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13 November 2013

A congress of salamanders

No, that blog post title is not a dig at the goons on Capitol Hill. It’s apparently the proper term for a group of salamanders. We’ve been seeing a lot of them lately ’round these parts. Take a look… Red-backed salamander: Unidentified black salamander: Red eft: Another one of the unidentified black salamanders, with little white spots all over… …and missing the distal-most portion of his tail! Lovely creatures. We …

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4 June 2012

Weekend critters from Shenandoah National Park

My penchant for macro photographer of small animals continues unabated. Here are some images from Saturday and Sunday along Skyline Drive and the Whiteoak Canyon / Cedar Run loop in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia: A fly with a hairy back of golden iridescence. Compare it to this one: Very similar in some regards, but check out the size differences in the eyes, and the abdomen… Perhaps this is a case …

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27 May 2012

Critter backlog

I’m cleaning out my backlog of old photos. Here’s some small living things that I’ve taken pictures of in the relatively recent past… Let’s start with two butterflies in the Gallatin Range, Montana: Returning to Virginia, here’s a fuzzy little white moth: A crane fly is next… (M.A.G.I.C. has been churning out lots of crane fly fossil macro GigaPans lately, BTW). And lastly, a charming little red eft, a kind …

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31 October 2011

My Halloween costume

Here’s what I did for my Halloween costume this year. I decided to be a frog egg mass, with spawning frogs spewing gametes all over in a big orgiastic mess. Start with one ‘normal’ Callan: Switch to frog-egg colored clothing: Don a pair of foam packing bubble wrap “trousers: Add a “tunic” of bubble wrap, hot-glued into a blobby mass: Add a spawning frog in back, and another in front: …

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18 February 2010

Salamander shear

Whilst discussing how to quantify strain with my GMU structural geology students recently, I hit upon a cool analogy. In order for you to understand the analogy (assuming you’re not a structural geologist), I’ll have to review some background information first. Stick with it, and I promise you a salamander at the end. Structural geologists are interested in how rocks deform. If we have some idea of the original shape …

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