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Shawn McClure
56,318 followers -
Photographer, Engineer, Mayhem Maker, Space Lord
Photographer, Engineer, Mayhem Maker, Space Lord

56,318 followers
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Promises, Promises -- Fort Collins, Colorado
"April is a promise that May is bound to keep."
-- Hal Borland

A closeup of a small, wild tulip in my backyard after it had fully opened. I posted another photo of a still-opening wild tulip here: https://goo.gl/rrbb0L

For #FloralFriday / +FloralFriday theme created by +Tamara Pruessner and co-curated by +Beth Akerman, +Kiki Nelson, and +Eustace James, and #hqspflowers for +HQSP Flowers, and +FLOWER POWER / #FlowerPower curated by +Edith Kukla, and +//flower colors// curated by +angelic labru, and #hqspmacro +HQSP Macro curated by +Stefanie Schächtel +Peter Marbaise +Evi Verstraeten +Robert Kubacki +Andi Fritzsch and +Leanne Cole, and #Macro4All by +Bill Urwin, +Thomas Kirchen, +Walter Soestbergen (+Macro4All ), and #macromaniacs for +MacroManiacs and +Sandra Deichmann, and #macroaddict (+MacroAddict) curated by +William Banik, & +Stephen Thackeray...

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Cinnabar Chanterelles ( Cantharellus cinnabarinus ) - Bingham, Illinois
I found this eye-catching little family of chanterelles among the roots of a large oak tree (which you can see in the immediate background) in the deep woods of southern Illinois. There were several patches of these orange beauties scattered around the area and they stood out quite brightly against the moss and leaves.

Cantharellus cinnabarinus is a fungus native to eastern North America. It is a member of the genus Cantharellus along with other chanterelles. It is named after its red color, which is imparted by the carotenoid canthaxanthin. It is edible, fruiting in association with hardwood trees in the summer and fall.

Grows singly or in groups of up to many in moss, leaves, and grass, on paths, and under oaks. This is a very common little mushroom and when it is present, it is often a sign that other chanterelles (C. cibarius, C. lateritius) are around.

This species is mycorrhizal: It exists as a network of cells (mycelium) connected to tree roots, in a symbiotic relationship with the tree. The netlike fibers of the fungus multiply the roots' ability for absorbing water and nutrients. In return, the tree shares nutrients with the fungus. In fact, many trees tend to fare poorly without their fungal partners. When ready to reproduce, the mycelium sends up the “mushroom” above ground — this is the reproductive structure. Spores are produced in mushrooms and are released to begin new mycelia elsewhere. The mycelium of a mushroom can live for decades.

For an early +Fungus Friday / #FungusFriday curated by +Shawn McClure and +Leonie H, and +Shroomshotsaturday #shroomshotsaturday curated by +Sabeena LoBello and +Patricia A, and +AllThingsOrange / #AllThingsOrange curated by +Nina Piccoli, +Lauren Kelly, and +Kenneth Williams...
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Taking Care Of Business -- Bingham, Illinois
"The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life."
-- William Morris

This is a Pink Spotted Ladybug ( Coleomegilla maculata ) feeding on dandelion pollen.

From Wikipedia: "A female beetle may lay between 200 and 1,000 eggs[citation needed] in groups of 8-15 in protected sites on stems and leaves over a three-month period. The larvae actively seek out prey and may travel as far as twelve meters in their search for food. The larvae grow rapidly, molting four times before attaching themselves by the abdomen to a leaf or other surface to pupate. The adult beetles emerge from three to twelve days later depending on the temperature. There are two to five generations per year. This species is most abundant in September when they congregate before mating and winter hibernation. They overwinter in large aggregations in leaf litter, under stones and in other protected sites at the edge of fields and hedgerows. They emerge in spring and look for suitable prey and egg laying sites in nearby crops, often dispersing by walking along the ground.

A study identified the spotted lady beetle as a significant predator of the eggs of the European corn borer, Pyrausta nubilalis, with consumption averaging sixty eggs per day.Another study has shown that the spotted lady beetle reduced populations of eggs and small larvae of the Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata, on potatoes and that the rate of consumption was highly correlated with the air temperature. Manipulative biological control aims to make use of the lady beetles already present in the environment by making conditions as favorable as possible for them and by avoiding spraying chemicals that will interfere with their predation."

For +BugsEveryday / #BugsEveryday curated by +Chris Mallory, and +AllThingsRed / #AllThingsRed curated by +Liz C, and #hqspmacro +HQSP Macro curated by +Stefanie Schächtel +Peter Marbaise +Evi Verstraeten +Robert Kubacki +Andi Fritzsch and +Leanne Cole, and #Macro4All by +Bill Urwin, +Thomas Kirchen, +Walter Soestbergen (+Macro4All ), and #macromaniacs for +MacroManiacs and +Sandra Deichmann, and #macroaddict (+MacroAddict) curated by +William Banik, & +Stephen Thackeray...
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The Eyes Of Imagination -- Fort Collins, Colorado
"The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity. And some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself."
-- William Blake

An upshot into the branches of a large tree near my house in Fort Collins, Colorado, taken in October a few years ago...

For #TreeTuesday ( +Tree Tuesday ) Curated by +Christina Lawrie , +Allan Cabrera , +Ralph Mendoza , +Kim Troutman and +David R Robinson... 
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Polyphemus Moth ( Antheraea polyphemus ) -- Bingham, Illinois
I found this large, gently creature near the front door of the barn on my family's farm in southern Illinois. He had undoubtedly been attracted to the pole light in front of the barn and had gotten a bit worn out while fluttering around. I was able to hold him on my finger for a few moments and take some snapshots before I placed him in a protected place and left him to recover his strength. I checked back in about a half hour and he was gone. :-)

I often find the large, green (and quite plump) green caterpillars of this species around the farm, and probably see more of the caterpillars than the adult moths. Their caterpillars are sometimes mistaken for the tomato hornworm caterpillar.

From the University of Florida:

"The polyphemus moth, Antheraea polyphemus, is one of our largest and most beautiful silk moths. It is named after Polyphemus, the giant cyclops from Greek mythology who had a single large, round, eye in the middle of his forehead. The name is because of the large eyespots in the middle of the hind wings."

For +On the Wings of Butterflies! curated by +Cicely Robin Laing and +Sharon Jeannette, and #Macro4All by +Bill Urwin, +Thomas Kirchen, +Walter Soestbergen (+Macro4All ), and #macromaniacs for +MacroManiacs and +Sandra Deichmann, and #macroaddict (+MacroAddict) curated by +William Banik, & +Stephen Thackeray...
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Sing The Sun In Flight -- Bingham, Illinois
"Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

-- Dylan Thomas, 1914 - 1953

The sunset silhouette of the old mailbox in front of my mom's house on our family farm in southern Illinois... The poem by Dylan Thomas is titled "Do not go gentle into that good night".

For +Sunset Saturday / #SunsetSaturday curated by +Dennis Hoffbuhr, and #LandscapePhotography +Landscape Photography curated by +Margaret Tompkins +Eric Drumm +Chandler L. Walker +Krzysztof Felczak +Jeff Beddow +H Peter Ji +Dorma Wiggin, and #hqsplandscape +HQSP Landscape curated by +Peter Marbaise +Hans-Juergen Werner +Shannan Crow +Albert Vuvu Konde +Patrick Nolan +Guy Verkroost...
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Morel Mushroom ( Morchella ) -- Bingham, Illinois
I found this large beauty amongst the lush growth along the banks of a very shady and secluded stream in the deep woods of southern Illinois. All in all, I found 2-3 pounds of these large yellow "true morels" over the course of a few days, enough to provide me with several tasty breakfasts and dinners. :-)

For +Fungus Friday / #FungusFriday curated by +Shawn McClure and +Leonie H, and #shroomshotsaturday +ShroomshotSaturday curated by +Sabeena LoBello and +Patricia A...
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American Millipede ( Narceus americanus )
I found this fellow all curled up and cozy beneath an oak leaf while I was hunting for morel mushrooms on my family's farm in southern Illinois. As I was snapping photos, he slowly uncurled and circled very slowly a couple of times before burrowing once again into the leaf mold and curling back up, I'm assuming.

From animaldiversity.org:

"Although their common name, "millipede," implies that these animals have one thousand legs, the highest number of legs on record for an individual is 375 pairs; most millipedes have fewer than 50 pairs. North American millipedes have two pairs of legs attached to each body segment (except for a few segments at the anterior and posterior ends that have one pair). Centipedes, a closely related group of animals, can be distinguished from millipedes as they have only one pair of legs per body segment and venomous claws below their mouths. In general, bodies of millipedes are long and cylindrical, with many segments that are covered by a cuticle consisting of three layers. North American millipedes can reach up to 2.5 grams in weight and 10.2 centimeters in length. Individuals are mainly black, though the edges of their body segments show a range of colors including yellow, purple and pink. All millipedes have spiracles on their body segments, which are connected to their tracheal respiratory system and pairs of ozadenes (stink glands) connected to ozopores. These ozopores release a noxious substance, produced by the ozadenes, which contains large amounts of benzoquinones and may cause chemical burns. Unlike many millipedes, North American millipedes do not release hydrogen cyanide when threatened. Sub-species of North American millipede differ in the number and appearance of legs and body segments as well as color. Typically, males of this species have longer legs and antennae than females."

For the #joinindaily theme of "Circular" curated by +Johnny Wills, and #hqspmacro +HQSP Macro curated by +Stefanie Schächtel +Peter Marbaise +Evi Verstraeten +Robert Kubacki +Andi Fritzsch and +Leanne Cole, and #Macro4All by +Bill Urwin, +Thomas Kirchen, +Walter Soestbergen (+Macro4All ), and #macromaniacs for +MacroManiacs and +Sandra Deichmann, and #macroaddict (+MacroAddict) curated by +William Banik, & +Stephen Thackeray...
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Own Your Day -- Bingham, Illinois
“Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.

Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Collected Poems and Translations

The silhouette of a tree on my family's farm in southern Illinois, taken after sunset a couple of days ago...

For #TreeTuesday ( +Tree Tuesday ) Curated by +Christina Lawrie , +Allan Cabrera , +Ralph Mendoza , +Kim Troutman and +David R Robinson, and #TreeSilhouetteWednesday +TreeSilhouette Wednesday curated by +Charles Fromage, +Andrew Sowerby, +Steve Alfano, +sebastian hesse, +David D and +Bhattacharya P., and +Sunset Saturday / #SunsetSaturday curated by +Dennis Hoffbuhr, and #LandscapePhotography +Landscape Photography curated by +Margaret Tompkins +Eric Drumm +Chandler L. Walker +Krzysztof Felczak +Jeff Beddow +H Peter Ji +Dorma Wiggin, and #hqsplandscape +HQSP Landscape curated by +Peter Marbaise +Hans-Juergen Werner +Shannan Crow +Albert Vuvu Konde +Patrick Nolan +Guy Verkroost...
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