close-ups of bees and wasps going about their business in Central Park.

This unusual picture of a wasp and spider deserves its own special place on the blog and since it didn’t make it into FAB FOTO FRIDAY, it’s now the solo star of Sunday’s Spectacular Shots.

spider, wasp

The Tale of the Spider and the Wasp

Photo by Murray Head

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