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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Disappointed in myself

It's bad enough to live a life with mild prosopagnosia (face blindness), but lately I've been so absent-minded. The other day I came to town and left my binoculars laying outdoors by the stucco tank. The one time I do that and it's the one time in over 10 weeks we get a little rain. It pretty much ruined them. Lately, every trip to town I forget something at CMO and vice versa.

So today I left my borrowed binoculars in my car from the meeting place with Kelly, then came back to Alpine having left stuff in his vehicle, even after he reminded me. It stresses me out.

Several of us were photographing White-eared Hummingbirds at Kelly's place. I took lots of photos with ample opportunities, yet none are decent shots, my only WEHU pics ever. Frustrating. The bird stayed a distance in the shade and my camera just doesn't take good pics that way. This is the best I got.

I did somewhat better on this AZ Sisters butterfly that was closer to me in the sunshine.

I never cease to be amazed at how drab a hummer's gorget can look one second and totally awesome the next, as this male Rivoli's Hummingbird so nicely illustrates.

As I recall, this hummer had less sunlight reflecting on his throat in the second photo than the first. I believe they somehow adjust their gorget feathers to maximize the reflective and absorptive quality of the feathers.* Here's a description I found online:

The colors do not directly depend on selective pigment absorption and reflection, as do brown and blacks produced by the melanin pigments of non-iridescent feathers. Rather, they depend on interference coloration, such as that resulting from the colors seen in an oil film or soap-bubble

If you haven't already checked out this live cam at a hummingbird feeder at an undisclosed location in the Davis Mountains, be sure to do so.


* I've repeatedly observed this is other instances and species. For example, I watched a motionless Eastern Amberwing dragonfly, which has a couple deep yellowish patches on the sides of his thorax, when being threatened by another male dragonfly, instantly make those patches turn a bright iridescent yellow-green. Then when the territorial invader moves on, the color turns drab again. 

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