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Old Sep 3, 2010, 8:54 PM   #11
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Lovely series as always Mole. I like them all, but the sasafrass leaves are my favorite.
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Old Sep 3, 2010, 11:32 PM   #12
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I'm amazed that you can actually remember the names of all these flora & fauna !

Would like to have seen more of that (unusual ?) white spider !

Lovely series.
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Old Sep 4, 2010, 8:14 AM   #13
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Mole , I was one of those rare students in high school. I actually liked watching the documentsry films our advanced biology teacher showed us every friday ! Looking at your posts reminds me of watching those films. I thuroughly enjoy watching things done well. ie atheletes, musicians, artists etc. I get this same enjoyment looking at your work and reading your descriptions of the subjects in your photos. I started playing the saxophone when I was 24. I had never truly played an instrument before then. Struggling for proficiency with the sax gave me a deep sense of awe for those folks who have achieved proficiency in whatever they have endeavored to do. I am jealous of your photographic skills. Not in a bad way but rather a reverent way. Mole, if you ever publish one of those coffee table books full of your work I certainly will have one in my home !
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Old Sep 4, 2010, 8:18 PM   #14
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Outstanding series, Mole!
The fungi photos are stunning and I love the butterfly shots.
I'm wondering what you could do with your HDR magic on the first shot of the second post?

Life's a breeze on a Goldwing...
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Old Sep 5, 2010, 1:20 PM   #15
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A very nice series, I especially love your fungi.
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Old Sep 5, 2010, 4:57 PM   #16
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Pboerger - Thanks so much - so glad to be able to share a few of the "little things" along the way.
PS - You are too fast for me - sorry that I didn't even notice your response at first.

Jehan - Thanks for your very kind words. No "magic," but do enjoy playing with DOF - when working with a still subject, will usually take several snaps at a range of F-stops, just to see which works best. Recently purchased a (very used) A 35-105 that seems to have some really fine characteristics, including great bokeh... Many of these were taken with that lens.

Mtnman - Thanks so much! Our sassafrass has started turning rather early this year - perhaps due to recent dry spells, but am hoping it's a hint of a pretty autumn.

Kevin - Thanks! Knowing names is part of the job - folks expect Rangers to know everything in the park!
(a friend once mailed me a comic strip of a park ranger leading a night hike. Park visitor asks, "What's that bright beautiful star over there?" Ranger says, "I don't know." Visitor says, "I thought rangers knew about everything in the park." Ranger says, "That's not in the park!")
Spider was actually a rather common one here - a Crab Spider. He kept playing hide & seek with the camera - would edge on around to face away from the lens every time...

Bock - you are much too kind. Glad my photos bring you some pleasure! If I every do publish a book, will have to send you a free copy...

GW - Thanks so much - glad you enjoyed them. Still not sure if I like HDR or not....

Harriet - Thanks! We are indeed blessed with an amazing diversity of "fungus among-us" in East Tennessee!
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Old Sep 5, 2010, 6:11 PM   #17
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Another great series - love the fungi, especially the puffball. But I have never seen a Monarch like that - vanilla where it should be manila ( ) - is that a natural variant or a color artifact? If real it would be a beauty. For others, a comparison with a more typical Monarch:

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If life brings you lemons, you can make lemonade.
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Old Sep 6, 2010, 12:06 AM   #18
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mole, as always, your photos are an inspiration to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Thanks for posting, I always enjoy these threads.
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Old Sep 6, 2010, 1:04 PM   #19
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mole, thanks to you i never have to overcome my fear of firetowers: i think that your photos are good enough for me : )
the photo with the tiny white spider: beautiful! it looks so delicate, in two ways. one, it looks like the photograph was taken with an awareness of the delicate balance of light against that dark background, and two, the flower itself just looks delicate, in a way i can't quite explain.
the flower underneath it, though, is much more dynamic, maybe because of its angular entrance through the corner of the frame.
i love the play of light on the helebore, but i think that maybe that would have been stronger with a different background. i know that you didn't choose the background, but because the subject itself is so delicate, the darks that play through the background distract from the light play in the foreground. but, maybe everyone else will disagree with me : )
that monarch looks funny, is it a normal one, or is it a weird subspecies? or maybe, i just don't quite remember what a monarch looks like?
and, the sassafras, yay! fall is coming!!

sorry i wrote so much, i couldn't seem to stop myself.
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Old Sep 8, 2010, 6:42 AM   #20
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Penolta - Thanks for asking. It's not an artifact, or a subspecies, just a color variation we see from time to time. (Ps - glad you liked the puffball too! My wife noticed it and said it deserved a photo, even though I have a million puffball shots. She was right!)

Mike - Thanks so much for saying so! Hope to see you "out on the trail" one of these days!

Vole - Please don't apologize for writing so much - every word is of great help to me. Thanks for taking the time to give so many helpful and specific comments! Now, if I can just get you up in that tower (or maybe the one on Mt Sterling?)....
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