Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #113: A Labor of Love

I called my husband out onto the porch of our new house one evening this week to see this amazing creation: a spider had built a stunning web in between a post and a bush. And he was posing beautifully right in the middle of his work of art.

It may not be exactly what we would normally think of as a labor of love, but I appreciated his efforts, which seemed to me both practical and beautiful.

You can find more labors of love at the original Lens-Artist challenge, guest hosted this week by Rusha at Oh, The Places We See…

This is how bored I was in high school algebra

As I was recently cleaning my bookshelves in preparation for moving, I came across an Algebra II notebook from high school.  Leafing through it, I discovered why I had saved it for all these years.  It was not for the details of matrix multiplication.  It was for my doodles in the margins that I did when I was bored in class.

Among other things, I apparently spent the better part of my sophomore year writing out the Longfellow poem “Paul Revere’s Ride,” which I had memorized and can still recite the majority of.

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You can read the full poem here.  While it certainly a white man’s version of history, and not an entirely accurate one at that, it is a lovely poem that is such fun to recite.

I did throw away the algebra notebook after I took these pictures.  I don’t think I need to know about the Binomial Theorem anymore.

Lens-Artists Challenge #110 – Creativity in the Time of Covid

My photography efforts have stayed very close to home in the past six months since the COVID-19 pandemic started.  Most of the camera roll on my phone involves my two-year-old, with a few of the new house that we are moving into next week.

My most common subjects in the summer are always the flowers in my yard; I gave a few examples for this recent challenge.  Since then, I’ve been working on close-ups of flowers, something I’ve always struggled with in terms of framing and focus (my phone does not have a good macro setting).  I was really pleased with this hydrangea from my front yard.  I will miss this bush when we move!

I used the editor in Google Photos to give it just a tiny bit of pop.  I’ve also been doing some cropping for better focus.

You can find more creativity at the original Lens-Artist challenge.

 

 

Clawdia the rare blue lobster rescued from local seafood restaurant

Need a feel-good news story to pick you up today?  Here you go.  It’s certainly nice to see Ohio in the news for non-COVID reasons.

The Akron Zoo, where I worked briefly about 10 years ago, recently got a new resident: a blue lobster.  Employees at the local Red Lobster restaurant, which is literally down the road from me, discovered this specimen in one of their shipments and reached out to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which put them in touch with the Akron Zoo.  It turns out that only one in about 2 million lobsters are blue, which certainly makes this lobster pretty special!

A blue lobster taken at the Lobster Trap fish market by Jane Carter / CC BY-SA

“Clawde” then got adopted and relocated to the zoo, which happens to have a lot of experienced aquatic animal keepers because many were hired on there after SeaWorld Ohio closed in 2000.  After settling in there, zoo staff discovered that the lobster was actually female, and she was renamed “Clawdia.”  She’s being housed in the Komodo Kingdom building where the aquatic exhibits are located, though you can’t visit her yet as all zoo building are currently closed to the public due to COVID-19 precautions (the zoo itself is open).

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Blue American lobster (Homarus americanus). Taken at the New England Aquarium (Boston, MA, December 2006. Copyright © 2006 Steven G. Johnson and donated to Wikipedia under GFDL and CC-by-SA.

Clawdia’s special color is due to a genetic mutation: she produces an excess amount of a certain protein, which interacts with a red carotenoid molecule known as astaxanthin to form a blue complex known as crustacyanin. As rare as Clawdia is, blue lobsters are caught by fisherman fairly regularly, probably every year.  Even rarer are yellow lobsters and albino lobsters!  And some lobsters can actually be two different colors on their right and left sides, like little crustacean jesters.

So kudos to the Red Lobster staff for recognizing Clawdia’s uniqueness and helping her live out her life in comfort.

ETA: If you want to help support Clawdia, you can donate $50 for her care through the Akron Zoo’s Care for a Critter program, and receive an adorable blue lobster stuffed animal for a limited time.

Read more:

Akron Zoo adopts rare blue lobster from Red Lobster restaurant

Red Lobster employee saves rare blue lobster from becoming dinner

 

 

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #109: Under the Sun

Since this week’s theme was inspired by Tuscany, I figured I’d show some images under the Tuscan sun.  We saw this gorgeous view of San Gimignano from the patio of the Fattoria Poggio Alloro, after eating the best meal of our entire trip.

By the medieval walls of San Gimignano, we saw this guy taking advantage of the Tuscan sun.

Lastly, we enjoyed the Saturday open air market in Piazza dei Priori in Volterra, another Tuscan hill city with a long history.

You can find more under the sun at the original Lens-Artist challenge.