Cover photo
Verified name
Shawn McClure
Works at Taking Photos and Making Software
Lives in Fort Collins, CO
55,621 followers|145,591,020 views


Shawn McClure

Shared publicly  - 
Just Starting To Wonder -- Fort Collins, Colorado
"'My dear young fellow,' the Old-Green-Grasshopper said gently, 'there are a whole lot of things in this world of ours you haven't started wondering about yet.'"
-- Roald Dahl

A tiny grasshopper nymph perches in the middle of a squash leaf in my garden last summer...

For #GrasshopperTuesday, and +All Things Green / #AllThingsGreen curated by +Cicely Robin Laing, 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, and +BugsEveryday / #BugsEveryday curated by +Chris Mallory...

Cris Mares's profile photoDayna Beebe's profile photoI am not Alice's profile photoBrian Mugera's profile photo
Add a comment...

Shawn McClure

Shared publicly  - 
Thug Life -- Rawah Wilderness, Colorado
A young male brown bear reclines in the weeds along a creek in northern Colorado. He had been rolling around in the weeds enjoying a brief gleam of sunshine on an otherwise gray and cloudy day before he took this little break and just reclined and stared off at seemingly nothing for a few moments. He had already seen and stared at me briefly, but had decided that I wasn't worth the attention. All in all, he was just thoroughly enjoying the cushy pliability of the weeds and the warmth of the sun. Soon, he walked into the creek and rolled about in the water for quite a while, too. :)

For #ThugLifeThursday , and #FurryFriday , and #hqspanimals +HQSP Animals curated by +Andy Smith +Nicol Eh +Shannon Adelson, and #WholeWildlifeWeek  curated by +Diego Cattaneo, +Dick Whitlock, +Sandy Schepis, and +Anette Mossbacher, and #WildlifeWednesday curated by +Morkel Erasmus and +Mike Spinak, and #COPhotoWedneday curated by +Howard Weitzel, +Stan Showalter, and +The Photo Gorilla...
Joan Munford's profile photo
Oh what an awesome catch and shot Shawn...
Add a comment...

Shawn McClure

Shared publicly  - 
All Ears -- Fort Collins, Colorado
“Vow to be valiant;
Resolve to be radiant;
Determine to be dynamic;
Strive to be sincere;
Aspire to be attuned.”
-- William Arthur Ward

A gentle mule deer doe grazes on new spring grass along a hillside in northern Colorado... With those big ears, she could hear the click of my shutter, even though I was easily 30 yards away. She kept a watchful but relatively unconcerned eye on me while she contentedly munched on her grass and worked her way along the hillside. :)

For #joinindaily hosted by +Johnny Wills, whose theme today is Ears, and #hqspanimals +HQSP Animals curated by +Andy Smith +Nicol Eh +Shannon Adelson, and #COPhotoWedneday curated by +Howard Weitzel, +Stan Showalter, and +The Photo Gorilla...
Gerald Ochieng's profile photoJoseph Otiato's profile photoHatibu Nasri's profile photooscar madison's profile photo
Add a comment...

Shawn McClure

Shared publicly  - 
Western Fence Lizard ( Sceloporus occidentalis ) -- Arches NP, Utah
A curious but very wary lizard pauses for just a moment to give me a critical once-over before he scurried away. These little guys are often difficult to photograph up close because they're so skittish and fast. You have to snap whenever you get even a second's chance. :) I took this while hiking around the Sand Dune Arch area in Arches National Park in southeastern Utah.

For #ReptileMonday +Reptile Monday curated by +Nicole Best, and #hqspanimals +HQSP Animals curated by +Andy Smith +Nicol Eh +Shannon Adelson, and +NationalParksMonday / #NationalParksMonday  curated by +Juan Pons...
jackline munyaka wanjiru's profile photoTerence Makuvise's profile photoArianna Francis's profile photoUsman Usman.G's profile photo
Add a comment...

Shawn McClure

Shared publicly  - 
How Short The Stay -- Fort Collins, Colorado
“How frail the bloom, how short the stay
That terminates us all!
Today we flourish green and gay,
Like leaves tomorrow fall.”
― John Clare

A lone Mexican Hat flower ( Ratibida columnifera ) on a sunny hillside in northern Colorado last summer...

For #FloralFriday / +FloralFriday created by +Tamara Pruessner and co-curated by +Beth Akerman, +Kiki Nelson, and +Eustace James, and #hqspflowers +HQSP Flowers curated by +Wayne Lu +Iva Pas Photography +Francine Vanlé and +Patrick Nolan, and +FLOWER POWER / #FlowerPower curated by +Edith Kukla, and +//flower colors// curated by +angelic labru, and +ColorsOnFriday / #ColorsOnFriday  curated by +Karsten Meyer...
Anatoliy Urbanskiy's profile photoSherawan Hamawand's profile photoI am not Alice's profile photoColorsOnFriday's profile photo
Wonderful ! :)
Add a comment...

Shawn McClure

Shared publicly  - 
A Stance Above -- Fort Collins, Colorado
"Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes."
-- Walt Whitman

An Asian Lady ladybug perches on the tip of a plant in the Colorado afternoon...

For +BugsEveryday / #BugsEveryday  curated by +Chris Mallory, 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...
Dayna Beebe's profile photoAbdul Aris's profile photoZoe Wallace's profile photo
I love ❤️😘 your nature pics 🌆🏜🌠 
Add a comment...

Shawn McClure

Shared publicly  - 
Osprey ( Pandion haliaetus ) -- Fort Collins, Colorado
A large adult osprey perches on the topmost branch of a dead tree along the shore of Fossil Creek Reservoir near Fort Collins. He's trying to cool off by holding his mouth open. Because Osprey (and birds in general) lack sweat glands, they do not sweat to cool off like we do. An osprey will open its mouth and breath faster, which increases airflow and causes more moisture to evaporate from the mouth, tongue, and throat, which in turn has a cooling effect on the body.

For +Birds Of Prey Sunday and #Birds4All by +Ricky L Jones & +Walter Soestbergen (+Birds4All), and #hqspbirds +HQSP Birds curated by +Andy Brown +Dilip Mundkur and +Ian Calland, and +Bird & Wildlife Photography curated by +David Hemmings, and +BIRD Lovers & WILDLIFE curated by +Walter Soestbergen...
Diddi Anith Kumar's profile photoNarayanan Iyer's profile photoDayna Beebe's profile photoWoodrow Wilson's profile photo
Really beautiful 
Add a comment...

Shawn McClure

Shared publicly  - 
A River Runs Through It -- Cleveland, Ohio
"I have always been caught by the pull of the unremarkable, by the easily missed, infinitely nourishing beauty of the mundane."
-- Tana French

A miniature river of leaves runs through a shallow canyon of concrete in Cleveland, Ohio...

For #joinindaily hosted by +Johnny Wills, whose theme today is In The Middle, and #leavesonthursday +Leaves On Thursday curated by +Mehdia Ridder...
sophie DIDIER's profile photoShelly Gunderson's profile photoJohnny Wills's profile photoJohn Dusseault's profile photo
great find
Add a comment...

Shawn McClure

Shared publicly  - 
A Place Beyond The Flow Of Time -- Fort Collins, Colorado
“When I was fifteen, all I wanted was to go off to some other world, a place beyond anybody’s reach. A place beyond the flow of time. But there’s no place like that in this world. Exactly. Which is why I’m living here, in this world where things are continually damaged, where the heart is fickle, where time flows past without a break.”
― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

Some tall, colorful grass waving in the afternoon breeze along the border of a field in northern Colorado...

For #GrassTuesday +Grass Tuesday: Curators +Margaret Tompkins, and #COPhotoWedneday curated by +Howard Weitzel, +Stan Showalter, and +The Photo Gorilla...
Harvest Moon's profile photoMarkita Schriner's profile photoIvan Arceo's profile photoNanjuki Stephanie's profile photo
reminds me of fresh breeze....its so rare these days
Add a comment...

Shawn McClure

Shared publicly  - 
Every Place Under The Stars -- Fort Collins, Colorado
“Do not despise your own place and hour. Every place is under the stars, every place is the center of the world.”
― John Burroughs, Studies in Nature and Literature

A very patient little crab spider perches atop the seed head of a stalk of grass and waits to welcome any passing prey with open arms legs... ;)

For +Spider Sunday / #SpiderSunday  curated by +Lerato Majikfaerie and +Kimberly Hosey, 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...
Shawn McClure's profile photoJery Sm's profile photoFriday Agbon's profile photoDarlene Jollymore's profile photo
Very cool
Add a comment...

Shawn McClure

Shared publicly  - 
You Can't Wait Forever -- Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
"If you wait for the perfect moment when all is safe and assured, it may never arrive. Mountains will not be climbed, races won, or lasting happiness achieved."
-- Maurice Chevalier

A view of the Continental Divide in Rocky Mountain National Park from Marmot Ridge, taken last summer...

For #COPhotoWedneday curated by +Howard Weitzel, +Stan Showalter, and +The Photo Gorilla, and +Mountain Photos / #MountainPhotos  curated by +Baki Karaçay, and #LandscapePhotography +Landscape Photography curated by +Margaret Tompkins +Eric Drumm +Chandler L. Walker +Krzysztof Felczak +AJ Lim +Jeff Beddow +H Peter Ji +Jani Westman +Dorma Wiggin, and #hqsplandscape +HQSP Landscape curated by +Peter Marbaise +Hans-Juergen Werner +Shannan Crow +Albert Vuvu Konde +Patrick Nolan +Guy Verkroost, and +NationalParksMonday / #NationalParksMonday  curated by +Juan Pons...
Lopamudra Sur_Debsarma's profile photoPramila Yerunkar's profile photoChetan Done's profile photoWalter Nyukuri's profile photo
Beautiful Nature.

Add a comment...
Shawn's Collections
Photographer, Engineer, Mayhem Maker, Space Lord

Executive Summary

  • I take photographs of anything that catches my interest.
  • I design and develop enterprise-level websites, databases, services, and software for a variety of applications and Federal agencies.
  • I write poetry, essays, philosophy, fiction, and flim-flam.
  • I have adventures whenever possible (not enough).
  • I am looking for the secret to the universe.
  • I have an inexplicable and irrepressible sense of humor.
  • I'm fairly incorrigible, no matter the subject. ;-)
Other Highlights
  • I’ve eaten a Snickers bar at 19,000ft in the Himalayas
  • I’ve been attacked by a monkey
  • I’ve had a cop pull a gun on me
  • I’ve been offered a hooker (several) in Bangkok
  • I’ve climbed the Golden Gate Bridge
  • I can type 100+ words per minute
  • I have benign paroxysmal positional vertigo
  • I climbed Mt. Saint Helens one month before it erupted
  • I’ve broken all my fingers
  • I have the smallest ears in my family
  • I’ve been 3 feet away from flowing lava
  • I’m writing a paper on applying cellular automata to particle physics
  • I’ve been at the bottom of a crevasse on Mt. Rainier
  • I can play my hands like a musical instrument
  • INTP  is my Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
  • My software was used in the Rodney King trial
  • I’ve spent three days in a cave
  • I’ve gotten hopelessly lost in Katmandu
  • I have a friend whose initials are P.I.G.
  • I am fascinated by ants, bats, spiders, and fungus
  • I have received money from the DOD, the DOE, the DOI, the EPA, the USDA, the NPS, the BLM, the Forest Service, the FBI, NASA, and the NSA
  • I’ve hiked the wettest spot on Earth
  • I’ve played basketball with Chauncey Billups and stolen the ball from him twice
  • I’ve fallen down a thirty foot high pile of bat guano
  • I have probably written more code than Bill Gates, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, and Mark Zuckerberg put together.


The photos I've posted so far were all taken with either my Canon 5D Mark II, my Canon 70D, my Sony RX100 Mark IV, my Canon Powershot SX60 HS, my Canon Powershot SX50 HS, my Canon Powershot SX40 HS, or my Canon PowerShot A2100 IS. I'm a relatively new photographer, but I'm becoming more and more obsessed with it as time goes by, especially after joining G+ and seeing all the incredible photography posted here. I'm especially fond of natural subjects, such as wildlife, insects, landscapes, and the like, and I'm becoming captivated by macro photography in particular. I also find myself taking abstract, minimalist, and comedic (to myself, at least) photos fairly frequently.


I work with computers for a living and computing is my first love, technology-wise. I think my overall theory of computing was stated best by Albert Einstein:

"Computers are incredibly fast, accurate, and stupid; humans are incredibly slow, inaccurate, and brilliant; together they are powerful beyond imagination."

Other Interests

I also study particle physics, neuroscience, online trading, philosophy, and cellular automata. When I'm not programming or studying I'm usually found rummaging, relaxing, pottering about, taking pictures, writing, or perfecting my flim-flam. I also enjoy weightlifting, adventuring, playing video games, and pondering the mysteries of the universe.

  --------------------------------- « § » ---------------------------------

And now for the details...

(If you're still not ready for the mundane details quite yet, skip ahead to the Extended Version a little further down and bring your grain of salt...)

  --------------------------------- « § » ---------------------------------


I specialize in developing enterprise-level software systems to manage earth observation data and metadata for environmental planning and scientific research. I have degrees in both computer science and mathematics and have been developing computer software since I bought my first Commodore 64 in 1982.

Currently, I develop and maintain an integrated framework of web and database applications to import, verify, and manage large volumes of air quality data from ground-based monitoring networks, chemical transport models, emissions inventories, and NASA satellites. I have helped to develop an extensive suite of online software tools for visualizing, analyzing, and disseminating a wide variety of science data on the web, and I work closely with leading scientists and researchers to develop standards and best practices for managing earth observation data on the web.

I'm the lead architect and developer of these websites:

  --------------------------------- « § » ---------------------------------

Circle Suggestions

1. For Sure: Add me to any of these circles

  • Photography
    • Macro Photography
    • Wildlife Photography
    • Landscape Photography
  • Software Development
    • Computer Programming
    • Software Engineering
    • Database Management
    • Web Services
  • Writing
    • Poetry
    • Philosophy
    • Fiction
2. If you have these circles: Add me.
  • Science
    • Cognitive Science
    • Neuroscience
    • Physics
    • Mathematics
    • Air Quality
    • Environmental Science
  • Adventuring
    • Mountaineering
    • Climbing
    • Caving
    • Spelunking

(Incidentally, I organized this circle information using the overall guidelines suggested here: About Me Circles)

  --------------------------------- « § » ---------------------------------

Extended Version (for people bored with typical profile blabbering in general):

I am an elusively charismatic and extroverted misanthrope, green-eyed and notoriously left-brained. I can often be found climbing tall towers and conferring thoughtfully with world leaders in the shadowy corners of Irish pubs near closing time. I run at night, visiting old graveyards and scaring drunken revelers until dawn. I periodically move sideways in time and backwards in space, confusing my friends and causing a strong sense of deja vu in strangers. I’m a counter of stars, a thrower of dice, and a loser at cards. On the third Tuesday of each month at 3:25am precisely, I can out-drive Tiger Woods and beat Michael Jordan in one-on-one. Car horns sound distinctly different in my vicinity and moss refuses to grow when I’m around. Dogs bark only once at me.

I’m a flawed and jaded perfectionist, a happy-go-lucky cynic, and a professional heckler. I’ve been the subject of critically acclaimed but unpublished essays and have been the cancelled guest on several talk shows. I’ve made beer runs to South Pacific islands and have stolen from archaeological digs in the Andes. I’m a climber of trees, a turner-over of rocks, and a brilliant student of crawlspaces. I explore unnamed caverns at night while composing sonnets in my head, and I collect colorful beans and animal skulls and call them treasure. My totem animals are the fox, the crow, and the praying mantis. I’ve been known to have crushes on Scottish lasses and dance with wood nymphs in Carpathian forests. I tease gargoyles mercilessly and try not to step on any dandelions or ants. Butterflies scream excitedly at my approach.

I banter, I tease, I incite riots among the wild things on distant beaches under the moon, and I speak the language of bats. I can watch small insects for hours and walk on rooftops without fear or embarrassment. Using only a string, a needle, and my right forefinger, I once demonstrated the unification of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics to my curious dogs. I’m on the payroll of several secret government agencies and was a frequent consultant for the X-Files. Gillian Andersen once asked me for my phone number. I’ve never seen an alien, but I have reason to believe that one once taunted me from a barn loft in Illinois. I collect Grecian urns and captain a small pirate ship off the coast of Costa Rica. I write compellingly cryptic poetry in autumn and teach the fine art of marrow sucking to disillusioned stockbrokers. I can also levitate tinsel. I fell off a bridge in Paris once and wrote my name in code on Jim Morrison’s grave.

I commune with angels and demons and frequently chase starlight across frozen fields in winter. I cavort on hidden beaches and do laundry while naked. I have extra-sensory forgetfulness, photographic hindsight, and 270-degree peripheral vision. Through much trial and error, I discovered that I have uncanny intuition in the early evening and instantaneous knowledge of the future while playing video games. I once fell asleep in an alley in Katmandu and awoke ten days earlier in the catacombs beneath Venice. I peed on an electric fence in childhood and now expect to live at least 500 years and father rogue poets and genius blonde bombshells. I read some time ago that the answer to the universe is forty-two, but I've got a sneaking suspicion that it's changed since then.

  --------------------------------- « § » ---------------------------------

Still not bored? Wow. Seriously, I'm done entertaining you for now. Go the hell away. ;-)

  --------------------------------- « § » ---------------------------------

Bragging rights
I'm my own entertainment.
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Fort Collins, CO
Richland, WA - Los Alamos, NM - MacDoel, CA - Bolivar, MO - Ramsey, IL
Software engineer, database expert, amateur photographer, occasional poet, inconsistent adventurer, armchair philosopher
My *skillz* are both many and too few, varied, and sometimes valued. Anything I can't figure out I can fake convincingly. I am doggedly persistent, insatiably curious, and eminently resourceful. You would want to hire me.
  • Taking Photos and Making Software
    Photographer & Software Developer, present
  • Colorado State University
    Software Engineer, 2002 - 2015
  • Crocker Nuclear Laboratory, University of California, Davis
    Software Engineer, 2005 - 2006
  • PLM Technologies, Inc.
    Software Engineer, 1997 - 2002
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Software Engineer, 1993 - 1997
  • Boeing Computer Services, Hanford Nuclear Reservation
    Software Engineer, 1991 - 1993
  • Center for Non-Linear Studies (CNLS), Los Alamos National Laboratory
    Software Engineer, 1990 - 1991
Basic Information