Square Odds: Mushrooms Can Be Odd

Becky has a new month of squares in February – Square Odds, and this is my first chance to participate! I make up for the days I missed with multiple mushroom oddities! I have a large archive of mushroom photos – I am fascinated by them, although I don’t like to eat them!

These mushrooms look like a pair of ears!
They’re not just odd looking, there is an odd number (3) in this cluster!
Is there a hole in the middle of this shroom?
I captured several specimens like this in northern Wisconsin after a very rainy spring.

SYW: Re bake sales, cops, fungus and, like, other stuff too

Here are my answers to Melanie’s Share Your World this week.

QUESTIONS.

(the last two are courtesy of Teresa of The Haunted Wordsmith)
1. Is it wrong to sell store-bought pastries at a bake sale?
No, not if you acknowledge that.
2. Have you ever interacted with the police?
Yes, I have gotten a few tickets – in the days before cameras were installed to catch people speeding, etc. wcophen the cop actually stopped me in person to tell my I was over the speed limit. I also have had “conversations” with police officers who called about my son or came to my house to bring him home, mostly regarding acting erratically or possession of marijuana. I dreaded those interactions!

3. What will you remember most about this past year (this question will show up again, in late December, just FYI)
The wonderful trips my husband and I took – to Egypt & Israel in Dec. 2018/Jan. 2019 and to Europe in June-July 2019.

Also the embarrassing and shameful behavior of our so-called president, Trump. It never gets better and his lies just keep mounting. I think lying is default with him – it’s so natural to him that it’s the first thing that comes out of his mouth. The Mueller Report – which everyone seemed to think was anti-climactic because he refused to indict Trump but in his hearings last week he made it clear that he considered Trump guilty. Every day Trump says something outrageous – either racist or defending some of the sleaziest characters in America.
trump is a ra-ist
4. Is it better to have fungus on your toes, your tongue, or your pizza?
None. Mushrooms are a fungus, and often found on a pizza, but I am not fond of them. But at least on a pizza, I can pick them off.
Weird mushrooms at Park Ridge farmer's market
5. What is one slang word that makes your skin crawl?
I have two:
I have never approved of the word “suck” to mean awful or terrible, yet I occasionally say it myself now because I am so used to hearing it in everyday speech.
The word “like” used several times in a sentence or to denote someone’s speech or reaction to something – it’s so lazy. Can’t people come up with a more descriptive word for a reaction to something – “I was like…”? Or what’s wrong with the word ‘said’? “I said I couldn’t believe he did that” is proper English; “I was like, I can’t believe he did that” is lazy and so – teenager-ish, yet people keep saying it well into adulthood. But once again, it has become so pervasive that I hear myself using ‘like’ that way myself. UGH!!

Something I am grateful for this week…
My son was in a serious car accident, which completely wrecked the front of his car, but thank God, he was not injured, nor was the other driver involved. I am grateful for the airbag that probably saved his life!

Sunday Stills: Macro & Mystery

I am participating in a photo challenge entitled Sunday Stills: Macro or Close-up Photography; Is There a Difference? by Terri Webster Schrandt.  Here is what she has to say about macro photography:

“Macro photography is also considered close-up photography. However, using a true macro lens yields the sharpest, tiniest details whereas a closeup may not show each detail.”  I do not have a macro lens, but cropping often produces a similar effect.

This is my favorite “macro” that I have taken. We were on a walk on a bike trail in northern Wisconsin shortly after a rainfall. I spied this leaf and was struck by the perfect drop in the middle of it with a whole microcosm of tiny pebbles & things within it.126One of my photography hobbies is finding mushrooms to shoot. I have a whole file of them! Mushrooms are fascinating because of the variety of shapes and sizes, and the details often found on their textured surfaces.20160506_115441
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I take lots of flower pictures, which I then post linked to Cee’s Flower of the Day. I like this particular shot because of the lined shadows on the flower petals, made by the nearby blades of grass. 20160525_104648
I prefer walking to any other kind of physical activity because I often see details that others miss if they’re in a hurry, on their bikes or in a car. (My husband complains when I stop to take pictures, because he says he’s in it for the cardio workout!)

But I find other opportunities to get macros or close-ups. I could have cropped this photo more to focus on the dragonfly, but I like the way the knots in the wood frame the picture.
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Finally, I have a group of photos I like to call “mystery” photos. Like Terri says, “Sometimes a macro image takes on new characteristics in an abstract way.”  These objects are hard to identify as macros.

Mystery picture: What is this? soap

small soap chips

banana peel

a ripe banana peel

snow boot prints!

Snow from the bottom of my snow boots

Finally, here are my two favorite bird photos from our safari in Tanzania. Both were taken with a Sony Alpha 380 75/300mm lens.

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I love the effect that the grass makes on the dark body of the bird. It almost resembles a painting. Also note that he’s caught a small snake which he holds in his beak.

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I cropped this from the original, which shows more of the blurred tree branches. The focus is on the male weaver, weaving a nest for a prospective mate. Note how tightly woven it is – he’s putting on the final touches before his hoped-for mate comes to inspect it. If she likes the nest, they become a couple!

I also refer you to my archives of February-April 2018 which contain several posts containing my photos in Tanzania.

You can join the challenge and enjoy others’ work by clicking the link above!

 

Tanzanian Nature’s White

Nancy Merrill Photography has a Photo a Week challenge and this week’s theme is “nature’s white.”

All of the following were taken from Feb. 6 to Feb. 10 in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area of northern Tanzania.

Kori bustard male displaying his “whites”!SONY DSC

Zebras are half white…
SONY DSC…and many birds are mostly white, like this yellow-billed stork,…
SONY DSC…cattle egrets,…SONY DSC
…the sacred ibis…
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and the secretary bird.
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There are white flowers, like cycnium…
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and scorpion flower.
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White mushrooms are somewhat universal; this one was growing on the southern Serengeti plain.
2-10 mushroom

All the photos except the last one were taken with a Sony A380. The mushroom was taken with a Samsung Galaxy 7.