Nancy Wins Award In F.W.F. Photo Contest

Last updated on July 7th, 2019 at 09:04 am

The Florida Wildlife Federation (F.W.F.)about just announced the ten winners of its annual photography contestlink. Nancy had entered seven images covering seven of the eight categories for which her images were eligible and wound up winning the Flowers category with her image “Ghost Orchid”.

Ghost Orchid
Winner of Flowers Category

We were hoping Nancy’s favorite image, “Osprey Family”, would win an award but the judges obviously preferred the yawning grebe. Oh, well. We are still thrilled with our results.

Our Newest Teacher’s Poster, Pupating Monarch, Is Ready

Last updated on December 17th, 2018 at 11:35 am

Less than four months after creating our “Pupating Monarch” imageblog, the new posters are ready. We first mentioned these four years ago in Teacher’s Special – Laminated Poster Of “Emerging Monarch” Is Ready!. They are the same size, specifications, and price as our original poster ($15 for 17″ by 28″ signed poster, laminated on both sides).  Like the “Emerging Monarch” poster, they can’t be displayed in our booth during art festivals so you may have to ask for them (or you can contact us directly anytime and we will mail them).

A Nighttime Solar Eclipse?

When I tried to print our second 26″ by 36″ canvas copy of “Eclipse Over Long Pine Key”, the colors were as shown below. I thought one of the ink cartridges must be empty or the printer had a clogged nozzle or something. I pulled out the roll of canvas, performed a cleaning, and did a nozzle check, all of which went well, so I did a small (5″ by 7″) test print on luster paper. It turned out the same way. It was late so I just shut off the printer and went to bed. The next morning the printer passed all tests and I was able to make the correct print with no problem. I’ve never had that problem before or since. I was intrigued by the picture and kept the small print as a memento.  I have no idea how to duplicate this image.

Nighttime Solar Eclipse?

Often, when people see the original version hanging in our booth at an art festival, many of them think it shows a time-lapse of the phases of the moon.  I assure them that although the moon plays a crucial role, it is not directly visible in the image. Below is an animation showing the three different celestial events involving the moon.  A solar eclipse happens only during the day when the moon is new, while the lunar eclipse only happens on a night with a full moon.  In the animation, both of those are total eclipses, while both versions of our “Eclipse Over Long Pine Key” show only a partial solar eclipse.  The third part of the animation shows a complete lunar cycle with all the phases of the moon.  In this case, unlike the other two events, the edge of the obscured part of the celestial body will always touch both poles.

Moon Animations

To see the Note click here.To hide the Note click here.
While all parts of this animation are drawn to scale as seen from the Earth, the time compression is different for each celestial event.

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Last updated on September 15th, 2018 at 11:58 pm

This barely retouched picture (not even cropped – only overcoming camera sensor limitations), which Nancy took a while back (at my request), shows something that most people never see.  Another good question might be “What aspect of this photograph gives the best clue about where it was taken?”

Sideways Moon (closeup)
There may be more than one correct answer to these questions.  I’ll have my answers in two weeks. Stay tuned!

Answers To Your Butterfly Questions

Last updated on July 7th, 2019 at 11:43 am

Jaret Daniels is one of the butterfly experts at the University of Florida.  He’s the one we’ve helped (along with the Miami Blue Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association (NABA)) on rare butterfly surveys in southern Florida and the upper keys, and who is responsible for some of the photos and the distribution of the educational butterfly plant brochures we’ve been able to share in our booth at art festivals around the state.  I’ve had the chance to ask him some of your burning butterfly questions; here’s what he said.

On The Lifespan Of Monarch Butterflies

Question:
As I’ve mentioned in our booth (and on our website at Life Cycle of Monarch Butterfly), adult monarch butterflies live two to six weeks, but every fourth generation the adult will live six to eight months so they can make the migration.  I’ve also mentioned that we have in south Florida (and the Caribbean) a population of monarchs that doesn’t migrate (see also the Wikipedia article “Monarch butterfly migration”).  So naturally, the big question is “Does the fourth generation of the non-migrating monarchs still live six to eight months?
Answer:
No

On The Range Of Atala Butterflies

Question:
Since their rediscovery in 1979 (see Atala Butterfly) on Key Biscayne, the range of the Atala seems to be slowly expanding northward. Apparently, their traditional range was restricted to Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties (Florida’s southernmost counties)Atala study, but recent sightings have been as far north as Vero Beach on the Atlantic coast and Tampa on the Gulf coast of the peninsulasee map. The range of coontie, the host plant on which the Atala depends, on the other hand, includes most of the Florida peninsulacoontie range, which makes friends in central and northern Florida wonder “Could Atala’s live here?
Answer:
Probably not; the Atalas seem to be less cold-tolerant than the coontie.
(If it were me, I might still be inclined to go for it.)

Well, I hope this helps.  Feel free to comment.

“The Singing Tower” Is Our Second Gigapan Image

Last updated on July 7th, 2019 at 11:50 am

We’ve just completed a new image and added it to our website at www.BeeHappyGraphics.com/gallery/BokTower.html. As the blog title says, it is a Gigapan or large panorama using, in this case, 336 photographs arranged in 16 columns each with 21 photographs all taken with Nancy’s telephoto lens set at 135 mm so that we get a lot of detail. As a result, it could be printed up to 43 feet by 31 feet on canvas with the same sharpness as any of our other pictures.

The Singing Tower
Large panorama of Bok Tower in Lake Wales, Florida

This is a seemingly simple composition.  I think Nancy captured the tower well, and the framing and leading lines help keep you focused on the subject.  The editing again took several days; because of the large image size, every tweak takes much longer, even with my ‘new’ computer.  And, of course, I am still near the beginning of the learning curve on all the tools.

Bok Tower is called “the singing tower” because of the 60-bell carillon in the tower that still performs daily.

Although this is the second such panorama published, it is not the second Gigapan taken. We captured this image over a year earlier than Eclipse Over Long Pine Key, which was our first, and still the most complicated image we’ve processed so far. And we still have a number of other Gigapans, just like we have a number of smaller images from our travels waiting their turn to be edited.

The Newest Addition To Our Monarch Metamorphosis Collection

Last updated on July 7th, 2019 at 03:29 am

We just finished putting together our long-promised prequel to the Emerging Monarch image that has long been a magnet to elementary school teachers and other nature lovers.

Pupating Monarch
A composite of ten photographs showing the transition of a Monarch butterfly from caterpillar to chrysalis

This project just took at least three days of editing. Nancy took the photographs (a six-hour process) over six years ago and continued making artistic decisions for the duration of the project. You can get more details of this image at Pupating Monarch.

We have not actually printed any of these yet but will have them available for our next art festival in October. You could the proud owner of Print #1 if you contact us soon. Our plans still include making a laminated poster, as we discussed in an earlier post (Teacher’s Special – Laminated Poster of “Emerging Monarch” Is Ready). Although that may not happen until the end of this year, we will announce when they are ready. Nancy also recently mentioned an image showing the development (mostly color changes) of the chrysalis over time and the upgrading of our image of the life cycle of the monarch butterfly. Stay tuned for further developments.