Archive for nature

Big Sur Done Right

Posted in art, FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2013 by cliffmichaels

One of Flickr God Patrick Smith’s  masterful sets






His Photostream, web page, Portfolio, and this photo with over 570,000 hits on Flickr!!

FLICKR GROUP: Big Sur, California

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Mushroom Explosion

Posted in FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY with tags , , , , , , , on March 17, 2013 by cliffmichaels





Mushroom Anatomy 101 Mushroom Mania Mushroom CultivationWild Inedible & Poisonous MushroomsFungi

Photo by Oddsock

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He’s Too Damned Good..

Posted in art, FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2012 by cliffmichaels



One Hundred Twenty-Eight photographs of  beauty, each marvelously composed. Imapix, the photographer, should be shot, or at least banned from Flickr. He sets the bar impossibly high for the rest of us.


More photos by Imapix

See his photostream


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See You Later Alligator…

Posted in FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY with tags , , , , , , , on September 22, 2012 by cliffmichaels


Some critters are safe and cuddly – think bunnies, puppies and koala bears. Some, while dangerous, are majestically beautiful – think lions & tigers & bears. But some are ugly and dangerous as hell – think alligators and crocodiles

Alligators and their uglier cousins crocadiles are not only ugly but vile. Do you think your basic Crocodylidae would think twice – if they think at all – before gobbling down a bunny, puppy or koala bear? Of course not. Those really, really giant gators would most likely at least try to devour a lion or tiger or bear. Just disgusting…

I don’t believe in a god and alligators are one of the (thousands) of reasons why I don’t. Tell me your basic tiger is proof of god and I might have to concede your point. Tigers are fearful in their symmetry. Blake got it right… But alligators? Right up there with bats, spiders and jellyfish. Any god worth her salt would have left these creatures on the cutting room floor.

In fact, now that I think about it, most all lizards are pretty worthless. If the Republican party were an animal it surely would be some kind of tiny, really ugly lizard (and Romney, of course, would be a chameleon).

We would all be better off if Noah had kicked gators and crocs off his boat. No telling how many species of cute and cuddly critters they deprived posterity. The man must have been addled (or some kind of crocophile…) Maybe we can at least get our domestics gators to self-deport back to wherever they originally spawned. Maybe they aren’t illegal aliens, but they sure are alien! The next thing you know they’ll be taking our jobs and nibbling at our kids.


 Alligators and Crocodilians Alligator in the Everglades

For photo credit, click on image. All photos subject to this creative commons license

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Posted in FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 2, 2012 by cliffmichaels



Fighter pilots with black and yellow stripes
circling around, dive bombing types
One, flies in for the kill
another has his back, just for the thrill

I am innocent, I was just sitting there
timing is everything, humans beware
Humble cologne, enticing-ly perfumed
or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, half consumed

Wasps, bolder than bumble bees
meeker than hornets, dropping to their knees
Either way, these annoying, persistent things
ruined my picnic, with their unprovoked, nasty little stings.



OK, I admit it – when it comes to wasps I’m a girly boy. They scare the shit out of me. I go into ludicrous, hand flapping gyrations whenever a wasp buzzes around me. At least I don’t scream (well, most of the time). I’m not sure why I become such a weak kneed pussy; I don’t remember ever being stung by a wasp.  I think its because the little fuckers just look so goddamn mean. They even sound mean.

Bees sting, too, of course; but the humble honey bee looks almost cuddly as it flits from one flower to another. All bees want to do is suck up nectar and fly it back to the hive. A bee isn’t gunning for me, she sticks to business unless I mess with her or get too closes to her hive. I mean, a bee gives her life to sting you so she’s gonna have a damn good reason to jab you with her stinger. Sure, a swarm of bees is terrifying, but one single solitary honey making bee in the garden just gives me a happy buzz.

Even big bumblebees don’t turn me into jello. Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for bumblebees, a bumblebee sting really smarts, but these flying jumbos just don’t look all that menacing and they don’t dart around at high speed. Not like wasps.  Wasps are the the Mig-27’s  of the insect world. Given half a chance, a wasp will try to take you out. Wasp are evil – almost as evil as spiders.

Ugh! Spiders! Don’t get me started on spiders! Got bit once by a Brown Recluse. Bastard damn near ate half my forehead. Twenty-five plus years later I’ve still got the scar. I hate wasps, sure, absolutely,  but I really, really, really, really hate spiders.

But that’s another story altogether…


Wasps, Wasps, WaspsWasp WaistWasps – IchneumonsOutstanding Bumblebee – Bumblebees Bees, Bees, Bees! 

Photo credits: Click on image for link to photographer. Each image remixed by me, each image subject to this creative commons license

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Photos to Die For…

Posted in art, FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, religion, tennessee with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2012 by cliffmichaels


Back in the day (whatever that means) I was a relatively industrious photographer. I’d climb out of bed on Saturday or Sunday mornings – sometimes on both – before the sun rode over the Smokies and set out to some picturesque destination or other to click madly away with my trusty and beloved Nikon D50. From January of 2007 through the end of 2008 there were twelve months in each of which I posted more than 200 photos.  The high water mark was June of 2007 when I posted 386 shots on Flickr (an average of 12.87 a day).

Now I’m a slacker. Since January 1, 2009, there have been only seven months I’ve surpassed 200 posts and only one with three hundred plus (April of 2011). There have been 21 months since the start of 2009 when my posts have numbered less than a hundred; the low point was December of ’09 when I uploaded a grand total of three photographs (and average of .097 per day).

To make up for my lack of vigor, I cheat by posting old photos, many from the set of my most popular images on Flickr. Isn’t recycling a good thing? Sometimes I just re-edit an old shot from months or years ago. I’ve got well north of 12,000 shots on Flickr. Who’s gonna notice a photo I post today was originally posted back in ’06? I tell myself if I re-process an old image – do a tighter crop, convert it to black and white, or use use photoshop to recompose it – it counts as a brand new shot, one I didn’t have to rise at dawn or leave the house to capture!

When I do shoot new stuff it’s often been on Friday afternoons after I escape  my office. I rationalize shooting in the harsh afternoon sun by telling myself I’ll only shoot in shade or post process the harshness away. Yeah, whatever… These Friday forays usually only last a couple of hours. In the past I’d often be out hunting for that one great capture for five or six hours.

Here’s a set of photos I  took yesterday afternoon. For reasons I’d rather not explore, I enjoy photographing in cemeteries. Sadly, I enjoy shooting there more than people enjoy looking at my photos. I don’t care. Yesterday I had fun driving slowly around a large Maryville cemetery shooting fake gravestone flowers, well manicured lawns, religious, guano stained statuary and old, majestic trees.


Cemeteries of the United StatesCemeteries and SensualityCemeteries and Girls Cemetery Animals

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We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat…

Posted in FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY with tags , , , , , on July 6, 2012 by cliffmichaels



Sharks Around  the WorldShark LoversWhale SharksGreat White Shark Shark Mouth

One of my own…

For photo credits, click on each image above, first four images subject to this creative commons license

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