52 Frames (August 2021)

✍️ 🕑 August 2021 • Series: 52 Frames • Tags: astrophotographycats

"My heart isn't in it anymore!" I cry looking at the last few photos from this month.

Since I've been gearing up to move, apartment hunting, flying cross country, and generally running around like a beheaded chicken, it's unsurprising that my photography has fallen a touch to the wayside in recent weeks.

However, there's still some goodness... and some oopsies this month.

31. Wide Aperture

I was loving sitting in my friend Amber's backyard, with two rambunctious housecats doing their best to sneak towards the end of the fence, or hang out in the grass.

This is a portrait of Zeus, once he was chillin' out.


I mistakenly remembered this prompt as "maximum aperture" and opened up all the way when I actually wanted a touch more depth of field so that more of Zeus's face would be in focus. Whatever, this is the one I picked. and I have a lot of real good shots from that day, some of which are more stopped down & which I prefer to this one. i.e. to get more of the nose, whiskers & ears in focus.

Flycatcher Fervor & Westward Wanderlust

✍️ 🕑 Late August 2021 site updateslife updatesbird photography

I've been doing a fair bit of wandering.

I'm going to be doing a bit more. And then, I hope I'll be settling down for a while in the Pacific Northwest.


I spent May/June attending a wedding and hanging out in Maui. I spent some stints catching up with people in New York City and Pittsburgh, and apartment hunting in Seattle. And, now that the Delta variant is spreading, and a return to no indoor dining seems imminent... Well, I'll be driving across the country.

Somewhere in the midst of all this, I had a bit of downtime in Eastern Pennsylvania. There wre frequent thunderstorms and heatwaves, so it wasn't like I was headed backpacking. I spent a fair bit of time packing, and otherwise, walking around the yard and nearby.

The main birds that I saw in this period were two flycatchers, both of which let me get really close to them. And, they were loud and easy to find. Obnoxious local dog Shelby was at the beach, which I think helped them be a lot more comfortable closer to the house.

So, for a few days, I took some deep breaths, paused, and got to see these birds.


Email List Migration!

site updatestechnical details

As I wrote almost a month ago, I needed to move the site to a new email subscription system, and that took some time away from photo editing and writing.

I've now completed the migration.

If you currently receive email updates from this site, please let me know if they're displaying okay, or if there is any unexpected behavior. If not, why not consider subscribing?

For a little information on the how and why, continue reading after the break.

Waiʻānapanapa State Park & the Piʻilani Trail

✍️ 🕑 May 23 and 25, 2021 • Series: Maui 2021 • Tags: beachestrailsMauiHanaPacific Oceanvolcanic rock • Places: Waiʻānapanapa State Park

One of the Black Sand Beaches within the Park Boundaries
One of the Black Sand Beaches within the Park Boundaries

Waiʻānapanapa attracts tourists for two main reasons: its black sand beach and beautiful coastline.

There are other black sand beaches nearby that are free to visit. These other beaches do not require that visitors purchase timed tickets in advance and show ID at the door. (Note, these are COVID-era restrictions, subject to change.)

But, they do not have such beautiful cliffs, such awe-inspiring vistas.

This post contains a large number of images.

And, you will soon see why.

Hummingbird Salamander (Book Review)

book reviewsenvironmentalism

I've been a fan of Jeff Vandermeer for a little over a decade. This means I am both biased (re: my baseline attitude towards the author and his works is favorable) and an insufferable hipster (re: I liked his books before he got fame, fortune, and a movie staring Natalie Portman.)

I first encountered Vandermeer's works at a formative age. His novels shaped my understanding of what a novel could be. I became aware of dimensions of description and prose that were sorely lacking in many of the other books I was reading at the time, yet present in his novels about beheaded meerkats and sentient mushrooms. Vandermeet is technically accomplished, and has used a variety of unusual devices to add atmosphere, characterization, and immersion to his works.

His latest, Hummingbird Salamander is an eco-thriller. Its language is relatively terse; its atmosphere, one of decay. The world is ours, except farther along its track into ecological catastrophy: it's filled with rotting institutions, unethical technology, devastation, and loss of havitats and species.