Open Thread

Ron Beasley, swallowtail.


Shawn, butterfly.


Email me a link to your one or two favorite pics on a photo site like Flickr (do not send the image itself please) and I will put up favorites in open threads. Send a short caption if you want one.

40 replies
  1. 1
    J. says:

    Happy Caturday, people, the cattiest day of the week!

    Stunning butterfly pictures! The second one is particularly amazing. Wow. What kind of camera did he use?

  2. 2
    South of I-10 says:

    Beautiful pics!

  3. 3
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    I’d like to use this open thread to correct the record.

    Slag made a valid point yesterday, responding to my criticism of Barack’s talk before the Tribal Leaders. This needs to be acknowledged, as, if one makes an error, the error should not be hidden, but instead it should be revealed. Revealing mistakes is the best way to learn, and to grow. Slag said:

    “If you watched him, then you would know he wasn’t using a teleprompter.”

    I did watch him, but was most closely observing the part three minutes in, where the shooting was addressed. My observations failed in include the introduction. But Slag was most surely correct about the introduction, as the man Obama introduced as a Medal of Honor recipient, was not a Medal of Honor recipient, but was instead given a civilian award by the Obama Administration.

    Emmanuel is smarter than this, and I am convinced that Slag was correct, at least in part. But Obama was on the teleprompter when he got all serious, after the kidding around. This you can observe from the forty-five degree head swivels.

  4. 4
    MikeJ says:

    Tech details gleaned from exif

    First pic:
    Image Description = OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
    Camera Model = E-500
    Exposure Time (1 / Shutter Speed) = 1/160 second ===> 0.00625 second
    Lens F-Number / F-Stop = 56/10 ===> ƒ/5.6
    Focal Length = 150/1 mm ===> 150 mm

    The second pic was:
    Camera: Nikon D200
    Exposure: 0.004 sec (1/250)
    Aperture: f/5.6
    Focal Length: 105 mm

  5. 5
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Special Request!! Noah, a young boy of 5 years, is in the last stages of a 2 1/2 year battle with Neuroblastoma cancer. The family is celebrating Christmas next week, and Noah’s request is to get lots of Christmas cards. Please send cards to: Noah Biorkman, 1141 Fountain Viewcircle, South Lyon MI 48178. Please repost this as your status and spread the word so we can make this little boy’s wish come true!

  6. 6
    demkat620 says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: I got that message too.

  7. 7
  8. 8
    jeffreyw says:

    Mrs J started her volunteer job at a newish pet shelter nearby, gave her a camera but she came back sans pics.

    She says it’s a well run operation, vet on staff, low cost pet clinic for vax and neutering, etc.

  9. 9
    DBrown says:

    All the talk about the repub-a-thugs gaining over the last year is utter dumb shit.
    From the NYT, C. Hulse:
    “Besides tapping the group’s (RNC – a cool $750K) treasury on behalf of a defector, it also raised questions about the capabilities of the Republican organization, which had already lost a special election in a Republican-leaning New York district earlier this year (can we say over 150 years they had controlled). It has now been beaten by Democrats in five consecutive contested special elections — the political version of going one on one. ”

    Count them – five house seats and all won by the demorats. These asswipes repub-a-thugs have had their clocks cleaned but good by the voters. Only in the insane world of the Media has the talking head bat-shit loons given any support to the thugs really getting any momentum- what a pile of heaping shit these liars have been laying on about the repub-a-thugs.

  10. 10
    licensed to kill time says:

    Balloon Juice seems to be infested with insects and bugs lately. Perhaps we need to call in the Pat Boone Figurative Fumigation Squad and tent the joint.

    Srsly, beautiful photos.

  11. 11
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @demkat620: Did you send a card?

  12. 12
    demkat620 says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: No, did you?

    I hate those things. I can never tell if its a hoax or not.

  13. 13
  14. 14
    demkat620 says:

    @Joey Maloney: Well then, I will send one.

  15. 15
    Elie says:

    OOHHHH – thanks so much for the butterflies this morning..

    I really need “the love”.

    Amidst all of the very positive news about Congressional Democratic successes, I am mourning some serious losses down here on the local level in Whatcom County WA.

    We have lost half of the County Councilmen associated with our progressive environmental and controlled development advocates in a low turn out election where a minority of well funded, extremely conservative, owned by the moneyed developers and construction industry, cleaned our clocks.

    I am bitter, but also pretty aware of how it happened and what the dilemma for us is: We will never have money on our side — the money will always go to our opposition. Our biggest resource is people and we did not energize them with what was at stake.

    We are all mail ballots here, so people don’t even have to go anyplace on election day. But they do have to vote, and our side, perhaps a bit complacent after 65% turnout for Obama last year…

    Who knows but we have to fix it. Storm water management and land conservation measures are at extreme risk now…
    Lot of work ahead…

  16. 16
    New Yorker says:

    So does the fact that Tim Lincecum is a DFH make him less appealing to the constipated Republicans who run the Yankees?

    (Full disclosure: I am a tortured Mets fan and I, like many good patriotic Americans, hate the Yankees like no other sports team on the planet.)

  17. 17
    bostondreams says:

    Not sure if anyone else say this or posted on it, but the Republicans stooped to a new low today:

    House Republicans: Women should be seen and not heard

  18. 18
    Third Eye Open says:

    @Elie: I feel your pain. Its a never-ending battle here in Florida to keep some semblance of growth management functioning. If its not developer-funded attacks on our DCA, its State courts selectively poking holes in municipal growth boundary laws.

  19. 19
    A Squirrel says:

    I’ve really enjoyed these pics you’ve been posting, Tim. Gen Stuck’s bird & wasp pics are especially cool. Those would look great on my wall.

    Thanks to you and the contributors.

  20. 20
    jeffreyw says:

    Update on the non working garmin astro doggie tracker: it’s workin again, updated the firmware.

    some pictures of the unit as mrs j took the pup on a jaunt

  21. 21
    Ambergris says:

    Oh God… At the House health-care debate Rep. Shadegg (R-AZ) just held a baby into the camera and lied about the effects of the House bill on the federal deficit.

    Luke Russert twitters: Great TV!

  22. 22
    licensed to kill time says:

    @Ambergris: Well, at least it wasn’t a dead baby. He totally could’ve tied that in for some Great TV!

  23. 23
    freelancer says:

    Carl Sagan Day!

    Live feed of a little meeting celebrating the day with speakers like Phil Plait and James Randi.

  24. 24
    Ambergris says:

    @licensed to kill time:

    Ha! And bonus points for a dead baby joke.

  25. 25
    freelancer says:


    Bill Donohue does not find that amusing.

  26. 26
    licensed to kill time says:

    @Ambergris: I was gonna throw in a blender, also, but….too much?

  27. 27
    AhabTRuler says:

    @Ambergris: He is right, it IS great teevee! But, as someone remarked last night, the gravestone for the Republic will say ‘died for a narrative’.

    OTOH, the shareholders are happy.

  28. 28
    Elie says:

    Third Eye @ 18 —

    Thanks for the comfort…

    I guess the toughest time that I have with our side and the whole thing is that there is a tendency to make “the environment” into some boutique, middle class issue rather than at the very heart of our economic and socio/political status. We have folks in Bellingham (our biggest town in the County), drinking water with gasoline from two stroke (wave runner) engines while watching the dirt from the hillsides wash into the Lake that they drink from, cause they want to keep developing and building new houses on the hillsides. Now tell me how that is smart?

    The folks that were funded by the developers had a battle cry to save the family farm — HA, even as they take money from the developers that are carving up that open space to make more houses we don’t need…

    Sometimes you just have to let people have the consequence that they deserve. They are scared and upset about the economy and are looking to hear any good news — even if its lies..

    Grass roots organizing is what is needed and while I am an advocate of it, have not dedicated myself full time to the effort. Been struggling to work full time and do all this on the side and its been scary how much is needed and how few people actually engaged rather than sitting passively…

    Gotta caryy on though.. even more at stake now

  29. 29
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    I just walked back in and on my teevee is wingnut John Carter Rep, lamenting the HC bill with some half ass proverb about controlling all the man if you control the man’s health. This is rank turd farming in and of itself, but then he went on to whine about THIS government controlling OUR financial system. They have not one shred of honesty or honor. It’s not enough that dems are saving HIS nirvanic theft ring called Wall street, against mine and many libtards grain, the sumbitch doesn’t even have the class to man up and say a simple thank you DFH, you are saving our worthless bacon, again.

  30. 30
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @demkat620: Yes, the family sent a card. I googled it and it appears not to be a hoax.

  31. 31

    @jeffreyw: You’re such a tease. That looks tasty, as does the rice pudding. Glad you are tracking the pup. We don’t want a repeat of Jack’s Excellent Adventures.

  32. 32
    Anne Laurie says:

    @jeffreyw: Zevon does not want me to ask this, but: How big is the tracker that (I presume) goes on Buddy’s collar?

    Since Zeev is only 15lbs., we have “coped” with his wanderlust by basically never letting him off lead except in securely fenced areas. Even then, he’s managed to give us a few free-form cardiac stress tests over the past three years (although the last time he escaped, he actually just hid in the bushes across the street, peeking to see if we’d miss him)…

  33. 33
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    Both great photos/

    For anyone interested, I found a couple more wasp bird images.

    Wasper only


  34. 34
    Elie says:

    General Winfield:

    It IS primitive how these folks function…and they will never change — just enough of the folks around them must however if we are to bring our sytem back to any kind of honor…

    I dont think that I realized what a cesspool the unfettered capitalism of the last two or more decades had done to our core character. A generation and a half of our young people grew up experiencing undiluted greed as a desired cultural value…and the ruthlessness to enforce that greed has caused many of us to experience a chill to the bone as we recognized what it would take to deal with it. .. the particular courage and knowledge to deal with it. In my opinion, its not meeting hate and coercion with hate and coercion. That truly does strengthen its power and underscores our failure to put in place a new paradigm — which we must. Must or we are dead, dead, dead, as a nation and as any kind of successful, diverse community..

    We have to walk this valley with courage and determination but I have no illusion about the battles ahead and what it will take to shift this where it matters — in the communities that we all live in first.

    So I ask everyone to look at what you can do locally to enhance learning, tolerance and kindness.. to demonstrate courage in the best kinds of way — through moral and thoughful example. Vote, get involved. Help young uns to become what we need them to become for the future.

    If we do this — the rest will follow — the getting rid of these horrible jokers. Legislative and regulatory reform follows the values and soul of the people, it doesnt lead it.

    I think I am going to run for office here — gotta start where I can get my hands on it

  35. 35
    Elie says:

    And General…

    thanks also for your charming pics of the hummer/s and the wasp. I waxed romantic about your pic from yesterday on the “odd couple”

    It is wonderful to have these images. How soothing they are to us in these days of such harshness and pain!

    Thanks also to BJ for knowing how much we need this and the recipes too…all “feeding the soul” …

  36. 36
  37. 37
    Yutsano says:

    This one is for the wifey. My kitteh on my bed waiting for the attention he so richly deserves/demands.

  38. 38
  39. 39
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @A Squirrel:


  40. 40
    Shawn says:

    Thanks for your kind comments. It was indeed a Nikon D200 with a Nikkor 105mm Macro lens for the picture.

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