Tag Archives: Photography

Early morning at the marsh

I was up and out dark and early this morning. Early rising has never been one of my strong points. My purpose was to be in place to take a salt marsh photo just after sunrise. Our graphics director had asked me for my help on a brochure she is producing. We had some heavy rain last night so I was a little concerned about the weather. But when the alarm went off at 5:00, I looked outside and saw stars in the sky, so I hoped for the best.

I was in place on the Diamond Causeway at 6:10 a.m. and waited for the sun to rise and the light to spill over into the salt marsh.  Here is the resulting picture. It isn’t art, but I’m pretty happy with it.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Paris & Normandy — Day Ten

Today, Friday, we spent on Mont St Michel. This is an abbey and tiny tourist community on a small island where Normandy and Brittany come together.

We had a nice time exploring and relaxing. A European breakfast wascincluded in our room rate — pastries, ham, cheese, hard boiled eggs, cereal and fruit. We had very nice meals for lunch and dinner. I’m a little concerned that Mrs Poolman is going to expect a three-course “menu” (entree, plat & dessert) everytime it is my turn to cook dinner at home. Sorry, hon. Here’s some potato chips to get you started. The burgers will be along shortly.

Tomorrow we drive back to Caen to catch the train to Paris. Then one last day in Paris before flying home on Monday. Hopefully our drive tomorrow will be uneventful.

Mont St Michel is a postcard photo waiting for someone to press the shutter button. Here are some samples.

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From the causeway

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The one main street on MSM

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Lunchtime

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The merry band

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Myself

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The causeway to the island

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Mrs P in the small graveyard

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You can't go anywhere without walking up or down steps.

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One attempt at framing a shot

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And another

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No one home here

Paris Day Five — Louvre and Lunch

Catching up…

Sunday was filled with two big activities, the Louvre and a two hour, leisurely lunch.

We started at the Louvre. It was SIL’s and my second time, but the first for BIL and Mrs Poolman. It’s simply amazing. Pictures are below. We concentrated on the Greek sculptures. The “Grand Gallery” of Rennaisance painters and the Near East antiquities.

It was BIL’s birthday, so we went to the famous and highly recomended Le Fumoir for brunch. It wasn’t quite what we expected, because they were set up for a brunch, not a regular lunch menu. All the same, everyone said they enjoyed it.  I had a white pizza. Mrs P had eggs benedict.

After our second round at the Louvre, we headed back to the apartment. (We are giving the Metro system a workout.)

Most of our merry ban were very tired. SIL went right to bed at six o’clock and BIL was down by seven.

I took off for my second solo evening walk, this time to try to catch the “golden hour” light down by the Seine. I took a bunch of pictures during twilight and talked to a bunch of people. A pair of Australian girls wanted me to take their picture. (That IS what I do.) A couple of French guys couldn’t figure ou their camera, and an Asian couple asked for help with their photo. Before I returned to the apartment, I got into a nice conversation with an Australian couple of around our age. It was a very pleasant time on a bridge over the Seine.

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The pyramid at the Louvre

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Mrs P

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She really is amazing.

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Mrs P was getting ideas for her next decoration project.

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Soon our house will look like this.

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These would look very nice by our pool.

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A little soft porn in the French neo-classical section?

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Vermeer is one of my favorites.

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A white pizza for brunch.

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The Seine at dusk. Orsay at the right and Notre Dame in the distance.

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The Tour Eiffel and Pont Alexander III

Pictures of us

Yesterday was Mrs. Poolman’s and my 36th anniversary. I wrote a post remembering the truly bizarre circumstances surrounding our wedding in 1976. However, in the spirit of maintaining peace in the family, I had second thoughts about actually posting it. Normally, I don’t worry about offending the guilty parties,but it has been 36 years. Sorry ’bout that.

Meanwhile, I ran across this really cool collection of satellite images that are worth a glance.

Enjoy and Happy Summer!

 

A lovely trip to Sapelo Island

It’s been a busy two weeks. Now it’s time to catch up.

Earlier this month, I had an interesting day-trip. I had been asked to address a “master naturalist” class being held on Sapelo Island. Sapelo is a coastal island about 40 miles south of Savannah. I was out the door by 6:30 am, just to make absolutely sure I was on board the 8:30 am ferry to the island.

I got to the ferry just as the sun was coming up and the view was almost worth having to get up in the dark of the night.

A beautiful morning.

Marsh near the Sapelo ferry dock.

Nearly ready to go.

The passengers on the morning ferry ride.

Sapelo Island is an interesting place. Even with the ferry, access is restricted. You have to be invited to go there, either because you are visiting one of the residents, or you have some business on the island.  I have been there before when I visited the old Gulluh-Geechee community of Hog Hammock. The occasion at the time had been to accompany a professor-linguist who was working with the local residents to translate some old recordings that had been made on the island in the 1930s. This time, I was headed to the University of Georgia Marine Institute. It is located on the old RJ Reynolds (tobacco fortune) property.

I and some of the other speakers were picked up at the dock in one of the open-air trucks.  I’m glad it was a bright, sunny day, and not storming.

Sapelo Island's answer to mass transit.

I met up with Don Gardener, the extension service agent who invited me to the talk. My talk apparently was well received. I was scheduled for an hour on the agenda, which is about three times our normal civic club talk. But the group seemed to stay engaged, and there were lots of questions. That is good.

While waiting to depart for the 230 pm ferry trip, I got to talking with Dorset Hurley, the research director of the Sapelo Island National Esturine Research Reserve. He had a little time on his hands, so he offered to take me for a drive around the south end of the island. Nice guy. The tour included the historic light house.

Sapelo Island light house

He also gave me with a great rundown of the kind of salt marsh research they are doing there.

The entire ambience of Sapelo is very laid back. One good example of that is what I was told to do in the event my expected “ride” back to the ferry dock did not arrive in time.

“Just take one of these pick up trucks. Drive it to the dock and just leave the keys in the ignition.”

Clearly, auto theft is not a major problem when you are on a small island and there is no way to get the vehicle off.

In any case, my ride showed up in time and I was on the 230 ferry for the half-hour trip back to the mainland.

Back to the mainland.

All told, it was a very nice day. Back to work.

A fun ride!

One of the many things I really like about my job is that, from time to time, I get to do things fun or interesting. Research cruises or trips to isolated barrier islands are two examples. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to go along on a cool helicopter ride.

The science purpose of the helicopter was to observe a study looking at water flow through a salt marsh. A concentrated die was dumped into the water and then the flow of the dye was observed and measured.

Releasing the concentrated red dye.

The helicopter was a Robinson R-22.  It is a fairly small four-seater with the doors all off.

The ride.

As I sat in the back-right seat and looked past my shoulder, there was nothing but air. We climbed to 3,000 feet to get a wide view

Skidaway Island at the bottom and Wassaw Island on the horizon.

You can really see how the dye moves through the marsh.

and then zoomed down across the marsh at around 100 feet.

Part of the science team in a small boat.

All told, the flight was only around 25 minutes, but it sure made my day.

Today, it just another day in the office. Oh well, real life returns.

Who painted this guy?

When we got home around dusk the other night, I was playing with the mutts in the front yard when I saw this guy on one of our trees.Moth a

Look at the camouflage on this guy! His wings look like leaves. On the leading edge of each wing, it looks like someone had carefully painted a design to look like a branch, complete with little “seed pods.”

Amazing!

Of course, while evolution blessed this guy with camouflage, it apparently short changed him in survival skills. Instead spending his Saturday night among the leaves of a bush, where he would be invisible, he was hanging out on the bark of a tree, where even I could see him 20 feet away. As far as I know, he may have become some mockingbird’s dinner right after I took this picture.

Beauty where you find it

I went over to our dock facility on the far side of our campus this afternoon. I was a little early to take some pictures, so I stopped by a series of freshwater ponds that serve as a wild bird sanctuary. I have driven by these ponds dozens of times, but never stopped to take any pictures.  Well, I had my camera with me and I had a few minutes to kill. These pictures aren’t that great, but they do demonstrate just how pretty the area is.Pond 1

A Great Blue Heron and a Snowy Egret

A Great Blue Heron and a Snowy Egret

After I took a few pictures, I finally noticed a “giant” banana spider that had been on his web about three feet in front of me the entire time.

Bannana Spider

Banana Spider

I walked across the road to see what the pond there looked like and saw a flock of maybe a dozen woodstorks on the far edge of the pond, about 70 yards away. Unfortunately, I made too much of a ruckus walking through the woods and high grass trying to get a clear shot of them, that they were startled and took off. Bahsteds! Better luck next time.

Back to “booniestomping”

I was back out in the field again this morning taking more pictures of the same project that I was working on last week. This is a geology project. What they are trying to do is to “drill” out core samples of the marsh material to determine the depth of the earlier ice-age era marsh surface. Fun, huh?

This is what it looks like. (This was early in the day, so everyone is still fairly clean.)Vibracore 3

It’s called a Vibracore. That vertical pipe is 20 feet long and the device hooked to hit causes it to vibrate and slowly sink down into the marsh, collecting a core sample for later analysis.

I don’t mind going out and taking pictures. I was only out there for a couple of hours. I don’t envy the rest of the science crew who stayed out all day. It was hot, humid and buggy, and the labor was an awfully lot like work. As I indicated in an earlier post, the ground there is also about eight inches of sucking muck. I fell only once. I tried to take a step backward but the marsh muck wouldn’t let go of my foot. No damage. I was wearing a pair of rubberized overall-pants so my clothes actually stayed clean. One of the crew helped me up. (Placing your hands down to push yourself backup doesn’t work well. Your hands just sink to your elbows so you get no push-off. Also, your hands and arms are covered with the lovely, black, stinking muck, which is great when you have an expensive camera to operate. It’s always better if someone can give you a hand.)  I got to return the favor to the same crew member later. Nice to know I’m not the only klutz on he crew.

There was one cool thing I had never encountered before – snapping shrimp. (not my photo)Snapping ShrimpI didn’t see any, but I heard them. When you are quiet you can here them snapping. It’s a very audible popping sound all around you. Pretty neat.

Hunting the doliolid and a leap of faith

Two of our scientists are taking our ocean-going research vessel, the R/V Savannah on a four day trip looking for the elusive doliolid (doe-lee-OH-lid).

R/V Savannah

R/V Savannah

“What is a doliolid?” you may ask, “and why do I care?” Good questions. These little critters are tiny, not quite microscopic, gelatinous (like jellyfish) organisms that look like little beer barrels.

Doliolid

Doliolid

They occasionally “swarm” on the continental shelf. The changing ocean environment, especially a falling pH, may create conditions ripe for these critters to proliferate. It would be nice to know what they eat, what eats them and how they fit into the whole oceanic food-web scheme of things. Right now we know very little.

Actually, I would love to go along on the trip, but I cannot justify four days at sea for about an hour’s worth of photography work. So I have turned over one of our institutional cameras to the marine tech and asked him to snap away.  In the past, I have not been very successful in getting useable photos from amateurs. (Not that I’m any great shakes, but I can get it in focus and properly exposed and framed frequently enough to get some serviceable photos.) Actually, our marine tech is a very sharp guy and so I am optimistic. I’ll let you know how it turns out.