Nobody has a cuter snake than this

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An inchworm hangs from a single gossamer thread.

Doesn’t the inchworm have some marigolds somewhere to measure? A pity my own marigolds aren’t blooming yet, I thought. Then, thinking twice, I wondered why anyone would bother to write a song about it if inchworms and marigolds didn’t appear at the same season. Double checking my marigolds, sure enough the short ones have just started blooming.

Oh, it was Danny Kaye’s song:

These are bees for sure

The rain has ended and it’s time for non-stop gardening, punctuated only by enough medicine to keep the inevitable aches at bay  and smearing Neosporin on the scratches that have appeared on the typing surfaces of my fingers.

But I have not forgotten my adoring public.  Here are some real bees, unlike the creatures in the previous post that turned out to be wasps.   You can see the honey sacks on their legs. Also, they are quite furry.   The bee in the first photograph is still in flight; the camera lens is not fast enough to stop the action of its wings. You can see only a silver shine where the moving wings are.

Bee poem links after the photos.

Bee poem: Osip Mandelstam’s 1920 “Take from my hand…” Here is the third stanza, in Russian, and two versions in English: Languagehat’s translation, that to me shows the richness and texture of the original Russian, and Slawkenbergius’ translation, which takes liberties with the original that illuminate the poem and crystallize the understanding of it.

Mandelstam: Нам остаются только поцелуи,
Мохнатые, как маленькие пчелы,
Что умирают, вылетев из улья.

LH: The only thing that’s left to us is kisses:
furry, like the little bees
who die in midair, flying from their hive.

Slawk: So we are left, alas, only with kisses
Covered in wool, like feeble, tiny bees
Which tumble lifeless when they leave the hive.

Google translate: We are only kissing, Shaggy, like little bees dying, taking off from the hive.

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After the rain stopped, this snail found itself plucked from its comfortable rock in the middle of a puddle, but eventually decided to extrude a couple of antennae anyway and go for a walk.

The way it carries the shell on its back is asymmetrical; the face, if snails can be said to have faces, is asymmetrical as well.

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Macro seeds

When I read XKCD this morning (the mouseover says “you can get it from my seed at whenever that project gets going”) I had to google the diaspora people and see what they were up to.  Diaspora also came up in a LL thread about Facebook privacy not too long ago.

To my surprise their blog header has a photo of a dandelion that looks a lot like the ones I took last night in the rain. So at the end of this post I will put up some macro photos of dandelion seeds.

[Image:  screenshot from  One of the project’s video presenters takes aim at the imaginary audience with a gun while making “piu piu” noises.]

The faces are all young, white, and male, but to their credit they say they want to create something they would want to use themselves. They say are already running a beta version of their software.  What exactly it consists of isn’t clear.  The difference is supposed to be encryption, but hey, if someone creates something that’s encrypted, doesn’t that mean they have the key for it?  And wouldn’t that also mean you have to download something into your own computer in order to use it?  And somehow receive software updates? And anti-virus and DDOS protection?

Will the Diaspora get it Together? (pun alert) We’ll see. In the meantime there seems to be a lot of enthusiasm for a Facebook alternative. So far the Diaspora has defined themselves in terms of what they are NOT (Facebook) and in the fact that they have left the reservation.

Now that you mention it, how DO you pronounce “diaspora“?  And will you have to be Jewish to use it?  I suspect there is a market here for something with less than four syllables, and that Diaspora may have some competition.   And does the Diaspora have a political slant?  We already have a Wikipedia by Libertarians, and a monopolistic rural radio network (Clear Channel) defined by the extreme right wing.  Where is George Soros?

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Macro raindrops

More macro photography, this time in the rain.

Macro iris

Just before dusk:

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Macro flower

This collection of macro photography shots prompted me to pull out my camera and download the flower I photographed earlier today.

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Nobody has a cuter toad than this

This little guy was under a pile of brush in the yard that I cleaned up today.

No toads were harmed in the making of this blog.

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Spring color

I’m trying to get my 18-year-old car ready to travel as soon as I can get off my weekend class treadmill, but here are a couple quick photos of spring color, taken today when I went across the street to mow the lawn again. I caught a glimpse of both a bumble bee and a honey bee, both of them camera shy, but no sign yet of my favorite mosquito-eating creatures, Toad and Snake.

Green fly.

Red tulips.

Violet violets.

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