Monthly Archives: March 2013

Creature Feature 2013 #1

This is the first of what I hope to be a regular feature here: creatures seen, and photographed around Lake Rabon. As usual, click on the picture for the full-resolution version from Picasaweb.

I took advantage of a warm Friday afternoon off to do some much-overdue boating out on the lake. At first it seemed like spring has been thoroughly dampened by the cold weather we’ve had lately, but a little observation showed that things were still well under way. I saw two Osprey circling each other and calling, and this little Carolina Chickadee in the real estate market:

Also taking advantage of the warm weather were the turtles:

Cormorants executing a formation landing, sort of:

I wasn’t close enough to get real good pictures of the action, but this montage captures an Osprey collecting lunch:

And, of course, the obligatory Great Blue Heron in-flight picture (here in cruise flight):

Conservation of Luck

At the start of the game show Jeopardy, Alex Trebek often wishes the contestants “good luck to all three of you”. Which got me thinking…

Isn’t good luck for one contestant bad luck for the others? If one is lucky enough to get a category they’re familiar with, isn’t that bad luck for the others?

This leads to the supposition that “the total amount of luck in a closed system remains constant”, similar to the idea of conservation of energy. A corollary might be that the total amount of luck in a closed system is zero.

Of course, we have to be careful about the boundaries of our “closed system”. If all three contestants have bad luck and win very little money, isn’t that lucky for the person who has to pay out the prize money?

I might feel incredibly lucky that I dodged that bread truck and didn’t get run over, but isn’t that stroke of good luck offset by the bad luck for the undertaker, and the guy who makes his living fixing dents in bread trucks?

Owl on the loose

Today I attended a session on nature photography at the Lake Conestee Nature Park, a neat restored natural place on the Reedy River right in the Big City (in my out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere opinion) Greenville, SC Metro area. The session was put on by professional nature photographers Ben Keys and Clay Bolt. The session was both entertaining and useful. I’ve got some more things to try with my camera now.

A couple of the attendees are wildlife rehabilitaters. After all the photography, we were honored to be present while they released a barred owl that had been rescued after getting his head stuck in a chain-link fence. Click on the picture to get to some more pictures of the event.

Upcoming activities

With emphasis on “active”.


The Greenville Downtown Airport (KGMU) is building an aviation-themed community park where people can come watch the airplanes, with a playground for kids, etc… In order to raise money to continue the construction, they’re holding a 5k run/walk on 25-May-2013:
The keynote feature is that the run will be on the airport itself, including a runway. I’m planning to participate, if only so I can run down the runway flapping my wing…er… arms.

I kinda like the sneaker-wearing airplane logo.

Flight of the Dove

No, I’m not talking about backyard birds, for once. Flight of the Dove is upstate South Carolina’s premier (IMHO) organized bicycle ride. The routes are great, support is great, No restroom lines at the start/finish (at the Presbyterian College stadium in Clinton, SC), and lunch is included. And on top of all that, the ride supports a great cause: Hospice of Laurens County. Mark your calendars: 24-Aug-2013.

Ride for Raptors

As long as I’m here, I’ll also mention another ride I like to do, Ride for Raptors. This one is in the fall (no date set yet for 2013), leaves out of Pendleton, SC, and wanders through the hills of Pickens County. This one supports the Carolina Raptor Center. More later…

NIghttime solar radiation readings

I noticed that my solar radiation readings seem to behave oddly. After sunset, when you’d expect the reading to go down to zero, it’d actually rise up to around 100 w/m2 and pretty much stay there through the night, sometimes dropping back to zero for periods of time. You can see that here.

After a perhaps-unnecessarily protracted Email discussion with Davis and a phone call, a replacement sensor was procured.

I installed it Saturday morning (it was starting to rain and snow, so we didn’t miss accounting for much solar radiation), and it seems to be working properly now.

Landing traffic

I wasn’t sure how good this picture really was since I had to fiddle with the exposure after the fact, but a friend said it was one of my best yet. So, captured last week, here it is (as usual, click on the picture for the expanded version):