Saturday, September 2, 2017

Pumpjack (Oil Rig) In The Sunset

North Central Texas only has a smaller oil basin compared with the Permian in West Texas or the Eagle-Ford in South Tecas, so Pump Jacks are rather a rare sight. This one is located above the Bend Arch - Fort Worth Basin oil reserve between Alexander and Stephenville, Texas. I thought that the silhouette with the setting sun would make a great shot.

Not only refers it "romantically" to the old days of using fossil fuels, but it may also signify the end of doing exactly that. As the barrel prices are currently quite low, the pump jack stands mostly idle waiting for better times, where the parent company may make more profit. Also as the cost of a pump jack is "only" around a million dollar, many prospectors are coming back to this old method of gaining oil and gas resources out of the ground instead of using fracking.

Let me know what you think about the picture and our future concerning fossil fuels.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Sunflower Glowing In The Sunset

This is the only sunflower that started to grow from one of these strips that are supposed to produce a whole 10 feet of sunflowers in a row. Well, one is better than none and the other day my wife told me to take a picture of the flower in the evening, as the flower will be completely formed.

I waited right before the sun would set behind the cedar bushes, a couple of first shots, I did not use my flash and obviously got pictures with a relative dark silhouette of the sunflower. So to get more details from the flower I started using the flash, slightly diverted from the white brim of my cowboy hat, to not make the extra light not too harsh on the flower.

In post-processing, I had to enhance some of the darks and whites, basically playing with the contrast, till I had the picture I wanted. I also had to increase some of the blue tones in the sky a bit, to get a bit more life into the sky as well.

I then proceeded to make a BW version of the picture, with different contrast settings to make the monochrome tones work. Thanks to the solar flares, I think that picture works as well.

What do you think? Leave me a comment!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Buckeye Butterfly Perched On Unknown Yellow Flower

I do love Buckeye butterflies (Junonia coenia), their big eyes or eyespots on the fore- and hindwings. With the pigmented spots they are actually able to scare off predators. It is believed that the spots developed through evolution to give them a functioning defense mechanism. A Swedish study claims that the spots not only keep birds away but that also chickens are intimidated by the frightening eyes.

We have one or two roaming around our "ranch" so I will share more of these beauties as I shoot them. Last October I posted a picture of one sitting on top of a false thistle in my blog "Buckeye Riding On Top of Leavenworth's Eryngo" and even mentioned that the US Postal Service had a stamp honoring the Buckeyes.

Handrail - Light & Shadow

There is beauty in the urban jungle.
Open your eyes, wander and wonder.

This entry to an office complex was next door to where I was living, so strolling by I was immediately taken by the play of Light & Shadow. Even when I shot it, it was clear to me that this will be a Black & White picture.

I also like the dichotomy between the concrete and metal on one side and the tree in the background. Urban minimalism.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Monochrome Texas Windmill

Stell Dich mitten in den Wind,
glaub an ihn und sei ein Kind -
laß den Sturm in Dich hinein
und versuche, gut zu sein!

Put yourself in the middle of the wind
believe in it and behave like a kid
let the storm embrace you
and try to be good!

German lyrics Wolfgang Borchert / translation by me

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Widow Skimmer Waiting For Prey

Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa) belongs to the group of dragonflies known as king skimmers. The nymphs live in the water, molting and growing until they are ready to emerge from the water and then molting a final time to reveal their wings. Even though we don't have standing water on our property, the little marsh obviously was wet enough to give us a Widow Skimmer.

This is still a male youngster - adults have a steely blue body area, but juveniles are yellow with brown stripes.
I hope to see many more, as they normally prey on mosquitoes.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Young Pine Cone

There are at least three dozen different pines all over the United States. Not exactly sure what I found here on the side of an urban road, but the growth of young pine cone fascinated me. Also with the import of foreign species for landscaping purposes I'm not even sure if it would be a domestic US pine or if the "shrubbery" is actually from Asia or from Mexico. As far as I can tell the bundle of needles is two hold together by the sheath.
Not being a biologist I also have no clue, if these are female or male parts. Maybe somebody of the readers could share some insight.