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Shawn McClure
55,742 followers -
Photographer, Engineer, Mayhem Maker, Space Lord
Photographer, Engineer, Mayhem Maker, Space Lord

55,742 followers
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Where You Will Find It -- Fort Collins, Colorado
“Hidden in the glorious wildness like unmined gold.”
-- John Muir

Aspen trees along Dixon Reservoir above Fort Collins in the last glow of the sun as it sets behind the Rocky Mountains a few years ago...
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Oh Hi There -- Fort Collins, Colorado
I found this beautiful young mule deer doe grazing on the hillside outside my office one early morning as the sun was rising, and was able to snap a portrait before she bounded off down the hill. :)

For #WildlifeWednesday curated by +Morkel Erasmus and +Mike Spinak, and #WholeWildlifeWeek curated by +Diego Cattaneo, +Sandy Schepis, +Dick Whitlock, and +Anette Mossbacher...
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When Time Stood Still -- Fort Collins, Colorado
"In a world and a life that moves so fast, photography just makes the sound go out and it makes you stop and take a pause."
-- Drew Barrymore

Photography has the power to stop time in its tracks, at least metaphorically, and capture a moment that had never been experienced before and never will be again in its exact nature and form. Photography's power to archive experience, albeit with often frustrating imperfection, is one of its biggest attractions for me.

For +AllThingsRed / #AllThingsRed curated by +Liz C, 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 #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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When Giants Ruled The Earth -- Arches National Park, Utah
This is a view looking northward along the Park Avenue trail towards The Tower of Babel formation in Arches National Park.

For +NationalParksMonday / #NationalParksMonday curated by +Juan Pons, and #LandscapePhotography +Landscape Photography curated by +Margaret Tompkins +Eric Drumm +Chandler L. Walker +Krzysztof Felczak +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...
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Daddy Longlegs ( Opiliones ) -- Fort Collins, Colorado
I found this large fellow sunning himself on a leaf in my side yard one morning, and he patiently obliged me with some portraits.

These creatures are indeed arachnids, but they’re actually more closely related to scorpions than they are to spiders. They don’t produce silk, have just one pair of eyes, and have a fused body (unlike spiders, which have a narrow “waist” between their front and rear) which kind of reminds me of a tank with a little periscope stand for their eyes. :)

And perhaps you've heard that myth about daddy longlegs being one of the most poisonous creatures in the world, but that their fangs are too weak or tiny to bite you? Not true. They don't even have fangs, and they can't make venom, either. According to one account, this myth might have gotten started during the retelling by an American tabloid of a study in Australia on the venom of a daddy longlegs there; the problem is that in Australia, "daddy longlegs" refers to a completely different species, also known as the cellar spider. Also, in Australia there's yet another species referred to as a "harvestman" that is not the same as this North American harvestman. Silly Australians... ;)

Also, as a species daddy longlegs are very old. We know from a very well preserved fossil of a daddy longlegs from Scotland that they are at least 400 million years old. The fossil looks almost identical to the long-legged species we see today. It is believed that daddy longlegs split off from scorpions, which were becoming terrestrial about 435 million years ago. To put this in perspective, this is about 200 million years before dinosaurs appeared, which were only around for about 165 million years.

For +Spider Sunday / #SpiderSunday curated by +Lerato Majikfaerie and +Kimberly Hosey, and #Macro4All by +Bill Urwin, +Thomas Kirchen, +Walter Soestbergen (+Macro4All ), and #hqspmacro +HQSP Macro curated by +Stefanie Schächtel +Peter Marbaise +Evi Verstraeten +Robert Kubacki +Andi Fritzsch and +Leanne Cole, and #macromaniacs for +MacroManiacs and +Sandra Deichmann, and #macroaddict (+MacroAddict) curated by +William Banik, & +Stephen Thackeray...
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Let The Sun Shine -- Fort Collins, Colorado
“The sun, the bright sun, that brings back, not light alone, but new life, and hope, and freshness to man--burst upon the crowded city in clear and radiant glory. Through costly-colored glass and paper-mended window, through cathedral dome and rotten crevice, it shed its equal ray.”
― Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

As is usual for me at this time of year, I'm pretty much done with winter and ready for the flowers to start blooming and the bees to return. I wouldn't mind winter so much if were just a couple of months shorter around here. :) Here's a honeybee on a cone flower...

For #FloralFriday / +FloralFriday created by +Tamara Pruessner and co-curated by +Beth Akerman, +Kiki Nelson, and +Eustace James, and ++In Praise of Polllinators curated by +Dusty Gedge, 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 #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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Box-Elder Bug ( Boisea trivittata ) -- Fort Collins, Colorado
This brightly-colored little warning sign of a bug was crawling up the outside wall of my house last summer. He regarded me disdainfully but calmly while I snapped some portraits, then trundled along on his merry way, bound for parts (maple trees) unknown.

These highly specialized insects feed almost exclusively on the seeds of Acer (maple) species, including the Box-Elder ( Acer negundo ) from which they derive their common name. They are not known to cause significant damage and are not considered to be agricultural pests. However, their congregation habits and excreta can annoy people; for this reason, they are considered nuisance pests by some. But I think they're spectacular creatures, regardless. :)

For #BuggyFriday, and +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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Promise And Danger -- Fort Collins, Colorado
"The point in history at which we stand is full of promise and danger. The world will either move forward toward unity and widely shared prosperity - or it will move apart."
-- Franklin D. Roosevelt

A closeup of a flower at sunset at the CSU Annual Trial Garden in Fort Collins, Colorado...

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 / #FowerPower 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, and +AllThingsRed / #AllThingsRed curated by +Liz C...
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Newly Hatched Yellow Jacket Wasp ( Vespidae )
This fresh young lady was drying her wings on my deck after hatching from a nest in the eaves. There were about a dozen new hatchlings that emerged during that day, and the nest itself grew to about 40-50 pupae cells over the summer. The wasps never caused a problem and I let them be - their busy comings and goings were fun to watch. :)

From Wikipedia:

"Yellow jackets are social hunters living in colonies containing workers, queens, and males (drones). Colonies are annual with only inseminated queens overwintering. Fertilized queens are found in protected places such as hollow logs, in stumps, under bark, in leaf litter, in soil cavities, and man-made structures. Queens emerge during the warm days of late spring or early summer, select a nest site, and build a small paper nest in which they lay eggs. After eggs hatch from the 30 to 50 brood cells, the queen feeds the young larvae for about 18 to 20 days. Larvae pupate, then emerge later as small, infertile females called workers. Workers in the colony take over caring for the larvae, feeding them with chewed up meat, or fruit. By midsummer, the first adult workers emerge and assume the tasks of nest expansion, foraging for food, care of the queen and larvae, and colony defense."

For #Macro4All by +Bill Urwin, +Thomas Kirchen, +Walter Soestbergen (+Macro4All ), and #hqspmacro +HQSP Macro curated by +Stefanie Schächtel +Peter Marbaise +Evi Verstraeten +Robert Kubacki +Andi Fritzsch and +Leanne Cole, and #macroaddict (+MacroAddict) curated by +William Banik, & +Stephen Thackeray, and #macromaniacs for +MacroManiacs and +Sandra Deichmann, and ++In Praise of Polllinators curated by +Dusty Gedge...
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