Wednesday, June 28, 2006



THIS PICTURE was shot at f4.8 iso200 with a slow shutter speed of only 1/8th. The reason why I did that is was to show the fireworks streaming across the sky rather then just the brightest finally which would just often look like a few bright dots and that‘s it.. Use a tripod if you want to take longer exposures that show an entire process of each firework happening all in one frame or so. If you up the shutter time however from 1/4th-1/20th, you will mostly only see what is directly in front of you. With a digital SLR at 1250iso I get good shots at f11--but you can only do that with a digital SLR. Many compacts however and even digital SLR cameras have built-in modes for fireworks. But I’ve never been a fan of automatic modes. I take 99.9% of my pictures fully or nearly-totally manually even on my compact cameras because you just get used to working the controls and for me that’s really easier.


#1 Turn OFF YOUR FLASH it can cause problems and is useless and will slow your camera down The button is usually a lightning bold--press it until you see your screen (on a compact) put a circle and line over the on-screen lighting bolt showing that the flash is off.

#2 SET FOR MANUAL FOCUS! Unless you have a nice digital SLR--you will want to set for manual focus on your compact. Most compacts with manual modes have a way to do these things. This is the MOST IMPORTANT THING TO DO! If you can’t do this---then get a “lock” on the last firework you were able to shoot. Holding the button half way down or setting an AE lock mode--you can hold the focus setting in place. You can also focus on a light at the same distance as the fireworks. Your auto-focus can be your worst enemy while taking fireworks shots even with very recent cameras. Even if you have a nice digital SLR--setting your focus to on-lens manual is a good idea.

#3 Your going to want to do long exposures--1/8 and as slow as 1/4th or less. USE a tripod OR SOMETHING you can set your camera on. To prevent shaking the camera when pressing the shutter button--use the timer mode just like you would if you were taking pictures of friends and want yourself and you don’t have someone to take your picture.

#4 BE CAREFUL most camera lenses are coated and not only are fireworks very dangerous to people THEY ARE VERY DANGEROUS TO CAMERAS! DO NOT EVER put a camera near a firework as it goes off to try to get a better shot---doing so might very well seriously damage or destroy your camera! Showers of spark often go in the wrong direction and stuff. And if it's digital and dies like this---you probably lost the pictures in I t took. SO don't TRY IT! INSTEAD--setup a zoom away from your fireworks or crop the picture to get good close-up views. Every 4th people loose limbs, lives and yes--cameras because of stupid fireworks stuff. My biggest recommendations is that you do not party too much during the 4th. Especially at a big party or place where you might leave your camera arround or forget because of drinking. If you have a huge party and wake up to a trashed very expensive camera--OR A STOLEN ONE!--don't blame anyone but yourself! Camera theft is very common in situations and places like that. Don't give people opertunities to take advantage of your trust.

No, I'm not your dad, but I wish everyone a happy and safe 4th for both you and your gear. Anyway---have a happy forth of July!

Take your last look at something nice before you see the creepy crawlers---this strange plant I found in a local vacant lot. Is it a fern or plant or what is it?

There are other pictures of these crane flies in this website but these were recently taken with a lens I built from some old video-camera optics. The eyes and face can be very interesting. Due to my digital SLR, I am able to make extreme pictures like the one below without having to use extreme lenses. The above shot it also very interesting because for a long time these two drumstick-looking things were never identified. What were they? They found out that in flies alone--they beat up and down as the fly flies. You can clearly see them about in the center of the picture--they are large long drumstick looking things that don't look like legs. It turns out they are sensors--they operate like a gyroscope in order to send signals to the brain of the fly so that it can stay stable. Nature invented computer-aided high-tech aircraft long before we even invented the wheel.

In movies it is very misleading. The insect does not see 100s or 1000s of images--the same thing in each eye--they put together all the information from all of those eyes and combine them--just like our eyes combine two eyes together and we don't usually see two separate views of the same thing. The more fascists the insect has, the better it's vision. Spiders have a completely different system. Although they usually have 8 eyes--there are main eyes which are used and then more minor eyes or eyes in a row that just show shadows and lights. Poor vision but once again broken into facets. We have two of these--spiders have 8 but some species only have 6. The most interesting thing about spider eyes is how advanced they are. Unlike insects--they do not use "compound" eyes made of 1000s of complex facets. They have a retina and other more recently evolved combined anatomy that makes there eyes far more advanced working on the same principles in basic operation as vertebrate eyesight. This is especially good for hunting spiders like jumping spiders that can see very well at close range to size up food and clearly see other spiders of the same or different species, dangers and for dangerous mating displays, colors and rituals.

HERE is your typical creepy crawler I guess. The VERY common Sack Spider here in The Dalles. I have observed them countless times running into each other because there are so many of them on my walls by my bug lights that attract bugs for my photography. They get fat and interestingly I learned they do not eat each other. When they haphazardly run into each other even if one is far smaller then the other one they both fall away quickly. I have seen them living close together and despite many hours of watching--never seen an incidence of cannibalism. There can be sometimes as many as ten large spider around one light bulb. They live in sacks they make to stay protected from predators and as a place to hide. They are not webs--but silk hiding spots. At night they hunt insects by feeling. You can tell how sensitive they are by the size of those big hairs. They are so sensitive they can nearly hear with them. The slightest movement makes the spider aware. I've been bitten before and had only a mild rash. They are not a dangerous species but as I say in all spiders---never take chance and live and let live. They eat ear-wigs, ants, flies, and most of the insects we call pests so I'd give them a break and let them live.

Recently I've gotten more scientific about my pictures and use this ruler for my pictures very carefully. Knowing how to get close to do this has taken me a very long time. As you can see it's just a bit out of focus. But it shows her true size-about 1.8cm body length without the legs! You might think she's a bit overweight--and yes--spiders can get overweight (but I do not know what kind of health effects that has on spiders) in some species they can get to large to build a new web or climb back up to do so.. But this one is clearly ready to lay an egg sack. The males roam around and are sadly often mistaken for a brown recluse because of there long and darker colors. I always say--look for the "fiddle back" shape on the top of the body--(Thorax)--that is how you can tell more or less.

This was not a setup shot! I got it outside and am able to see some interesting views from this picture. As near as I can tell he's munching on some kind of fly or gnat--possibly a lacewing. This is a male which can clearly be see because of the bulbs at the end of those smallest "legs" in front of it's mouth. These are actually not legs--they are the male sex organs and called Pedi-palps or Palps. Females have these extra two tiny limbs but do NOT have those large bulbs. This makes it very easy to tell nearly any spider male from female.

on the front of the Pedi-palps. THAT DOES NOT mean it is a Hobo spider OR a BROWN RECLUSE as some people have thought. Nasty roomers like this really get on my nerves. These spiders are very safe in comparison and I would let them even run free in my own house if it were not for the fact that they usually die of starvation in homes.

And here is the really creepy view! Here he's finishing up that meal--now digested to the point of not being able to figure out. You can see clearly what might look like 6 eyes. But if you look very carefully you will find there is actually (click on picture for better view and see view below)
8 eyes as on the far sides of it's face you can see that the two eyes appear almost fused together. Yet they are two eyes as can be seen by the two humps where the lenses are. They have poor eyesight for a hunting spider but do very well with what they have. Being non-aggressive towards there own species is a big advantage. A friend of mine said he put a bunch of them together in a jar and they did not hurt each other (expecting a fight). I would never do such a cruel thing but that was when he was a kid and nearly every kid does crazy cruel things--I'm no exception!

Here is a side view, I wish I had a bit more depth of field but we are talking of an image only three or four millimeters (mm) across--10mm makes once CM (centimeter). Those eyes can be seen better here.

Another shot showing perspectives. The very middle of the spider is the thorax. If this were a brown recluse--you would see dark markings shaped like a guitar or fiddle in this image on that part of the spider--which in this view is in the exact middle of this picture. Clearly there are no colorations on this spider and that proves it's not a suspect. There are other spiders which have markings there---so don't go killing any spiders just because of those markings. True identification can only be done with careful research or the help of somebody like me I suppose.

And I thought I would end this most ghostly post with a flower. It's not the best but considering the size of these flowers I am proud. Your finger nail would cover the entire picture. These are called "Batcher Buttons" --I think.

Don't forget to check out my new post below this one about other recent stuff.

Monday, June 26, 2006


This large ant seems to be some kind of queen or an unlikely a wondering male. I really have no idea what it is yet. Some kind of carpenter ant would be my best guess. It was about 15mm long! I was able to get a number of shots of it with my backup camera including this one.

Ever wonder what your cat does all day?

And then the yawn. And it's back to sleep, this time with a paw over his eye as if to say “..get out of here and let me sleep!”.

As you can see this is a VERY SMALL insect. It is a moth, the smallest I have ever found. Nearly hard to see and impossible to tell with the naked eye what kind of insect it is--with my macro lens I found out. This tiny moth measuring only about 3mm long is shown here un-cropped. So I can and WILL bring you a blown-up crop of this moth later. It is about the third smallest arthropod I have ever photographed.

Iridescent green-gold bees came again this summer. I got hit with a warning from The Dalles about my yard! My weeds I let grow in the back yard towards an ally became too much. Dandy lions are very good flowers to attract all kinds of insects.


>I have been told about weed and bug killers. My personal bias aside, I have an OUTCRY TO THE PEOPLE about the dangers of toxic poisons used to kill weeds, insects and CROP HERBISDES. THESE CHEMICALS ARE SOMETIMES NEW AND HAVE NEVER BEEN TESTED. PEOPLE ARE GETTING CANCER AT AN INCREDIBLY ALARMING RATE. A CHEMICAL THAT CAN DO SO WELL AT KILLING ONE TYPE OF ANIMAL OR PLANT IS VERY TOXIC. Like DDT was banned after killing countless birds and other animals--we really have no idea what the long term effect on us many new insecticides and other chemicals will have on us. If we can't even figure out how dangerous some new prescription drugs that are quickly found to be tragically dangerous; how could we possibly think that non-consumable toxins manufactured under far less restricted terms could be?

Don't ask me what kind of flower these are, but they are very common where ever they have a chance to grow around here in The Dalles. I have at least 40 pictures of these flowers which range in color but clearly trans tans-pollinated creating many color blends.

A shot I took on my trip to California. Now that I will be doing this about every month, I am going to be getting allot of rare-opportunities for pictures. I only hope I will be able to fix my camera. Repair costs might be difficult. I tell people ALLWAYS keep a backup. Keep your old camera and lenses--don't give them away and be completely without a camera! That would be really bad. A well-built 4 mega-pixel camera is comparable to high-def 35mm film. Some say 5 is more like it, but my tests and what I have seen have me convinced that a good 4MP camera is all you need. My backup is a 6.1 and I have a teli-photo, teli-macro, and wide angle lenses for it. I kept it and kept it ready for emergencies like the one I have now.

Yet another one of these wildflowers. There can be allot of them growing from one bush.

This has been a great time. I lost that area to take pictures in when they bulldozed it completely to dust. Literally! I thought nothing would grow back but I was very surprised and since the briars had not taken over yet (they kill every other kind of diverse plant)--I got many chances to take pictures of wildflowers and plants in this lot when it quickly grew back.

Many colors and bushes compete for space. Flies and bees come to these flowers but you have to be really careful. I always ware long pants out there--even with them thorns and stuff can be difficult.

I dive right in and started taking pictures with an old Nikon higher-powered flash mounted on my digital SLR. It provides at least 5X more light then the internal flash but the internal flash is surprisingly effective when used right.

And for the best shots sometimes no flash is needed. Lighting can turn out well. I did break a bit of photographic rules here but I was in a patch of weeds and afraid somebody would get the wrong idea about what I was doing there so framing my shots was not exactly as well thought out as usual!

I have not looked up this one of MANY moths here. All white. Incredible. The ruler on the side is measured in CM. But each individual line to line is 1mm. I have decided to use this scale more often to show how small these subjects are. This moth was not that small--about exactly as you can see 2cm with wings. (20mm long 18mm body only)

As near as I can tell, this is some kind of nocturnal specialized fly. Notice the very large eyes when compared to regular flies shot during the daytime. Now those kinds of flies do often land when it gets to cold and stuff near lights--but in this case the color of it's abdomen and the size and shape of there eyes leads me to think that they are probably a nocturnal species or require more visual ability for some reason. I really don't know yet and I have not yet identified this one or tried very hard--but I've got quite a few shots of them. At high-res they are really cool.
Buy a CD and check it out---$20 bucks--!--e-mail me!

There are many kinds of wildflowers here. I plan to post more of them and try to maintain this site as more then just a site for bugs. I also have a very large number of landscapes and have began working on people pictures and portraits. The flowers I hope will take the bite off the spiders in my website.

In the mirror and with friends I've began to learn how the lighting works and other subtle details needed to take a really good portrait. External flashes and or flashguns are a must. If your really on a budget you can build your own reflectors out of aluminum foil and use an inexpensive flash that has a fire-button on it. Many of them do even if they are built to mount on cameras. The lighting is very important but this, like all of photography is a very complex process of learning. I have much to learn!

Ladybugs can be interesting to watch. They are difficult to photograph in the wild but all my shots are either to my bug lights or the wild. I don't recall ever having "setup" a shot like putting a cold bug on a limb or something. I am proud of my knowledge of insects and photography which lets me get these kinds of shots in the field--no cooling and no posing. At these macro levels I shoot at f22 and be very careful since literally 1mm off and you lose the shot. You can't drink coffee and take pictures like this! When I get old and shaky I bet cameras will be far more advanced and a simple monopod can make these shots more possible if you are a bit shaky.

I'm still not clear on why ladybugs have different numbers of spots and sizes. I have allot of research to do a pictures to add to this site. My backlog is literally 1000s of pictures old. So even if it takes me 4 months to fix my camera. My backup is powerful enough that I may use it in the meantime. . It's probably some kind of sensor or electric connection problem. The Dalles is very though on electrical connections. And there are thousands and thousands of tiny connections that make very complex cameras work. It's incredible they work at all. When I got angry I thought of the Hurricane victims--and what it would be like to have nothing left. You don't have to look to far to find someone who has it worse then you, my grandma used to say. I will get it fixed, and even if I have to buy a new camera body--it would take time but it’s not like I lost my whole rig.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS SPIDER! Well, nothing. This male Sack spider is in the process of shedding his skin. Like snakes, spiders must shed there skins every few months or weeks in order to grow. This is the most difficult time for the spider as it is entirely helpless when it has to be in this position to shed. You can see a bit of the sack-like cocoon they build both for protective hiding and shelter. I have the power to run time-laps with my digital camera and one of my very old video cameras. But setting it up is complex and difficult and I was too tired that night. It won't take him long--but he's got to shed. When he's done there will be a neat peace of skin laying next to him. These are often mistaken as another dead spider. eaten or dead, whatever. NOT TRUE. As most people have seen these ghostly shells in webs if they have observed spiders for any amount of time. The quickest way to tell if it's a dead spider or shedding is that they are usually very transparent and nearly complete, not broken up in many peaces. They last for years and can be seen often in attacks or outside by lights where spiders live. They hunt by walking with very good tactile sensory hairs which can sense motion. They are very fast and only move when they need too Inside there sacks they will bite if molested by an insect or another species of spider. Biting through the sack gives the spider some protection further then they would have if alone as the attacker cannot get inside very quickly or well in most cases. Do not touch these sacks, although sack spiders are not considered dangerous--any spider bite will have it’s effects and like a drug you do not know if you are allergic. It’s just best not to work bare handed and take risks of being bit when you do not have to.

Long exposure creations made with my face and a spy camera right out of a James Bond movie. This is one of my recent experiments with light reflections and exposures that become distorted due to shutter changes. These are just a few of the strange images I have been playing with. I have some incredible optical illusions I have created which have given me insight into just how some magicians do there tricks. Optics can play a serious trick that is easy to believe as impossible. The reflection shots I will post probably post later.

These pictures were taken with a mini-video camera straight out of a movie. A simple and pretty good quality video camera this size of a pack of cigarettes which has a flip screen and can record constant images on SD cards for up to several hours, record audio only compressed, play MP3s and can take still images to about 1.5mp. It can take SD cards up to 2GB. I use a 512 when I played with this cool toy so I could fit it's contents all on one CD. It's got simple controls and lots of power. Sometimes to use a camera with very limited manual functions you find something that is unexpected in the art of it. This shot could have been set up with any of my more powerful cameras--but it was far easier with the 1mp full-auto only camera. The settings on this camera like most can be frozen (like EV settings on inexpensive compact cameras ($100 range) with the EV control so you have some manual control of the camera brightness. "P" mode is usually that function and it can provide a simple way to play with. Adjust the level from +2.0 to -2.0. The settings are usually in 0.5 increments and are found most all of the inexpensive compact cameras today and even in the past which are expensive enough to have an LCD screen on it. Rachel, from the website "Macro"-- came up with a nice saying about restricted compact cameras. She said something like "They are like Japanese Haiku poems--you are forced to keep it simple and that can cause unexpected artistic opportunities".

I tell people to READ YOUR MANUAL or download it if you lost it. Most companies are really nice about that and sometimes they will mail you a manual for free. This function can make these kind of cameras very interesting and capable of incredible photographs if you figure out how to use them very well.

After shooting very heavy, dropping, moving, bumping and using my camera in dangerous environments my digital SLR has developed a problem. I've taken latterly about 10,000
pictures in the past four months. Needless to say I have A LOT of work to do! The problem is minor a small line in the images in red. But it is way too bad to ignore. That's just what happens. I tell everybody to be careful about sweat and water in the summer time. It can reek havoc on cameras and electronics especially in very dry or very humid extremes.

I am currently working to see if I can clean my camera myself and fix the problem or if this is a dreaded bad connection that requires deeper work. I still however have wisely kept my old camera as a backup which I can use still to bring good images at good resolutions. I'm surprised about my digital SLR because I've put it through A LOT. Sweat dropping on it and even rain. Rushing around to get pictures and get the right shot. Ware a scarf on your head to keep sweat from dripping on your gear.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Now this is a "rated G" family website so there will be no jokes here. I am really proud of this shot. It took me a long time to figure out how to get this close and take shots like this. My macro lens only reaches out about six inches. It can be a very painful shot but at least I got it!

The female is the larger one on the bottom holding them together. The male is slightly smaller on her back. Incredibly--if alarmed--they can and will fly away like this, a bit like they are drugged however. It took me a long time to get into position for this shot and they moved away several times. I have about a dozen shots of this pair.

"Sunrize on the rail" I got this shot on my way back to Portland. Just before this a layer of fog the likes of which I have never seen covered the ground. Out of an old graveyard movie--the ground fog was only about waste deep. It was so thick you could not cut it

This is a technique I've done before with film but not very well. Using old powerful laser pen I sometimes use for focusing cameras in the dark I found that I could write my name and more on walls and even trees. A long exposure of about 15sec is needed. If your settings are right on your camera open the shutter and write your message and you will have an instant NEON
message. DO NOT shine lasers directly into digital cameras--like the human eye CCD chips are sensitive to very bright light sources.

Black widow spider (Latrodectus mactans), female adult next to metric ruler. Captured in San Jose, CA.

The red “hour-glass” mark is not really visible in this picture. I did not want to pose her because she had been shocked enough from me capturing her. It is under her bulb-like abdomen. (She is facing down towards the fabric in this picture) This hard to open seal-able jar will keep a spider safe for a few hours but no longer since it is air tight. Hard to open on purpose so that you can throw it into a bag without fear such a dangerous spider might get out. NEVER attempt to capture a black widow spider. I have taken classes, and mentored under an entomologist during my traveling. I have many years of personal experience on how to capture these and any other dangerous spiders and insects. Black widows can drop out of there web and onto your hands where you get bit before you even know what happened. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. This is not a "pet" and you will not see me letting one walk on my arm or something. I'm 100% man but I'm not stupid enough to try showing off like that. I get mad at those dudes on TV who show off like that. They make it look easy and there is nothing further from the truth. If you have not been trained by someone--you should not handle any toxic animals. Just watching those TV shows is NOT ENOUGH.

"Harmony" I shot a few flowers down there. Sunny and occasional rain, many plants were in bloom.---This picture is just a little break from the fear you might be having while looking at of the worlds most dangerous creatures.

ANOTHER VIEW--take a good look before you kill another poor harmless spider thinking it's a black widow. Females only very rarely leave there web--people get bit only when they build a web in a place and get established. If that place is disturbed and her web destroyed--she will move and re-build.

This is the most widely feared and toxic spider in the world. But not the most dangerous. The funnel web spider in Australia (which contrary to myth has not made it to the USA) holds that record. It's much larger then the black widow and has large folding-knife like fangs. It is also VERY aggressive. Black widows are passive about biting. They will only bite if they are being seriously harmed. Getting crushed between your shirt and body is one of those situations. She is now safe and sound in a special jar I put together for her.

I probably saved her life because she was living in a tennis court under a portable garbage can. The red hour glass shape is very easy to see. Because I did not want to disturb her anymore then I had, I did not force her into a position in this special jar just to see the hourglass. I will photograph her later when she's more comfortable in a specially secured jar I use to get spiders to build webs in the right places so you can feed them without wrecking there webs.

Please, if you see a black widow LEAVE IT ALONE. This is a mature female. You don't even need the hour glass under her belly to identify her. Really young ones are half brown and have colorations. She is at least a year or two old. Unlike most spiders the survive the winter and can live for at least 5 years and sometimes even longer. That's a very long time. Most spiders only live one year.

Another fact---contrary to popular belief Black widow spiders are not bloodthirsty cannibals. Their very close relative called the "Red back" in Australia because it has red markings on it's body as well as the hour-glass. Male red back spiders literally commit suicide while mating to give a good meal to the female. Putting a new meaning in the worlds fatal attraction--he moves his soft abdomen right onto her fangs and virtually forces her to bite him. Before he dies he will mate with her. At least he dies happy!

Spacious room on Amtrak to have a big seat and able to move around. You can also take allot more on board then flying. (Like expensive camera gear). I used my B&W very low light mode I programmed my digital SLR with to take this shot. They keep it dark in the train at night so people can sleep. This shot was taken at 1600iso.

Yoni and Mambo. We walked the dog every day. I have a number of shots of him jumping much higher then this! I'm not a dog person, but Mambo is a nice dog. I was attacked when I was a kid so I have had trouble trusting dogs my whole life. And they can sense it. Mambo is really nice however and nice to me no mater my fears.

My dad, Yoni, and Natalia (now my step mom) are all avid tennis players. The last time I played tennis was like 20 years ago when I was a little kid and we lived next to a court. I stayed on the sidelines to practice sports photography. It was a great thing for me to have this chance. I want to thank my dad here for helping me so much and letting me stay down there for a while. I’m not into tennis but I had a good time taking pictures and practicing methods someday I hope will let me make some money. Family is very important to me, especially since I live out here in The Dalles I am very glad to have a good family. It's sad how many people don't have any kind of a functional or nice family at all these days.

Go dad! He nailed this one but I think I bothered him taking all those pictures even though he did not tell me anything. The more practice at photography is like anything else--the better prepared your mind is for that one in a million shot or some future stuff I might get played for if I got really lucky. You have to constantly train on your camera at least once a week or at least I begin to forget my edge. I take every chance I can to practice nearly all forms of photography so that I know how and am prepared for it more then just reading a book. This stuff takes practice. You have to train on your camera to be ready to take good pictures. I do allot of this even if I am not interested in the things I am photographing since I want to be able to feel confident shooting many kinds of pictures and situations.

This spider is so small that it's almost impossible to notice-- less then 2mm long, legs and all. It's tiny perfect orb web is only about 9cm across. It is smaller then the head of a pushpin. This is near the maximum close-up ability I have. At least with my in-field macro lenses I have on my digital SLR. With the naked eye it was not possible to tell what species she was. With my camera's high-res screen and in camera crop-view, I was able to identify her as a common orb species related to Araneus sp. or "garden spider". She will grow quickly and in just 8 months she or he will have a body size (not counting legs) larger then a dime. If she is what I think she is more like a nickel. (American coins).

Mombo--asleep contently. I noticed he kicked in his sleep. I have heard that they beleave animals do dream. I beleave it. He was kicking and jolting his legs as if running to catch a ball.

The custom built mode I made for B&W shots can be switched into very quickly. With my good old Nikon flash that is brighter then the flip up built in one--I could have lit up the station but don’t generally do that because I don’t want to stand out. These days everybody is afraid of cameras and people generally these days are afraid of cameras and people who walk around taking pictures. I am registered with The Dalles Police department as a photographer and far a I know after talking to a friendly cop here about the laws regarding photography at least here i The Dalles Oregon . He was very confident about the laws because there is tourists who come here. Them well as he has a photographer friend he told me about here. It is not illegal to take pictures of people or anything unless you are trespassing or using your camera to be a “peeping Tom“--even as a joke it can get really serious. Never take pictures in a store or near a bank or jewelry store without asking permission. Private property or store-owned property have there own rules about taking pictures and you must obey them. You can carry your camera virtually everywhere---but pulling it out is a different story. Be careful about this because sadly we live in a world where people like myself who are just trying to get cool pictures, taking pictures in your mid 20s is almost like your assumed guilty of planning or doing some kind of serous crime until proven innocent. I don’t have a car anymore--so I have to walk where I go or take a cab. I can’t conveniently drive through town and shoot shots unless I ask friends or get a cab. I have found after being stopped by the cops twice here how afraid people are of this sometimes. I am now registered with them and the police department.

Two doves? I don't have a bird field guide yet. There are many interesting birds and more birds in dad's neighborhood down in San Jose. Among the shots I got was a rare shot of a humming bird. A humming bird hovered for over 5 sec (an eternity to a photographer) less then four feet from me and my camera. But the wrong lens was on it. My long wildlife lens could not focus that close! So I had no choice but to back off and try. It left and then incredibly came back! I had a second chance but still did not change lenses since I thought this could just not happen again! I'm kicking myself now--my regular all purpose zoom lens would have gotten me a very lucky shot. Why was that bird hovering near me? Maybe it thought my camera lens was some kind of humming bird feeder.

Bees fascinate me. This one was hovering around a bush where there were dozens of bumble bees and honey bees. It is sad these days how careful we all have to be. Trust being hard to earn if be it not impossible---bring your ID if you tale a walk down a neighborhood with a camera.

One of the bumble bees. Some people came out of the house near this bush on the sidewalk. In California they are more paranoid then The Dalles. I told them I was taking pictures of all the bees here because this bush was the only one I have found bringing in so many of them. The dude told me some really bad looks like "...what would you want to do that for.." and once again although I was not told too---I decided to leave because I was afraid they would call the cops. Of course I would not have been in trouble but I did not want a hassle.


MOST OF ALL---people who take pictures to commit crimes would be at least moderately smart. And that means they would almost certainly drive up with tinted windows or drive by slowly a couple of times only getting plenty of shots to plan a crime.

There were a ton of flowers down there. If your interested in seeing more, or buying some more CD's---send me an e-mail! I wish to thank everybody who has bought CDs recently. I was able to get the money to buy some filters for my camera and some other extra gear.

Bonsai plants are common here. I have been fascinated by them since I was about 12. A very old tree living in a pot you could put anywhere in your house.

You could fly down--but you would miss some incredible stuff. I chose the train despite these really cool looking planes. Think about how cramped it is up there. You could have the equivalent to a first class seat on the train for less money then flying. The security issue is mainly why I don’t like to fly. My gear gets the work over and I always fear somebody will steal my bag or something out of it in the madness these days. This kind of crime is becoming more and more common. Sick but true--while some idiot checks your shoes to make sure you don’t have a nuke or a shotgun in one of them--some dude grabs your laptop and walks away quiet and quick into the crowd. I’d love to become a pilot someday. Its one of my goals even with health problems. I like flying and aircraft but I don’t like the mess and the sardine-can approach. We should go back to the days when flying had class. This one flew right over the train station.

What is it with me and B17s! These WWII bombers seem to find me. This one flew over me while I was shooting insect shots. I could have gotten a far better shot of it but was unable to change lenses quick enough. Gone quickly--I looked up because of the familiar sound of those big engines. If you go back to last year somewhere in my site I shot and enhanced a B17 that
flew over my house! This one flew over dad's house! My grandpa who sadly passed away a few years ago, used to work on them in WWII. I am certain this is a B17 because I have the high-res copy and can crop in-camera to see details you can't really see here. The shape of the engines, landing gear, and gun ports--this one is coming in for a landing or it just took off. One of these days maybe I will catch one with the right lens at the right time.

There's more to come. Thank you for your compliments and e-mails and those few who have bought a picture CD from me. My pricing is going to have to change due to the difficulties in shipping. Locally I still sell CDs for $20. E-mail me if your interested.

Go to "all pictures" at the top of my website and click on each month starting with last month. Go up month by month and scroll down to the bottom until the very first month and you will have seen my entire website. I can't put 100s and 100s of pictures on one page or it would take days for even a fast computer to load my website. So I had to break it up into months. There are tons of pictures NOT ABOUT BUGS as well as articles. PLEASE DONT MISS IT--you will be glad you did not!