A Steamy Jungle and Guests Steven Goodheart & Pascal Michon

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I have an image of my own today, but I’d first like to show you some images of friends who have responded to my pleas for treasure.

The first two come from Facebook friend and regular correspondent on Madang – Ples Bilong Mi,  Steven Goodheart of Berkeley, California. Steven is a science writer. Since he was formerly an editor for a large textbook publisher, he has a vast storehouse of information concerning where to find what, something that has already helped me to provide more interesting and accurate information.

The first shot really grabs me. I’d call the composition excellent. It makes good use of the Rule of Thirds. The smaller, gnarly tree and its shadow pierce the space and take it over like Atilla the Hun:

Berkeley Nature Walk by Steven GoodheartThat one is a calendar shot if I ever saw one. Some images remind me of others. This one recalls an image that I showed you from Central Park in New York City.

Stepping from grandeur to minutia, here is a huge mob of my favourite insect, the Lady Bug:Lady Bugs by Steven Goodheart

I have no idea why Lady Bugs do this. Steven said it was immediately following a heavy rain. Thanks, Steven, for these shots. Keep them coming. I’ve shown you some Lady Bugs here and here.

My friend and dive buddy, Dr. Pascal Michon (our naughty resident Frenchman) sent me an image of this very nice little project he did for his nephew who was inquiring of his uncle about Hermit Crabs. It was clever of Pascal to use the images from my journal:

Bernard L'ermite by Pascal Michon

I can’t read much of it, but it tickles me, nonetheless. People often ask me about using my images. If you look at the bottom of the journal you will see that everything is covered by a Creative Commons copyright. The terms of the copyright allow free use of any text or images as long as you state clearly that it came from me. I prefer my attribution to be my email address, but my name will suffice. The only restriction is that, if you want to use it in any way that could be considered commercial, you have to ask my permission. I usually don’t ask for payment, but I always ask for the end product, for instance, a book, t-shirt, URL of a website and so forth.

I was disappointed by this image when I first saw it on the screen. It wasn’t what I’d hoped it would be. So, I spent a half hour or so ‘artifying’ it:

Steamy Jungle and Ship

I’m calling it Steamy Jungle and Ship.

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9 Responses to “A Steamy Jungle and Guests Steven Goodheart & Pascal Michon”

  1. Steve Goodheart Says:

    Wow, and thank you Jan! Had no idea the images would look as good as they do — under the hand of the master! I have to apologize for mislabeling my second image…technically, it should have been “ladybug” (or British, “ladybird”) without the space….I think I added the space because entomologist like to call them “lady beetles” — when they are not calling them coccinellids!

    As to the why of the mob of ladybugs — the image shows only a very small portion of them that day! — I know they like to overwinter together, but I’m guessing our once-in-fifty-year rainstorm might have flooded them out of some place they were aggregating in the canyon. Just a guess.

  2. MadDog Says:

    I was very pleased that you sent along the images, Steven. I get a little tired (just a little) that the journal is all about me. Hopefully, you and a few others will get the ball rolling and encourage more people to submit images and stories to Madang – Ples Bilong Mi. It will make it a much more interesting place for all of us.

    Common names of living things, not to mention non-living things, get us into trouble all the time. I simply don’t sweat it. If I can, with reasonable certainty, identify a species, then I put in the taxonomic name. It helps people find things on the web (I get a huge number of hits from Google Images) and it makes me a better writer.

    I was wondering about the confab. I reckoned that it must have had something to do with the rain. I’m sure that somebody has a precise, scientific explanation. You know, sometimes, though it is my inclination to do so, I just don’t care. I’d rather just enjoy the whimsy of it.

  3. Steve Goodheart Says:

    Well, thanks, and thanks for sharing them. As I get some worthwhile images of my beloved Berkeley hills and their flora and fauna, I’ll send them along.

    Agree about names….plus, sometimes, we can make up our own, like our friend “Joo Joo: — Dardanus joojoooculus!

    I love the whimsy, the unexpectedness of it too…I’m going to keep an eye on the confab and see if they stay in that spot, or disperse.

    Another gorgeous day for a nature hike here in this SF Bay area paradise…blue skies, a touch of cirrus uncinus (mares tails), and it will hit 75 degrees by mid-afternoon! Can’t wait to tramp about.

  4. MadDog Says:

    I like that taxonomic name because it gives the the rare opportunity to string three ‘o’s in a row.

    You know the kind of images that I like to feature. If you get something that fits, send it along.

    Can you guess one very common cloud type that we NEVER see here? (it’s a trick question)

  5. Steve Goodheart Says:

    Hmm, common cloud type that you NEVER see there….hmm, probably something to do with the tropics? Some cloud associated with snow???….you *should* get every kind of cumulus, and cirrus….leaves stratus…..hmmm, wonder if you get classic nimbostratus there, as when a warm front approaches here in the states, and you get altostratus opacus lowering and thickening and becoming nimbostraus…………my bet is you just get T-storms….(heck, do you even get fronts there in New Guinea???)…so, unless its a really trick, trick question, that’s my guess…..nibostratus….the world’s most hated cloud…. 🙂

  6. MadDog Says:

    Being only four degrees from the equator, we’re not dominated by frontal weather. We do get a lot of thunderstorms, but they develop over local hotspots in the ocean or from uplifted warm air over the mountains.

    We often see those low-lying clouds just above the trees. My theory is that they are just ‘steam’ from the vegetation. This, of course, if based on no evidence whatsoever. Just a guess.

    There IS some kind of organic chemical that is produced by the trees and gets into the atmosphere. I was reading about it just a few days ago and I’ve already forgotten the name. I think it can cause the formation of clouds.

  7. Steve Goodheart Says:

    I thought that your weather would be pretty much non-frontal and local…..

    I’m guessing you are right about those low-lying clouds just above the trees as being from tree evapotranspiration. The amount of water lifted up and released by a single tree in the sunny tropics must be enormous, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the evaporation from this transpiration process cools the air above the trees (“cool” being a relative term in tropics!) and could contribute to a cloud or fog forming above the trees. Just guessing, but that makes sense.

    Jan, I suspect you are are thinking of VOC — volatile organic chemicals. Tree do give up a lot of these, and they can react with sunlight and create ozone and smog. The “Great Smokies” of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park get their name from this off-gassing by their magnificent forests.

  8. MadDog Says:

    I notice it most on a day when there are big, thick clouds, but only a partial cover. If an area of rainforest has been in direct hot sun for a while and suddenly is cooled off by the shade of a big cloud, sometimes these hazy, low lying clouds will form directly over the trees. I think that you’re right. The air above the trees is a little cooler and completely saturated. As soon as the radient heat of the sun is romoved, the water condenses out.

    Yeah, that’s the stuff I was trying to think of – VOC. Maybe it’s our own form of smog.

  9. Steve Goodheart Says:

    Your description and hypothesis makes total sense from a physics standpoint….I think what you said nails it…as for those VOCs, they would just probably produce something more like general haze, not clouds just above the trees…