Thursday, November 21, 2013


needles from cypress
lit by November grey
pushed by wind
one brought inside on a shoe

Saturday, November 16, 2013


lightning and the moon
under the same roof glowing
silent in the wind

Thursday, November 07, 2013

The Interaction of Light with Matter

The light turns up then down
as clouds scuttle in the wind.
Gold leaves gild my vision
and spread brassy sound
round and round.

Some are descending notes lost
in the still green honey suckle
whose red berries will fly ostinato
over the low drone of winter
and the crack of white crust.

Then there is a chorus of paw paw
singing with yellow pellucid soprano voice
in the dark drum understory,
cymbals clash in suddenly bronze light
that quickly dims to subito.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Maybe if I stay very still...

Not many insects out after the first frost but I did find this wonderful Katydid pretending to be invisible. Actually it did a pretty good job of it.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cell phone as an alternative to a DSLR?

Well, or at least an adjunct. In terms of resolution and low light capacity a DSLR has even the best cell phones beat. Where higher end cell phones excel is in immediacy. I can shoot-fiddle with the exposure and other settings and see the results in real time in the field-sort of digital plein air. Where as with my DSLR I have to upload my raw file into my desktop or lap top for editing. Now that has its own attractions as well in terms of creativity but it is a very different animal than editing in open air.

So here are some recent shots with my LG G2. These first four were taken in HDR. I love HDR for textural and architectural details.

This was shot at the Kansas City Japan festival. I don't know if she was bored or enjoying a Zen moment.

Our administrative assistant does stain glass and had used some left over scraps to make an abstract sun catcher in her office window.  I use this particular close up as my phone's home page wall paper. That is a glass bubble by the way.

Mid fall golden leaves at Clinton Park. 

These two shots are from my campus.

A banded orb weaver. This shot was taken on a very windy day in burst mode. I could not get my DSLR in position with disturbing the spider but the phone worked well. This was the best shot out of burst mode.

Another close up from the G2, only slightly cropped.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Another Visit to Konza Prairie.

Yesterday I had to go to Kansas State for a meeting on science core outcomes related to transferability **insert arcane educational jargon here** and since the meeting finished at noon, decided that I needed a Konza Prairie break. The grasses and forbs are just starting to turn to their fall reds and browns; the tree foliage is still pretty green.

So here are some pictures, some taken with my DSLR telephoto but some with my new phone (LG G2) and its pretty amazing camera (OK for a phone). The animated gif is made by G+ from photos taken with 'burst mode".  This is cool.

First, from the phone:

What I really like with my phone is the ability to touch the screen to select focus points that are also used for metering. For instance this picture originally had a bright blue sky but the tree trunk was badly underexposed. But focusing and metering on the trunk gave this picture. The sky is blown but I got the trunk detail I was looking for. And with a bit more fiddling I probably could have done a better job of this. OK I can do something like this with my DSLR but it is a bit more awkward.

From my DSLR (Canon 2i with 250mm telephoto).

I love the red ground color the grass seed heads are turning.

A Fritillary-not sure what species.  250mm telephoto lens.

Saturday, August 10, 2013


Unfolding by pdecell
Unfolding, a photo by pdecell on Flickr.
Unfolding,the map of the night
gets the location of every drop
of mist for anyone thirsting.
Be quick at dawn
before each place is extinguished by the light
and a new map draws itself.

Friday, August 09, 2013

About the best thing I can say...

...concerning "Japanese" Beetles (Popillia japonica ) is that they do not recite Vogon Poetry. If you don't know or have forgotten what Vogon Poetry is, here is a refresher:

Friday, July 26, 2013

Good Bye Old Friend

Good Bye Old Friend by pdecell
Good Bye Old Friend, a photo by pdecell on Flickr.
This is what's left of the old boardwalk at Baker Wetlands, south of 31st St in Lawrence. It is being dismantled to make way for the east leg of the South Lawrence Trafficway.

My son and I spent much time here when he was growing up and it was one of my favorite photo areas. Sure there is a new fancy board walk in the mitigation area but it is not as intimate, being higher above the wetlands. Maybe when the new wetland areas are better established it won't seem so out of place. Maybe other parents and children will make find it a friend as we found the old boardwalk.

Good bye old friend.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The invasion...

The invasion... by pdecell
The invasion..., a photo by pdecell on Flickr.

Do you think maybe I waited too long to treat my squash plants? What's weird is that these squash bugs don't seem to like cucumbers even though cucumbers are in the squash family.

Via Flickr:
Do you think maybe I was a little late in treating my squash plants?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A waspish visitor

On Tuesday I found this moth visiting my squash plants and not to admire them. This is a moth called the Squash Borer since the larvae bore through the stems of squash plants.


Oops! I really wasn't going to eat this cucumber leaf: honest!

Sunday, July 07, 2013

At Konza Prairie

The other day I visited my son who is stationed at Fort Riley Kansas. So since we both like to hike and neither of us have spent much time in the Flint Hills we headed over to Konza Prairie near Manhattan KS.

If you think the prairie is boring you are not looking closely enough.

Not sure what the mailbox in the middle of the prairie is all about. 

These rocks remind me pictures I have seen of the Scottish Highlands. Very different  plants  though.

The valley areas have huge trees. These are oaks. Maybe 80 ft tall.

Some Biomeshes...

Of course what is a biologist going to use mesh to do...make cars?

 Here are some of my first attempts at mesh modeling in Second Life. The mushrooms weren't too bad in terms of cost to upload and for land impact..but the green Equisetum inspired plant cost 30$L to upload the model. I wasn't taking particular care  to optimize the mesh.  Probably wouldn't have been too expensive but I extruded the mesh in the tops to get that texture and I think that is most of the cost.

But sounds like another reason to go to an Open Sim grid.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Scratch for Second Life Revisited

Sometime ago I posted about a script generator for Second Life based on Scratch. The idea is is to graphically generate LSL script by first fitting program blocks together. The original Scratch generator was out of MIT. The MIT Scratch site is here:  Recently a Flash based Scratch LSL generator has been put together by John Bennett from the University of Colorado to help introductory computer science students learn to think computationally.

The interface is similar to the MIT Scratch for LSL,  The new Lash version is called called FS2LSL. Here is the interface along with a real simple program to change the color of a prim from red to green to blue and to white, shown in Scratch blocks.

The LSL code generated by FS2LSL can then be copied and then pasted into Second Life or other viewer's script editor.  Granted, my program is super-simple but it gratifyingly worked without any modification. The code is well laid out and some automatic commenting related to the program is generated. The web site for FS2LSL gives lots of good examples many of which are from Scripting Your World: The Official Guide to Second Life Scripting. 

Most of the basic elements of the LSL language are covered, but don't expect to make complex menus and don't expect to find more than a few math functions built in. But you do have the ability to make your own functions. I appreciate that there is good coverage of control structures and if you work with IF statements you might find FS2LSL useful for working with them. 

I am not an expert LSL programmer; It took me forever to understand events and states for instance but I think FS2LSL is potentially useful not just for beginners but people such as myself who are trying to improve their programming skills. Certainly anyone just starting programming in LSL either in Second Life or OpenSim's version of LSL will find this tool useful, though it may not be completely compatible with OpenSim's version of LSL.

The Link to FS2LSL's page and examples is The link to the actual Flash program is at

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Dogwood Canyon Summer 2013

Look at that!Cohesion and adhesionBecause I can...May is gone...Falls...Splish-splash.
Still...Top of Thunderfalls...Seven Stump SpringGetting in your spine...The Damsels are dancing...Against the current
Three trunksWar of the RosesTee-peeTee-peeTee-peeTee-pee
Ledger at Glory HoleAt Glory HoleGlory HoleLooking down into Glory HoleIMG_9896Cave illumed

Dogwood Canyon Summer 2013, a set on Flickr.

Took a couple days to get out of town and go to the Ozarks. Saturday went hiking at Dogwood Canyon. This is a private park but worth a day. Best to come in the middle of the week when it isn't as crowded as it was this Saturday. You can rent a bike, take a tram ride or even rent a Segway. But the park is best seen on foot. The main trail is paved but there is one side trail that is not. But I know from past experience the flies can be really bad there so I stuck to the main spite of the Segway riders.