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Hummingbirds at the feeder in 4k – 3 in a series [Video] (0:57)

February 21st, 2018 No comments

Hummingbirds at the feeder in 4k – 3 in a series

We have had regular visitors at our window-mounted feeder so I took the time to capture a few.

This video is available in 4k. I recently upgraded my camera and am trying it out on a variety of subjects.

Hummingbirds at the feeder in 4k - 3 in a series [Video] (0:57)

Hummingbirds are birds from the Americas that constitute the family Trochilidae. They are among the smallest of birds, most species measuring 7.5–13 cm (3–5 in) in length. Indeed, the smallest extant bird species is a hummingbird, the 5 cm (2.0 in) bee hummingbird weighing less than 2.0 g (0.07 oz).

They are known as hummingbirds because of the humming sound created by their beating wings which flap at high frequencies audible to humans. They hover in mid-air at rapid wing-flapping rates, which vary from around 12 beats per second in the largest species, to in excess of 80 in some of the smallest. Of those species that have been measured in wind tunnels, their top speed exceeds 15 m/s (54 km/h; 34 mph) and some species can dive at speeds in excess of 22 m/s (79 km/h; 49 mph).[1][2]

 

Hummingbirds have the highest metabolism of any homeothermic animal.[3] To conserve energy when food is scarce, and nightly when not foraging, they can go into torpor, a state similar to hibernation, slowing metabolic rate to 1/15th of its normal rate.[4] — Wikipedia

 

More information on Hummingbirds:

 Learn more about Hummingbirds

 

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 

Reading – Mozart’s Starling by Lyanda Lynn Haupt – 7 in a series

February 1st, 2018 Comments off

I’ll be highlighting books that I am reading (or re-reading) on all sorts of topics this year — Douglas

Reading – Mozart’s Starling by Lyanda Lynn Haupt – 7 in a series

Reading - Mozart's Starling Hardcover by Lyanda Lynn Haupt - 7 in a series

It all started with a starling. The story goes that Mozart, walking about Vienna, came across a starling that could sing a melody from one of his, soon to be famous, compositions. So taken was he by this bird that he bought it and installed it in his home for the next 3 years. This story intrigued author Lyanda Lynn Haupt so much that she decided to adopt her own starling chick to better understand this story. This led to a book that encompasses Mozart, history, music, animal behaviors, natural history, linguistics, science, pets, and home.

I never expected to be taken on such a wide ranging trip with Mozart’s Starling, but it quickly pulled me in and through the various personal stories and sidebars into all the topics mentioned above. For me, this is a nearly perfect book. It has a theme that runs throughout, but within that theme it runs here and there engaging a little bit of this and little bit of that, tickling my need for variety and giving me a host of conversation items for any upcoming party. 

After reading, I now know more about Mozart’s music and history, the invasive nature of starlings in North America, how a pet can become part of a family, the different styles of language/song among birds and much more. I think you’ll find Mozart’s Starling and interesting read, too.

** My version of this book was available as an eBook from the Los Angeles Public Library

From Amazon.com…

On May 27th, 1784, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart met a flirtatious little starling in a Viennese shop who sang an improvised version of the theme from his Piano Concerto no. 17 in G major. Sensing a kindred spirit in the plucky young bird, Mozart bought him and took him home to be a family pet. For three years, the starling lived with Mozart, influencing his work and serving as his companion, distraction, consolation, and muse.

Two centuries later, starlings are reviled by even the most compassionate conservationists. A nonnative, invasive species, they invade sensitive habitats, outcompete local birds for nest sites and food, and decimate crops. A seasoned birder and naturalist, Lyanda Lynn Haupt is well versed in the difficult and often strained relationships these birds have with other species and the environment. But after rescuing a baby starling of her own, Haupt found herself enchanted by the same intelligence and playful spirit that had so charmed her favorite composer.

In Mozart’s Starling, Haupt explores the unlikely and remarkable bond between one of history’s most cherished composers and one of earth’s most common birds. The intertwined stories of Mozart’s beloved pet and Haupt’s own starling provide an unexpected window into human-animal friendships, music, the secret world of starlings, and the nature of creative inspiration. A blend of natural history, biography, and memoir, Mozart’s Starling is a tour de force that awakens a surprising new awareness of our place in the world.

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library.
Check it out! † Available from the LA Public Library

Previously in (Re)Reading:

Hummingbirds at the feeder – 25% Speed – 1 in a series [Video]

January 30th, 2018 Comments off

Hummingbirds at the feeder – 25% Speed – 1 in a series

We have had regular visitors at our window-mounted feeder so I took the time to capture a few.

This video is slowed to 25% normal speed to allow you to see the hummingbirds and the behavior more clearly.

Hummingbirds at the feeder - 25% Speed - 1 in a series [Video]

Hummingbirds are birds from the Americas that constitute the family Trochilidae. They are among the smallest of birds, most species measuring 7.5–13 cm (3–5 in) in length. Indeed, the smallest extant bird species is a hummingbird, the 5 cm (2.0 in) bee hummingbird weighing less than 2.0 g (0.07 oz).

They are known as hummingbirds because of the humming sound created by their beating wings which flap at high frequencies audible to humans. They hover in mid-air at rapid wing-flapping rates, which vary from around 12 beats per second in the largest species, to in excess of 80 in some of the smallest. Of those species that have been measured in wind tunnels, their top speed exceeds 15 m/s (54 km/h; 34 mph) and some species can dive at speeds in excess of 22 m/s (79 km/h; 49 mph).[1][2]

Hummingbirds have the highest metabolism of any homeothermic animal.[3] To conserve energy when food is scarce, and nightly when not foraging, they can go into torpor, a state similar to hibernation, slowing metabolic rate to 1/15th of its normal rate.[4] — Wikipedia

More information on Hummingbirds:

 Learn more about Hummingbirds

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 

 

5 Lessons I Learned by Doing Still Life Photography via Digital Photography School

January 16th, 2018 Comments off

5 Lessons I Learned by Doing Still Life Photography via Digital Photography School

5 Lessons I Learned by Doing Still Life Photography via Digital Photography School

Still life is a particular style of photography that slowly lured me into its clutches. The gateway drug was, of course, food photography, and before I knew it, my weekends were spent combing secondhand shops for props and buying up linen in all different shades.

he popularity of Instagram has given rise to images of every different kind of food, drink, dessert, cake, and cocktail. You name it, someone is shooting it, adding a filter and posting online before they even taste it. Except for the one thing it really shows, is how hard it is to compose and take a good still life image, especially with a cell phone. There are a lot of really awful shots out there. Someone even made a hilarious video about the effort needed to get a good shot.

Of all of the techniques I have learned in my photography journey, none has taught me as much as doing still life work.

Read this entire article – 5 Lessons I Learned by Doing Still Life Photography via Digital Photography School





An interesting link found among my daily reading

Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii): Back Again – 1 in a series from My Word

January 1st, 2018 Comments off

TV Worth Watching: Linotype: Revolutionizing Printing and Society – A Documentary

December 28th, 2017 Comments off

TV Worth Watching: Linotype: Revolutionizing Printing and Society – A Documentary

TV Worth Watching: Linotype: Revolutionizing Printing and Society - A Documentary

Watch on Kanopy

Linotype: The Film Trailer

An amazingly interesting piece of history. Linotype machines changed every part of the modern publishing world, but they were eventually supplanted by photographic and computerized typesetting methods. There is something visceral about the physical nature of these machines — turning keyboard input into hot metal type with real molten lead.

Yes, this is perhaps a bit geeky for the average viewer, but I love stories about technology and history and Linotype is certainly one of the most important pieces of technology ever to appear.

I watched Linotype using the free Kanopy service via my local library. You may be able to do that, too. Their website and apps are well produced and function well, including Chromecast and Airplay support for viewing on your TV.

Check out Kanopy here

Learn more about Linotype

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

 

17 Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 23rd, 2017 Comments off

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17 Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

I first read Bird by Bird a long time ago and often recommend it to people who have a desire to write. After talking with a friend about the book recently, I thought it time to revisit and re-read the book and see what new things I might take away from it.

Unlike Big Magic, which I wrote about a few weeks ago, Bird by Bird is more of a traditional book on writing — offering direct advice, exercises and support to help you write and write better. That said, Lamott has a great way of interjecting the realities of being a writer along with a strong dose of humor to help you cope with the ups, downs, sideways and convolutions of writing a being a writer.

“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'”

On the concrete side of the writing equation, Lamott details her advice on writing using “Short Assignments” — committing to only a few hundred words detailing a particular character or scene. Just enough to get your writing — something — which can often be the most difficult part of any project.

Next is allowing yourself to write, in her words, “Shitty First Drafts. This is Lamott’s way of saying that sometimes you just have to write. We can all get tied up in trying to make every word we write perfect — the first time. Almost anyone who has ever written will tell you that this is a sure road to madness, writer’s block and worse.

An entire essay on Perfectionism follows to give some reasons and some tools to combat it and continue writing, no matter how bad you might think your project is right now.

Lamott then follows with chapters on other important aspects of writing including Set Design, Plot, Dialogue and more.

Part II of Bird by Bird, The Writing Frame of Mind is a series of in-depth essays on “Looking Around” or how better to see the world around you and use it in your writing, “The Moral Point of View” which explains how it is very difficult to complete any writing project that you don’t care passionately about — at least in some small way. You have to have the thread that drives you through your project. Something important you want to say. There is also an important section on “Jealousy” that I think is required reading for any writer. Jealousy is something we must all learn to deal with if we want to have a happy life and a successful (or at least, fun) writing career. Otherwise the “green-eyed dragon” will gobble you up with a moment’s thought.

In Part III, an essay on “Calling Around” explains how important it is for a writer to find sources for their writing — those people who can call on with specific information about world’s you may not move in, but still want to use as a setting in your writing. Lamott also details why it is so very important to find a trusted friend to read your early drafts and how you may go about finding them. Writing groups might be one solution and Lamott shares her thoughts on how important a good (and functional) group like this might be for you.

Part IV deals with the nasty bits of being a “professional”, “published” writer. It isn’t an easy life and there are a few things you need to know before you head down that road. It can be unforgiving. It can be crushing to your ego. It can also be exhilarating and dramatic and a host of other feelings.

I read Bird by Bird essay by essay in most cases. Taking time to think and digest the lesson in each section before moving on. You might also turn to (or return to) individual sections were you need a bit more support and a bit more thinking to use the lessons in your own writing.

After this re-read of Bird by Bird, I still think this is one of the foremost books for writers of all levels, but especially for those just beginning their writing journey. There is a lot of great advice, guidance, and truth in this book that can benefit everyone.

 

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs

Categories: Books, Creativity, Education, Gift Guide, Writing Tags:

16 CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 Complete Starter Kit | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 21st, 2017 Comments off

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16 CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 Complete Starter Kit | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

For the technology lovers in your life — whether young or old — give them the power of exploring programming and computers in many forms. This kit gives you everything you need to get started with your Raspberry Pi today! Want to create your own interactive Internet of Things devices? Add-on the SunFounder 37 Modules Sensor Kit V2.0 to give you temperature/humidity sensors, LEDs, components and detectors of all types.

Raspi kit

  • Includes Made in UK Raspberry Pi 3 (RPi3) Model B Quad-Core 1.2 GHz 1 GB RAM
  • On-board WiFi and Bluetooth Connectivity
  • 32 GB Micro SD Card (Class 10) – Raspberry Pi Recommended Micro SD Card pre-loaded with NOOBS, USB MicroSD Card Reader
  • CanaKit 2.5A USB Power Supply with Micro USB Cable and Noise Filter – Specially designed for the Raspberry Pi 3 (UL Listed)
  • High Quality Raspberry Pi 3 Case, Premium Quality HDMI Cable, 2 x Heat Sinks, GPIO Quick Reference Card, CanaKit Full Color Quick-Start Guide

Add on these products to give you even more options

 
SunFounder 37 Modules Sensor Kit V2.0 Raspberry Pi Projects for the Evil Genius

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs

12 Show Your Work by Auston Leon | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 17th, 2017 Comments off

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12 Show Your Work by Auston Leon

 Do It 2017! #: Show Your Work by Austin Kleon: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered [Book]

My reading copy of this book came from the Los Angeles Public Library in eBook format

Reading Show Your Work was like listening to my own frequent talks on career topics. Much is exactly the same message I have preached to people for years. That is, the only way to get your work noticed is to share it as widely as possible. Music must be heard. Art must be seen. Writing must be read. Otherwise, it is a wasted effort. Share, Share, Share One message I share deeply with the author is the utmost importance of sharing your work via blogs and social media. As the author puts it, “It sounds a little extreme, but in this day and age, if your work isn’t online, it doesn’t exist.” If your work can’t be discovered, stumbled upon, ran into, seen in passing, found in a Google Search, etc, you are severely limiting the exposure and discovery of your work. I don’t frequently use the word “MUST”, but I will on this occasion. You MUST make your creativity discoverable, through social media or other methods, or it simply doesn’t exist. Of course, you can ignore this if you are only creating for yourself, but most who create want their work to be seen, to be cherished, to be sold, to be understood, to be an important impact on the world. Don’t let your work languish. As the Bible says, “Don’t hide your light under a bushel.”

While your at it, check out Kleon’s other book, Steal Like An Artist (see my previous blog post on this book). I think you’ll find it enjoyable and greatly useful, too. What do you have to share? What should you be showing off to your friends, family and the world? 

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 

10 Do the Work by Steven Pressfield | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 15th, 2017 Comments off

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10 Do the Work by Steven Pressfield

I have read — and re-read — and would highly recommend you do the same. In fact, I am thinking that I will make it (and Pressfield’s earlier book, The War of Art) required reading before I will work with any client. Both books have helped me tremendously in my life and work. We all have to start somewhere on our creative adventures and Pressfield’s books are like an experienced guide that can help to lead us through the creative forest. Revisiting them on a regular basis reenergizes me to face the fight that all creatives feel.

Of course, creativity isn’t just the domain of some specialized class of people. We are all creative in unique ways and we all experience the haunting voice of resistance, as Pressfield names the monster that frightens all of us away from big, transformative changes in our lives. Pressfield reminds us of the nature of this beast and gives us the tools we need to defeat it — again and again.

In my work, I meet so many people who don’t realize their own potential. They drastically underestimate their power to change their lives and change the world. They face the resistance dragon and allow it to eat them nearly every time instead of emerging, triumphant, like St. George. It is often my goal to give them the tools — the horse, the lance, the sword — to help them slay the dragon of resistance just as I have to fight against it everyday. Sometimes I can bring them along with me — at other times, not, but I will never stop trying.

So, to repeat my unasked for advice — get these books, read them and then start on your own creative adventure. You can overcome resistance and create something new, something unique and something great!

The War of Art is also available from Amazon and your local public library. Add it to your creative toolbox today!

 

Do the workWar of art

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

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