Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Quiet Day Hiking

My younger son and I took a hike on the Apex trail system (specifically the Apex, Hardscrabble, and Pick n' Sledge trails).  As usual he found it a very easy hike but was a good sport about it; I found it a moderately challenging hike.  When I reach my goal of losing 30 pounds, it will be an easy hike for me, too.

The trails in the shadows were covered with a half inch of snow.  Sometimes the snow rested on smooth ice, as I discovered by the usual method of losing my footing and falling down.  Trails in the sun were slightly muddy but not a problem.

I had difficulty finding opportunities for nature photographs today.  The most pleasant scene was when I was surrounded by spruce trees.  But it's hard to capture the sense of being surrounded with a photograph.

My son and I startled a young deer.  By the time I got my camera out, the deer was nearly out of camera range.  Here is the best I could do.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Hiking with Reptiles

I took a short hike today on Dakota Ridge trail.  I was coming down the hill when I heard a fizzing sound, like gas escaping from a pipe.  I stopped, looked around, and spotted a little rattlesnake coiled beside the trail.  Its head was about as thick as my thumb.

I moved forward for a closer look.  (This did not make the snake happy.  It continued to fizz.)

Despite the grainy picture, I think I can see about eight rattles on the snake's tail.

As I was walking up Rooney Road to return to my car, I stopped by the Jefferson County Dinosaur Center to see facsimiles of two other reptiles.  The second one had a goofy smile.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Ashley Sterne Lens

Owing to important family matters and a difficult workload of writing end-of-year performance reviews, I have neglected the blog of late.  I was pleased to discover a tidbit from Ashley Sterne last night on the Hathi Trust site.

Here is one of Ashley Sterne's Verbum Snap fillers that he wrote for Kodak early in his comic career.  Two of his puns below relied on his readers having a reasonable acquaintance with literature.  (Citations provided below.)


(from Kodakery, December 1913, Vol. 1, No. 4. p. 10)

If you put a meat skewer through the hole bored in the front of a camera, and then push hard, you will feel something smither.  This is the lens, and the bits of it that fall out are known as smithereens.  It is the lens that projects the picture onto the sensitive plate (see Gems from Shelley – "The Sensitive Plate") and enables objects photographed at a distance to appear in their proper proportions.  Hence the expression "Distance lens enchantment."  Lenses are very tiresome to make as they are so refractory. – Verbum Snap


From the 1799 poem "Pleasures of Hope" by Thomas Campbell (1777-1844):
 'Tis distance lends enchantment to the view,
 And robes the mountain in its azure hue...

The poem "The Sensitive Plant" was composed by Percy Bysshe Shelley and published in Prometheus Unbound and Other Poems in 1820.