On a comment, in passing, I happened to mention I might be prone to write about those three things tonight — the silly search for ‘purpose’, bees, and rocks — and I thus felt compelled to do so . . . first up:

It’s that time of year when the bees aren’t finding enough flowers out there in the wild, so they take over the feeders. They can do so because of two flaws in the design of those feeders. One, the holes are too large. A hummingbird can feed through a very small hole, but those are large enough for the bees to nearly squeeze through.

So, yesterday I posted a quick observation about the state of comments on this blog (and maybe blogs in general, based on some of the feedback).

I might have come across as rueful of the situation, hence let me clarify a few things because I fear unintended consequences from that post . . .

Namely, I fear an increase in comments due to people (consciously or unconsciously) thinking I was pressuring them (consciously or unconsciously) to comment more often.

Well, let me set the record straight . . .

In yesterday’s post, I linked THIS<<link post and my sister AnnMarie mentioned how nice it was to see multiple comments. I went back and counted . . . there were 16 unique individuals leaving comments.

It’s something I’ve also noted as I occasionally go back and read old posts. Namely, there used to be more people leaving comments as late as four years ago than this year. To be clear, the slowdown started sometime in the last three years and it has now reached a point where I can expect comments from a maximum of two, maybe three people leaving a comment, and it’s the same two or three people.

Most of the readers who at one time I considered “regulars” are no more. I don’t mean they’ve died (although — sadly — a few have, and they are deeply missed). I mean they no longer seem active in the blogging community. Some have blogs that have gone dormant without explanation, and some indicated their focus and interests have shifted.

Yup, still busy . . . these days are just flying by and before I know it, it’s late at night. So, more samples of photos that will appear in future posts (with others, of course). Yesterday morning, a few Northern Mocking birds frolicked in my backyard . . .

They gave me lots of opportunities to get decent photos both with the D7500 (above) and the P900 (below).

Yup, still busy . . . but, I want to give a glimpse of a few things coming up. Meaning, these are photos that will appear in future posts (with others, of course). For instance, bugs . . .

I have a ton of hummingbird videos and photos . . . I’ll need to decide what and how much I want to share, but whatever it will be, it will look something like this . . .

Indigenous is an interesting word. A dictionary definition (there are a few variations) goes as follows:

Produced, growing, living, or occurring natively or naturally in a particular region or environment.

But also:

Relating to the earliest known inhabitants of a place.

For the purpose of this post, I’ll talk about a combination of the two definitions and how they are purposefully mangled by idiots . . . er . . . non-thinking jer . . . er . . . well-meaning people.

And I’ll begin with Hawaiʻi.

Having lived in Hawaiʻi for a few years, I was struck by the sanctimonious attitude of many of the natives. Like most people everywhere, they have a certain image of themselves, are proud of their culture and customs, and walk around with a chip on their shoulder about being ‘invaded’ by who they call ‘haoles’.

They will tell you the term refers to ‘light skin’ or ‘visitor’, but just swap the ‘h’ and ‘a’ around and you get what I think they really mean.

You see, Hawaiʻians, like most people who don’t know history, claim possession to where they live by virtue of having lived there a long time and — like most people — are not happy when outsiders ‘invade’ the place. I’m sure most readers are familiar with various conflicts around the world — and here, too — based on claims about who has the right to live in this or that place.

The thing is, at one time, no one lived on those islands. Then Polynesians came, liked it, and settled there (LINK). Later, Tahitians came, liked it, and settled there. By ‘settled’, I mean conquered the Polynesians (LINK). You know the rest; Europeans came and also settled there, and so on.

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the bottom-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

Don’t know why, but I suddenly thought of Marvin . . .

As stated in the last post, I’m sharing Note 20 Ultra photos. Most, like the above, have been processed with Lightroom CC. Most, unlike the above, are photos of flowers from the garden centers of places like Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Wal-Mart. The above photo was taken with the camera set at 10x as I was sitting in my car in a parking lot across the street from that establishment. That’s one of the photos they had on their facade, and yes, it’s an automotive supplies place

As usual, clicking on single images will open a larger version of the image in a new tab or window.

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the bottom-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

Photo taken at a flowerbed in front of Herrin Hospital.

The photos in this quick series of posts have all been taken with the Note 20 this May, lightly processed in Lightroom (see what I did there?), and output for this blog post.

I’m retired, so I have a lot on my plate. Still, I occasionally take time out to think; to reflect on what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, and whether I should continue doing it.

Everyone can benefit from stepping back, surveying the landscape, and charting their path forward; making sure they’re on the path they want to follow.

Sounds ominous, don’t it? I mean, it sounds as if something has gone wrong and needs fixing.

Nah! Well, maybe a little, but nothing of great consequence.

For them who don’t know, writing stuff down is a good way for me to focus my thoughts. It also makes it easier to catch flaws in my thinking once I read back what I wrote. It’s because when I read something, I’m focused on what it means, any implications of it, where it might offer either something useful or, conversely, lead me astray. Most of all, reading my thoughts affords me the luxury of checking if they make any sense. 

I also do that with the spoken word. What I hear goes through the same multi-layer analysis. I suggest the same practice to anyone wanting to catch errors in their thinking; write down what you think and then read it back — aloud, if need be — and check if it still makes as much sense as it did while still in your head.

Words — spoken or written — matter. 

That’s a warning the following is written off the cuff and not previously thought out in detail.

But, let’s begin with photography . . .

The New Moon – October 11, 2018 (click for larger version)

I mentioned in two previous posts (HERE and HERE)  about my struggles regarding going forward. By that, I mean what equipment I should use.

“Don’t be a dick” was the topic of Phil Plait’s speech at TAM 8. You can watch the video but, basically, Plait argued for moderation in discussions. He was addressing skeptics and atheists and specifically their interaction with the religious and believers in “woo”.

As might be expected, the response was mixed. Some people accused him of being an accommodationist and others applauded his call for measured and civil interactions.  

At the time — eight years or so ago — my reaction was . . . well, defensive. 

Mind you, I found a lot of counterarguments and rebuttals in support of my defensiveness but the reality was inescapable: I had to examine why I was so defensive. 

I reviewed my past discussions and interactions with people and examined how I approached discussions about religion and magic and UFOs and any topic I considered anchored in ignorance and willful disregard of science and reason. 

The conclusion was uncomfortable to admit . . . not a majority of the time but enough times to be significant, I was a dick. Needlessly confrontational and prone to badgering would be another way to say I was a dick.