biosphere
Oct 1, 2009Public
Photo: Hornet, chilly September morning in Normal, Illinois. It was windy, so I had to hold the stalk still with left hand and take picture with right hand. Mister Hornet didn't seem to mind. Be sure to magnifying glass icon for a closer look. (Pentax W60)
Photo: Just a thumbnail of the hornet picture, to be the album cover for this album.
Photo: Seagull and wave.  I like the sunlight coming through the water.  "I'm thinkin', maybe, it's time to take off now!" Shoreline Lake Michigan. (Canon S5-IS)
Photo: Seagull: The shutter speed's high enough to hide it, but this little guy is running hell-bent for leather off stage left.  Shoreline Lake Michigan, September '09.  (Canon S5-IS)
Photo: EdK informs me this is a "wheel bug, not friendly". It kind of reminds me of the giant brain-sucking bug from "Starship Troopers"  Wikipedia says it uses that huge proboscis to inject its victims with soft-tissue-dissolving enzymes.  Apparently it will do that to your hand if you pick it up, resulting in a painful bite.

More in its life cycle here: http://scienceblogs.com/myrmecos/2010/05/answer_to_the_monday_night_mys_3.php
Photo: Some kind of moth, or butterfly.  What distinguishes a moth from a butterfly?  And are those eyeballs on the end of the antennae?  Those little flowers are about 6mm diameter.
Photo: Spider, Jus' relaxin', waitin' for a bug...
Photo: Soybean aphid, of which we endured a swarm for more than a week in Central Illinois, 2009.  They'd get in your clothes, your hair, your ears, your nostrils, your eyes...  This little guy is TINY; those are the ridges of my fingerprint he's standing on.
Photo: Corn plant roots, Sep '09
Photo: Spider eating fly, Sept '09.  Note the spinneret. Canon S5-IS in spot meter mode.
Photo: May 2010 in Normal, Illinois.  This little guy was only an inch long, but wow could he MOVE!
Photo: Sand grass, shore lake Michigan
Photo: Ivy on brick wall, Sep '09.  Pentax W60.
Photo: Winged ant, presumably on her way to form a new colony.
Photo: Rabbit X 0.5
Photo: Crows, like most corvids, are intelligent creatures.  I am almost certain they are aware of their own existence.  Is it possible they have a religion?  Or is that a peculiarly human failing?

http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2010/05/ravens-show-that-consoling-one-another-is-also-for-the-birds.ars
Photo: Turkey vulture over Mississippi at Hannibal, Missouri.  I would judge the wingspan on this fellow to be in the neighborhood of six feet.
Photo: Amazing to think of such a complex structure coming from a spore.
Photo: Someone must have said; "Free pizza!"
Photo: I don't know what these three were up to.  Just kids clowning around, maybe.
Photo: Adapted to a different way of making a living, but a modern descendant of the dinosaurs all the same.  Alas, glass windows do kill birds, accounting for this one.  It is strange to me that people worry about the comparatively smaller number of birds lost to windmills (modern ones kill fewer) or housecats (as if predation were a new idea) while our cities are covered with perfectly vertical windows.  Angling the window downward solves this problem.
Photo: Thistle, North of Normal
Photo: Detail of thistle.  Be sure to check out the enlarged view.  Popular legend has it that thistles - and many other things in nature - contain Fibonacci number sequences.  And they sort of do, but not exactly: 
http://www.branta.connectfree.co.uk/fibonacci.htm
Photo: Some kind of tiny beetle.  It looks like a ladybug, but it isn't.  It was crawling around on this painted surface, apparently slurping up tiny droplets of water like the one at bottom left.  I wonder what significance the small circle of spots could have.