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).

File:Blue-lobster.jpg
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 Photo Challenge #107 – Winter

Ahhh winters in Ohio.  We live at the very bottom of the Lake Erie snow belt, so while it could be worse, we get a lot of snow.  And when it’s not snowing, it’s cold.  Every winter I dream of being a Florida snowbird in my retirement someday.

But as much as I hate driving in the snow, I am fascinated by its beauty.  Flakes gently floating in the air.  White fluff piling up on black branches.

My toddler loves to go outside and leave his tracks in the fresh-fallen snow.  It’s also fun to see who else has been in our yard!  Here a squirrel friend was sitting; we also frequently see deer prints.

20190211_175530

Of course, who would want to live somewhere where it’s always winter and never Christmas?  I love the whole Christmas season; it brings light to the darkness.

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

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 106: Autumn

Autumn is Ohio’s best season: the colors, the weather, the events!  Even a car ride is a joy, but I really love visiting state parks at this time.  Here are some views from Mohican State Park near the northeast part of the state.

I love identifying leaves in the fall (the tree in the featured image is a sassafras, which have some of the most beautiful colors).  Here are some posts to get you started with some basic leaf IDs:

Fall leaf identification

How to Recognise Different Types of Trees From Quite a Short Way Away (Fall leaf ID part 2)

Another fun feature of Ohio is that you never know whether it might rain or even snow on Halloween. Plan your costumes accordingly! 🤣

 

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

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #94: At Home

One of the joys of being at home with a toddler is finding toys in the most hilarious places after the kid has gone to bed.

My home is constantly devolving into chaos.  I’m good with it.

I love our old home, and I (mostly) love living in Ohio, where all four seasons can be beautiful.  Our home lets me enjoy all of that.

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