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Shawn McClure
Photographer, Engineer, Mayhem Maker, Space Lord
Photographer, Engineer, Mayhem Maker, Space Lord

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You Are The Universe -- Fort Collins, Colorado
"Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kinda cool! That makes me smile and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It’s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us."
-- Neil deGrasse Tyson

The first person to guess what this is wins a million bucks.

For #hqspmacro for +HQSP Macro, 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, and #CircleShapesMonday curated by +Circle Shapes Monday...

P.S. I was kidding about the million bucks. It's more like, umm..., zero.
P.P.S. Sorry.
P.P.P.S. #sorrynotsorry


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A Holy Kind Of High -- Moab, Utah
“Mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion.”
-- Anatoli Boukreev

The rays from the mid-morning sun filter down through a dense grove of towering aspen trees in the LaSal mountains above Moab, Utah...

For #TreeTuesday ( +Tree Tuesday ) curated by +Christina Lawrie , +Allan Cabrera , +Ralph Mendoza , +Kim Troutman and +David R Robinson, and #LandscapePhotography +Landscape Photography curated by +Margaret Tompkins +Eric Drumm +Chandler L. Walker +Krzysztof Felczak +Jeff Beddow +H Peter Ji +Dorma Wiggin, and #hqsplandscape for +HQSP Landscape...

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Like A Magic Well -- Fort Collins, Colorado
“The bee's life is like a magic well: the more you draw from it, the more it fills with water”
― Karl Von Frisch, Bees: Their Vision, Chemical Senses and Language

A honeybee gathers pollen at sunset from deep within a fiery orange flower along Spring Creek in Fort Collins...

For #MacroMonday, and #hqspmacro for +HQSP Macro, 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, and ++In Praise of Polllinators curated by +Dusty Gedge, and +AllThingsOrange / #AllThingsOrange curated by +Nina Piccoli, +Lauren Kelly, and +Kenneth Williams...

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African Serval Cat ( Leptailurus serval )
"The voice of the natural world would be, 'Could you please give us space and leave us alone to get along with our own lives and our own ways, because we actually know much better how to do it than when you start interfering."
-- Jane Goodall

A beautiful African Serval Cat naps peacefully in a shady nook at +The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado...

This unique sanctuary was founded to help deal with the world's "Captive Wildlife Crisis". There are an estimated 30,000+ captive big cats, bears, wolves and other large carnivores living in substandard conditions throughout the U.S. In fact, after illegal drugs and weapons, the exotic animal trade is the third largest source of illicit profits in America - and in the world - today. The sanctuary rescues animals from these captive and often abusive situations and gives them a very large, natural-simulated habitat and world-class veterinary care. Their stated goals are "to prevent and alleviate cruelty to animals which are abandoned or that are subject to deprivation or neglect by providing care and boarding for such animals" and "to rescue and provide life-long homes for large exotic and endangered captive wild animals, and to educate the public about the causes of, and solutions to the World’s captive wildlife crisis".

Some of the serval rescue stories from The Wild Animal Sanctuary's website (

Aslyn: Private Surrender —Given to a couple as a wedding gift, Aslyn went from being a “pet” to a liability when the couple’s first baby was born and the Serval became jealous. Surrendered to The Wild Animal Sanctuary, Aslyn now resides in a large enclosure adjacent to two other Servals. She has a cozy heated condo for winter, and lots of space to jump and lounge around on platforms of varying heights.

Diva: Private Surrender —Diva is a female African Serval that was being kept as a “pet” in a New York apartment. Her teeth have been filed down, and her claws removed, in an attempt to make her less dangerous. Even with these “modifications,” her owners quickly realized that she did not make a good “pet” and sought out TWAS as a home for her.

Jules: Private Surrender —Jules is a male African Serval that was someone’s “pet” in California. But like so many other Servals, he started to become temperamental with his owners, and began marking his territory, profusely. His owner relinquished him to a sanctuary in Arizona but they were unable to keep him, and so TWAS gladly took him in.

Gizzy: Idaho State Court Ordered Surrender- Gizzy was being kept by an exotic animal breeder in the State of Idaho. She, and many other Tigers were kept and moved from county to county by a man that was avoiding new regulations that were being put in place to stop him and other people from breeding and selling exotic animals as pets. Finally, state authorities stepped in and obtained a court order shutting down the operation. Gizzy now lives freely at the Sanctuary, and enjoys the company of other rescued Servals.

Shaka: New York State Wildlife Officials Confiscation - Shaka is a Male African Serval that was being kept in a small cage located in a junk-ridden back yard of a couple living in New York State. The couple had purchased Shaka, along with a Mountain Lion and a Black Bear with the intention of keeping them as pets - but once they all had grown up – they were placed in cramped cages out behind the couple’s house. Shaka, and his fellow back yard “pet” friends were rescued and now live in open habitats with others of their own species.

The moral of the story is: Wild animals are wild, and should remain that way. Please do not keep wild animals as pets or encourage others to do so, either. Thanks.

For +CATURDAY! / #Caturday, curated by +Cicely Robin Laing and +Shantha Marie Fountain, and #hqspanimals for +HQSP Animals...

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Right Before Your Eyes -- Fort Collins, Colorado
"Whatever precautions you take so the photograph will look like this or that, there comes a moment when the photograph surprises you. It is the other's gaze that wins out and decides."
-- Jacques Derrida

A closeup of a bloom on the little Christmas cactus that I keep in my office, taken with some improvised lighting - the office lights turned off and a small flashlight on the flower. :)

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...

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As Long As You Are Something -- Fort Collins, Colorado
"Everything was giant-sized, as if I were looking through binoculars. 'I' was walking up giant stalks. At first I didn't know what they were or what I was, for that matter. The stalks were tall as redwood trees, and suddenly 'I' realized that I was an insect of some kind. This was a grass blade. I thought I was a fly in a gigantic forest -- a giant fly, because everything was so large and super-real, and I'm used to thinking of flies as small. But I was an ordinary fly. I realized, and this was what the world looked like! Oddly enough, this made me feel better, I didn't care what I was; as long as I was something. So I felt myself go up the grass blade. It's impossible to verbalize the sensations I had, but I remember being aware of the weight of my wings. They seemed very sturdy and reassuring."
-- Jane Roberts, Psychic Politics

A tiny fly perches on a flower stem in my backyard...

For #hqspmacro for +HQSP Macro, 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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Just A Passing Moment -- LaSal Mountains, Utah
"That was what made life: a moment of quiet, water falling in a fountain, a girl's voice. . . a moment of captured beauty. Those who are truly wise will never permit such moments to escape."
-- Louis L'Amour

A field in a high meadow in the LaSal mountains above Moab, Utah, taken in October a couple of years ago... The light wasn't great for photos, but the aspens were spectacular and at the peak of their brilliance.

For #LandscapePhotography +Landscape Photography curated by +Margaret Tompkins +Eric Drumm +Chandler L. Walker +Krzysztof Felczak +Jeff Beddow +H Peter Ji +Dorma Wiggin, and #hqsplandscape for +HQSP Landscape...

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Though The Fire May Burn -- Fort Collins, Colorado
"We must pass like smoke or live within the spirit’s fire;
For we can no more than smoke unto the flame return
If our thought has changed to dream, our will unto desire,
As smoke we vanish though the fire may burn."
-- Lisel Mueller, from her poem Immortality

A fiery red plant catches the late afternoon brilliance of the setting sun...

For +AllThingsRed / #AllThingsRed curated by +Liz C...

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Juvenile Wolf Spider -- Fort Collins, Colorado
I found this sleek lady hanging out on a tarp I had draped over some building materials in my side yard. She was pretty low key while I was snapping a few photos, then scurried off when I got my macro lens a little too close for her comfort.

For +Spider Sunday / #SpiderSunday curated by +Lerato Majikfaerie and +Kimberly Hosey, and #hqspmacro for +HQSP Macro, 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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