Thanks to the internet, researching posts for this website and the patience and skill of some incredible photographers, I have become enamored of birds–or at least images of them. I’ve gone from being someone interested in only a few striking breeds that live near me, like the blue herons and egrets, to someone totally charmed by the incredibIe diversity, the colors, the beauty and the sometimes awesome or funny behavior of our flying friends. I hope this leaves you feeling the same . Don’t miss the videos at the end.
If I know what kind of bird it is, I label it. Same with the photographer. I welcome added info as well as comments, as always.
Please see comments below by Eduardo Bernardi to explain this next image. The “Coloruja” does look like a photoshopped version of the Red-breasted toucan. Sorry, but I think he looks better without the huge beak–at least more amusing.
Red-breasted Toucan (Ramphastos dicolorus)
Green-backed twin spot
By Katya Horner
By Katya Horner
Egret by Greg Magee
Flameback by Ric Seet
Spider bird, or Piping Plover with babes
Kentish Plover, by Armando Caldas
Kori Bustard by Paolo Maffioletti
Southern Red Bishop
Swan with babes
Great Indian Hornbill
Pileated Woodpecker and her babes
Doves, maybe inca doves
Female Saddled Bill Stork
Vulturine Guinea Fowl, aka the model for Dracula
Here’s what some photographers go through to bring us these pictures.
This Tragopan Satyra really knows how to strut his stuff to entice a mate. Stay past the first few seconds and you’ll be rewarded.
Transformer owl, what a hoot. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth dealing with the music and other distractions.
This extraordinary video capturing the mating ritual of the Japanese Red Crowned Dancing Cranes is thanks to Anna Osetroff Productions. The full video is available here.
Here are a bunch of creative people playing with setting moons and some suns. Do not miss the gorgeous last photo of the recent annular solar eclipse by Clint Melander. Enjoy.
I believe this is from an solar eclipse
Clint Melander, describes capturing this extraordinary image of the annular solar eclipse of May 20, 2012:
I wanted to capture this remarkable experience of the Annular Solar Eclipse at Horseshoe Bend in Northern Arizona. This large panoramic composite image is made from about 48 images… shot with two cameras, making a composit of the sun in place over the canyon. What make this a fun image is the hundreds of photographers all capturing this extraordinary event lining the canyon rim with a thousand foot drop to the Colorado River below.
Ring of Fire, Horseshoe Bend, by Clint Melander
Thanks to Terri and Claire Elizabeth for getting me started on this.
I know, I know. This post has lots of videos, they take longer and you don’t have time….but are you sure you want to miss the dog and bird in their struggle over the yogurt? or the turtle that lovingly follows the cat? or the cockatoo feeding the dog spaghetti? And more. You can always click on to the next thing if you get bored. And here are a few amusing mixed species stills to check out first.
Every day – at the same time – she waits for him…
He comes… and they go for a walk.
This dog and parrot might be friends or maybe they are just amusing competitors for the yogurt dregs, keep watching after the first few seconds.
Can a turtle really be that crazy about the cat?
Cockatoo feeds a dog spaghetti
This pig and dog sure are acting like fast friends.
Cat and dolphins play
Thanks to Slothster for the turtle following the cat,
to Buzzfeed for the puppy and parrot fighting over the yogurt,
And to Terri, Kathleen, Gary and Louise for forwarding mixed species pics.
If you want to see more mixed species wonders go here:
These two videos couldn’t be more different, except each features some outstanding dancing and each is fun, fascinating and unique in its own way.
First, if you like the classic movie musicals of Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, you’ll surely enjoy this updated tribute to Rita Hayworth. The skill needed by Ellen to edit these clips in time to the music is much appreciated.
This video was edited by Rita Hayworth devotee, Ellen. You can enjoy more videos of Rita at her youtube Rita Hayworth fan channel.
According to a New York Times article, part of the rehabilitation programs at Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center in the Philippines is dancing. The organizer of the rehab program put this video on youtube in the hope of inspiring other prisons to follow suit. Instead it went viral. Over 17.5 million people have seen it–so in case, like me, you’re one of the last remaining people on the planet who haven’t seen it, enjoy.
In 2004, Byron Garcia, a security consultant for the prison was brought in to address problems at the prison after a series of riots. In addition to many other changes, including the building of a new facility, Garcia started an enforced exercise regime that in the past year evolved into dance classes.
Thanks for Kathleen for forwarding the Rita Hayworth video
It’s ALL people. There is nothing in these images by artist Cecelia Webber except people.
Here’s a close up photo:
The artist says: “I began creating my compositions after noticing that a photo I had taken of my back looked like a petal. From there, I became fascinated by the practice of trying to create organic imagery with greater and greater accuracy.”
The process involves significant sketching and planning to envision the poses required for the final image. The digital images of flowers and plants shown here often require up to 700 layered variations which are then colored to achieve her desired design.
She seems to have a band aid on her second toe in the above right pic.
She also does birds:
Thanks to Jill for turning me on to this amazing artist, Cecelia Webber.
Fiery eruptions, devastated landscapes sharing their barren beauty, life struggling to persist, grand patterns viewable only from high above–we have to offer heartfelt appreciation to the artists who share their stunning images of the power and wonder of volcanoes.
By Jeffrey Brown
The Kilauea volcano on the “Big Island” of Hawaii, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, has been erupting since January 3rd, 1983. Photographer Jeffrey Brown has amassed a spectacular portfolio depicting this valcano in all it’s moods and spectacle.
Kilauea currently produces 250,000-650,000 cubic yards of lava per day, enough to resurface a 20-mile-long, two-lane road daily. With lava flowing at an average rate of 800-1,300 gallons per second, more than 500 acres of new land have been added to the island of Hawaii since the volcano’s current eruption began.on January 3, 1983.
Do you worry about where he was standing when he took some of these?
Awe-inspiring destruction of rain forest
A volcanic bubble burst (see video at end of post.)
By Justin Rexnick
By Bill Adler
By Justin Reznick
Prize-winning german photographer, Bernhard Edmaier, presents aerial glimpses of the patterns left by volcanoes from eons past as well as current eruptions from around the globe.
He studied civil engineering before he switched to geology and aerial photography. Edmaier stresses that his photographic projects are never the outcome of random events, but instead require meticulous planning. “I do a lot of my research on the Internet and I maintain close contact with local scientists wherever I intend to photograph. Taking aerial shots demands perfect light and weather conditions, which can sometimes mean a week-long wait before I get to start work.”
The results speak for themselves. These images are from his book Earth on Fire, available from local bookstores and Amazon.
VOLCANIC REMNANT, MAELIFELLSANDUR, ICELAND
Bright green moss has colonized a hill in the middle of this volcano remnant.
Etna, Sicily, Italy
This island country is made of volcano remnants.
Mt. Etna, Sicily, Italy
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Painted Hills, Oregon
Now we look at volcanoes from even further up–SPACE
The Aleutian Islands, Alaska. Taken from the International Space Station
Hawaiian volcanoes, USA from space
Russia’s Pacific coast, from space
Santorini, Greece, world-renowned vacation spot, is built on a volcano remnant.
First I share one breath-taking image. Then some exquisite photography of animals. Then a slew of cuteness, ending with a series of animals hanging out in a place that’s hard to believe. As always, I’m happy to have you vote for favorites in the comments section. Enjoy.
You knew whales were huge, but this image still astonishing.
If you like this pygmy marmoset and want to see whole post about them, here it is
What was this moose thinking?
A giant grape?
Is this guy too cute to be real?
Photo by Curt Fonger
What was this bobcat thinking?
A champion pigeon
What’s that on the dam wall? Look closely!
This is the Diga del Cingino dam in Italy and the animals are European Ibex. They like to eat the moss and lichen growing on the wall.They also are licking the salt off the stone.
This post was a group affair. Many thanks to people who forwarded me images: Claire Elizabeth, Louise, ABC news via Patty/Patricia, Neil. Thanks also to: Joan Stricker on Pinterest,, Sam Pryor on Pinterest, Roz Grage on Pinterest, and Orange Donkey.
Cara Barer says in her website’s artist statement:
A random encounter on Drew Street with the Houston Yellow Pages was the primary inspiration for this project. After that chance meeting, I began the search for more books, and more methods to change their appearance.
I realized I owned many books that were no longer of use to me, or for that matter, anyone else. Would I ever need “Windows 95?” After soaking it in the bathtub for a few hours, it had a new shape and purpose. Half Price Books became a regular haunt, and an abandoned house gave me a set of outdated reference books, complete with mold and neglect.
Each book tells me how to begin according to its size, type of paper, and sometimes contents. I arrive at some of my images by chance. Others, through experimentation. Without these two elements, my work would not flow easily from one idea to the next.
British artist Su Blackwell painstakingly cuts her delicate 3D paper sculptures from vintage books. Her magical and incredibly intricate sculptures literally free the characters and settings from the printed page, while also reflecting on “the precariousness of the world we inhabit and the fragility of our life, dreams, and ambitions,” as the artist says.
Using knives, tweezers and surgical tools, Brian Dettmer carves one page at a time. Nothing inside the out-of-date encyclopedias, medical journals, illustration books, or dictionaries is relocated or implanted, only removed.
Two quirky artists create temples that are monuments to their unique personal visions. To fully appreciate these images you have to read the stories that go with them.
In northern ITALY:
A massive underground temple lies beneath a suburban house, built entirely in secret by a group of non-architects, working around the clock for 15 years. Dug out of the rock without building or excavation plans, it was all overseen by a middle-aged former insurance broker.
The underground temple spreads over 300,000 cubic feet (8,500 cubic meters) on five different levels, connected to one another by hundreds of meters of corridors. According to the founder, Oberto Airaudi, or “Falco” as he is now known, the complex is only ten percent complete.
In August of 1978, 28 year old Falco began work on his underground temple. While he chose to keep the project a secret from the government, he did bring on others whom he felt understood his vision. Begun as a group of about 24, the following now numbers over a thousand. Built over a decade and a half, volunteers worked in four-hour shifts, slowly excavating the earth and rock. They often hid the sounds of construction by pretending to throw parties.
View into a hallway
The Italian police showed up in 1992, 14 years after secret construction was first begun. Having heard rumors of its existence, they demanded to see the temples. When three policemen and a public prosecutor were taken down into the massive and intricately decorated complex they were stunned. The structure contains a number of spaces, some with ceilings over 25 feet high. One room is a four-sided pyramid covered in mirrors and topped with a glass dome. The ceiling of the “hall of spheres” is covered entirely in gold leaf.
Hall of Spheres
One of the tunnels
Layout of the various rooms
The house it started under.
Now known as “The Damanhur Temples of Humankind.” Falco says the temples are the re-creations of “visions” of elaborate halls, or temples, he experienced as a child.
Some people call the leader and his followers a cult.
The White Temple is the creation of Thai artist Chaloemchai Khositphiphat who started building it back in 1998. He has completed only the first of 9 main buildings planned. In an interview, he said “I will dedicate all my life to this work. Also, I have at least 2 generations to continue it after my death. I estimate that it will take about 60-70 years to complete.”
The main building is painted white to symbolize the Buddha’s purity, and is covered in mosaics of mirrors to sparkle in the sun.
Photo by kurt van aert on flickr
There seem to be meanings to every detail in the temple. In order to go to the main hall (heaven), you’ll have to cross the pit of hell.
Even the fish are white.
But not the toilet.
World's fanciest toilet in gold
World's fanciest no-smoking sign
No one is allowed to take pictures inside the temple, so these examples seem to be from the booklet about the temple.
Because the temple is financed by the artist and contributions, Khositphiphat is free to update the traditional Buddhist temple as he sees fit. Much of the inside of the temple is adorned with a mural which includes contemporary scenes from Hollywood movies and current events. Among them are superheros like Superman, Spiderman, Neo from the matrix as well as Avatar characters, Jabba the Hut and Darth Vadar from Star Wars, the attack of the twin towers on 9/11, then spaceships, aliens, luxury goods, a gas pump and many things “western.”
Keanu Reeves as Neo from the Matrix is on the left, creature from Avatar flies in the center.
Keepers at Pocatello Zoo, Idaho, were worried when they noticed Shooter, a four-year-old elk, acting strangely at his water trough. At six feet tall with another four feet of giant antlers, he can be scarey. He’s punctured tires with his antlers and some zoo staff are afraid of him.
Staff noticed him trying to dunk his head in the trough but his antlers kept getting in the way. He was trying to dunk his head in the water, but his antlers kept getting in the way.
“Nobody could figure out why he was trying to get his head in, and then he started dipping his feet in. We were all completely confused, until we saw the marmot in his mouth. I think he had nudged the animal away from the edge of the trough with his antlers and hooves so he could reach it with his mouth without his antlers getting in the way.”
Scooter placed the hapless rodent down and nudged it with his hoof, as if checking it for signs of life, before calmly watching it scamper off into the bushes.
I’m not sure if the wonder is in the photography or the place itself–probably both. In any case, here’s a tour through some spectacular places around our planet that you might want to add to your list of “someday” vacation destinations.
Lucca, Tuscany, Italy
Awa’awapuhi Trail, Kauai, Hawaii
Benteng, Chittorgarh, India
Baatara Gorage Waterfall, Tannourine, Lebanon
Ben Bulben, County Sligo, Ireland
Aiguill e du midi, Chamonix, France
Devetashkata Cave, Bulgaria
Etretat, Normandy, France
Four Seasons Hotel, Bora Bora
Ice Canyon, Greenland
Gardens of Prague Castle, Czech Republic
Lower Lewis River Falls, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington State
Marble Caves, Chile Chico, Chile
Multnomah Falls, Oregon
Neist Point Isle of Skye, Scotland
Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
Preachers Rock, Preikestolen, Norway
Rice Field Terraces in Yunnan, China
Vernazza, Cinque Terra, Italy
Canal of Leiden, Netherlands frozen over
Shark Island, Sydney, Australia
Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau Island, Hong Kong
Spirit Island, Magligne Lake, Alberta, Canada
The Gardens at Marqueyssac,Vézac, France
The Pearl Waterfall, Jiuzhaigou Valley, China
Keukenhof Gardens, Netherlands
Thanks to TheCoolHunter for these images. Thanks to Jen H. for turning me onto this site.
The goal of British artist Luke Jerram is “to present the dichotomy between the beauty of pathogens like the HIV virus and the havoc they wreak on humanity.” His works depict viruses and bacteria at approximately one million times their actual size. Jerram consulted with virologists from England’s University of Bristol to ensure his forms were scientifically accurate, then he teamed with highly specialized glassblowers to bring his vision to fruition. Only five editions of each microbe are produced for sale—unfortunately, their potentially lethal counterparts aren’t nearly so rare.
Japanese photographer Tsuneaki Hiramatsu uses time-lapse photography to capture these stunning images showing the patterns of light made by fireflies. None of the artist’s photographs were captured with camera flashes or artificial light.
Lightning bugs are able to light up come using bioluminescence, which is created when a pigment and chemical react and is most often seen in sea creatures.
Hiramatsu spent nearly four years between 2008 and 2011 photographing these tiny creatures in Okayama Prefecture, Japan.
Fireflies over a meandering stream as dusk falls
Fireflies can be found on every continent except Antarctica.
According to firefly.org, fireflies emit light mostly to attract mates, although they also communicate for other reasons as well, such as to defend territory and warn predators away. In some firefly species, only one sex lights up. In most, however, both sexes glow; often the male will fly, while females will wait in trees, shrubs and grasses to spot an attractive male. If she finds one, she’ll signal it with a flash of her own.
They can be found on every continent except Antarctica.
From: Daily Mail online via Gary Whitney. Thanks.
Is that for real? How do they do that? There must be a trick.
Those are the questions the videos in this post brought up for me. I hope you share my surprise and amusement at the expanse of the human repertoire represented here.
Because I had to satisfy my own curiosity, I’m sharing brief descriptions with links for anyone interested in seeing or learning more about how and what you are seeing.
Beatboxing is the art of producing drum beats, rhythm and musical sounds using one’s mouth, lips, tongue and voice. It can also involve singing and the simulation of horns, strings and other musical instruments.
HIKAKIN is a Japanese beatboxer. Be sure to give it at least 30 seconds.
Here is a 7 year old boy, Nana Kyei, from Ghana, beatboxing via Wine and Bowties
MOUNTAIN BIKE STREET TRIALS
Mountain bike trials are a discipline of mountain biking in which the rider attempts to pass through an obstacle course without putting their foot to the ground.
This video features Danny MacAskill the best known practioner of street trials which are a freestyle and non-competitive version of mountain-bike trials. Thanks to his breathtaking skill and subsequent interest on youtube, MacAskill has become a professional street trial rider. You’ll soon know why. MacAskill was born and raised in Dunvegan on the Isle of Skye, Scotland.
Thanks to Patricia Selk
This is the story of Exodus from the Bible.
HALLELUJAH CHORUS, ALASKA STYLE
Fifth graders at Kuinerrarmiut Elitnaurviat School in Quinhagak,Alaska, a Yupik village of 550 people located on the Bering Sea coast in Southwest Alaska, decided to make a class project to present at a Christmas program for the entire village. It’s well past the holiday, but if you haven’t seen it, it’sl fun.
Thanks to Kathleen.
TIME LAPSE PHOTOGRAPHY AND MOVING ART
Louie Schwartzberg is an award-winning cinematographer, director and producer whose notable career spans more than three decades providing stunning imagery for feature films, television shows, documentaries and commercials. He has a channel on youtube, Moving Art.
If you don’t have time to see the whole thing, at least stay through the hummingbird twirling as it chases a bug….or the fish leaping up the water fall….or
Thanks to Jane and Merry.
3-D FACADE MAPPING
This extraordinary example of facade mapping was projected in Berlin, Germany as an ad for LG Optimus One cell phones on September 29, 2011. The sounds you hear in the background are people watching from the street.
Facade mapping is a kind of 3-D animation projected against the side of a building, and initially, at least, “mapped” to perfectly match the buildings surface, allowing the animators to play with the building, both as a subject and as a surface for projecting other images.
You can click on the image or name for any of the following photos and travel to the website of the artist.
High speed photography involves both artistry and technological wizardry.
A standard photographic flash lasts around a thousandth of a second (a millisecond). But high speed photography creates a flash of light around a microsecond (a millionth of a second). This allows the photographer to freeze time at a precise moment. Check out the delicate beauty these ingenious artists have created.
High speed photographerJim Kramer uses food coloring, water, and dishwater soap to help thicken the water, and captures the moment a drop of liquid explodes into a multicolored splash in these incredible images.
Using a timer to track the path of falling drops, a flash is set off at the exact split second of impact and captures the shot.
Alan Sailer likes to shoot bullets through inanimate objects, then capture the resulting carnage at the moment of impact.
Using an air rifle, he has set up a system that lets him take a photograph at the exact moment the bullet pierces the object. Knowing that the pellets shot by these rifles can reach speeds of up to 656 feet (200 meters) per second, an elaborate triggering system was needed. When the pellet is shot, it goes through a laser beam which itself triggers a 17,000 volts flash and the photography is taken during a microsecond (or 1 millionth of a second.)
“Sometimes I have a very specific goal, like, “create a splash in the shape of a
martini glass,” and I design a method for doing that. Other times, I might think, “I
wonder what happens if I increase the viscosity of the drop’s liquid?” Then I set out
experimenting. In both cases, serendipity is a rich source of new ideas and effects.
I can spend several days getting things ready to take a shot. I may have to build
equipment or electronics, and work to get the lighting the way I want it. Then the
liquids will get uppity and require taming. This process can burn a few thousand
shots. Then, I have everything cornered right where I want it, and I can get
dozens of shots that are keepers. Those I choose from.”
As if the above aren’t unique enough, Reugels devised a different approach, using the vibration from a speaker to jostle liquids. To create this work he stretches a black balloon over a bass reflex tube which sits over a speaker. He adds a spoonful of water to the middle of the balloon, drops in some coloring, cranks some techno basslines through the speakers.
Finally, here is a sampling from his refractions series. Single droplets of water with images refracted within them – apparently focus and lighting are the tricky parts.
The world on a string
Big World in a Little Drop
Finally, if you want to sit back and enjoy a slideshow with music and high speed images posted by Corrie White, here you go:
I can’t stop thinking about what life would feel like if I used paints, parts of various plants, nuts, feathers, fur, whatever I could find from nature to make spectacular headpieces and body accessories for myself, family and friends, and I did this 2 -3 times a day!
Thanks to German photographer Hans Silvester we can witness the dazzling artistry of the Surma and Mursi people of the Omo Valley in southern Ethiopia as they perform their ancient tradition of temporary body decoration on themselves and each other a few times each day.
The peregrine falcon can fly at 90 mp, and reach 200 mph (322kmh) while diving to catch prey.
The longest migration
Every year the Arctic tern flies around 50,000 miles (80,500km) from the Arctic to the Antarctic and back again, further than any other bird during its migration . It performs almost all its tasks in the air.
The Arctic Tern flies as well as glides through the air. It nests once every one to three years (depending on its mating cycle); once it has finished nesting it takes to the sky for another long migration.
A poisonous bird?
The Pitohui bird of New Guinea is the only known poisonous bird. Its toxic skin and feathers protect it from predators.
The kiwi is the only bird with no wings. He looks like he has fur rather than feathers, doesn’t he?
The Champion, both fast and intrepid
The great snipe can fly non-stop over a distance of around 4200 miles (6760km) at a phenomenal 60mph (97kmh). Swedish scientists put tiny data chips into 3 snipes and found that one bird flew 4225 miles (6800km) from Sweden to central Africa in just 3.5 days. The other two birds flew 3833 miles (6169km) in three days, and 2870 miles (4619km) in two days.
The peregrine falcon is fast. The arctic tern goes far but not particularly fast. Scientists have long known that snipes are incredibly fast birds. The word ‘sniper’ originated in the 1770s among soldiers in British India: if a hunter was skilled enough to kill an elusive snipe, he was called a sniper.
While on vacation this summer I happened upon an exhibit of these colorful and witty works by Israeli artist Hanoch Piven. He uses common everyday objects to create amusing portraits of notable people. A closer look at the particulars of the objects only makes it more fun.
If you’re not sure who is represented, hold the cursor over the image.
Mark Jenkins has been busy since my first post of his Scotch Tape Sculptures. Here are some of the new ones, still deserving of chuckles. In some of the images you might have to search to find the sculpture–the baby.
Karst towers, the rocky formations by the Li river in China near Guilin, are truly natural wonders.
by bouti blog
Below is the town of Guilin.
By eric finlanson
Guilin rice harvest.
The following image is so striking, I had to check to make sure it was real. The story that goes with it makes it even more striking. Here’s a description by photographer Michael Anderson at his website. ” I wandered alone on the riverbanks and met a cormorant fisherman who showed me his traditional methods. They fish at night and the lantern attracts fish toward the raft so the cormorant can dive in and catch them. The fishermen tie a loose string around the cormorant’s neck so they can’t swallow it completely, and the men pull out the fish and store them in a basket. This method of fishing has existed for over a thousand years.
The Guilin tower karsts are an example of karst topography, land formations caused by rainwater combining with carbon dioxide in the air to become slightly acidic.
The acidic water works its way into any crack, fault or fissure in limestone rock and chemically erodes the rock. Over time, the openings caused by the acidic rain are widened into passages or caves and initial trickles of water become streams. Sometimes the cave ceiling collapses forming sinkholes or a cenotes.
The following are examples of the breathtaking variety of karst topography from images taken around the planet.
Viet Nam, Halong bay
By steve vidler
By Paul Smit
by Michael Buckley
Karst Forest, Madagascar
By Tequila Minsky
Bryce Canyon Karst, Utah
El Torcal de Antequera, Spain
El Torcal de Antequera, Spain
Shilin, South China
Akiyoshidai Karst pinnacles in Mine, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan
Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, U.S.A.
Mammoth Cave is the longest cave in the world, with over 350 miles explored so far.