[image description: a small tortoise (or turtle? I am not a herpetologist), approximately 6-10” (15-25 cm) long, standing on a bamboo-plank floor; the turtle is wearing a fitted sweater crocheted (or knitted? I am not a textile artist) from variegated yarn in pale bluish and red-violet hues of purple. A small, inconspicuous watermark reading “Tortaddiction” appears at bottom left.]
OH MY GOD
I just wonder why that sweater isn’t a turtleneck…
purple glossy starling, also known as purple starling
photossecond photo by aj havercamp)
Correction: The first photo, of a starling looking directly at the camera, is by Brian Scott; link to original flickr post is here.
Only the second photo, of a starling in profile facing to our right, is the work of Arjan Haverkamp / A.J. Haverkamp; link to original flickr post is here.
(For those who can’t view the photos: both depict the head, throat / upper chest and shoulder(s) of yellow-eyed birds with sharp, dark-gray beaks, and iridescent purple feathers on their heads shading through iridescent blue to iridescent turquoise on their shoulders and below their throats. The bird in the upper photo has its head tilted off the horizontal, giving it the appearance of a quizzical expression.)
Though both photos depict birds from the same genus, the glossy starlings or Lamprotornis, they might not be the same species within that genus. Brian Scott’s identification of his subject as a purple glossy starling (Lamprotornis purpureus) appears to be correct, or at least consistent with the purple starling’s eye color and as much of its plumage as is visible. M. Haverkamp’s identification of the bird in the bottom photo as a superb glossy starling (Lamprotornis superbus), however, doesn’t seem to match that species’ description as given on Wikipedia, as the bird in the photo has yellow-irised eyes, not white or red. As there are over a dozen species in the glossy starling genus, many of them very similar in appearance to one another, a definitive identification with only the head and neck visible is impossible.
The two photographers didn’t both capture portraits of the same individual bird, in any case; their two photos were actually taken in different countries, England and the Netherlands, respectively, even though all the glossy starling species are native to Africa. Their vibrant coloring makes them popular with aviaries, botanical gardens and zoos on other continents, as these two photos demonstrate.
Most importantly, starlings are pretty to look at. ;)
Photo taken at Jardin Botanique de Lyon in April 2006.
Native to Australia, Viola hederacea is a striking example of a ‘wild’-type violet that’s nevertheless cultivated in gardens. Wikimedia Commons has other photos of the species, but this one did best at showing the almost waxy translucence of the petals, as well as the cream-and-plum hues, distinctive veining pattern, and unusual overall shape of the flowers. M. de Longe’s deft use of lighting and depth of field truly elevate this from merely another example photo to a work of art as exquisite as the flowers themselves.
Click the image for a larger view; click the ‘source’ link below for the information page at Wikimedia Commons.
Remove the photographer-credit information and/or links when reblogging, and you will experience a rash of ugly, uncomfortable pimples in an uncomfortable place.
Definitely view this photograph at full size (click the image to view alone).
[Image description: The night sky, tinted violet by the combination of ambient light and long exposure, with a portion of the Milky Way appearing on a diagonal between the centers of the top and right sides of the image. Along the bottom of the photo, both distant mountain peaks and nearby plants are silhouetted against the star-filled sky.]
Utterly captivating. I can imagine spending a night under those stars, but not sleeping; just staring up into luminous eternity. Big thanks to spacettf for actually including the link to the source of the photo!
Notes from photographer dfikar1 about “More Milky Way From the Big Bend”:
I ran this frame through a star-counting program and came up with over 12,000 distinct star lights detected!
I used a long exposure time (around 100 sec. I think) with the aid of my camera’s GPS module which freezes the stars for astrophotography (Pentax O-GPS1 module). That is the only way I could get a long enough exposure without star trails.
taken on April 1, 2012 in Brewster County, Texas, US, using a Pentax K-5.
#Big Bend, #Desert, #Milky Way, #Ten Bits Ranch, #astrophotography
Also, that GPS module thing is mind-bogglingly awesome. They’re doing things with technology today that I’d never imagine were possible. I love living in the future!
GardenAfternoon Path (by just zl for photos)
(Fixed link so it goes to the main photo page with all the information, instead of the All-sizes page — which doesn’t contain a link back to the main page because Yahoo abhors user-friendly design. To get to the all-sizes page from the main page, just click the +magnifying glass icon above the image to go to lightbox view, then click “View all sizes” in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
And I changed the title from “Garden Path” to “Afternoon Path” because the latter is what Google translate was quite clear that the tag jzfp put on the photo, 午后小道, means afternoon trail/path.)
So, there isn’t quite a clear enough view of any of the hundreds of flowers for me to be certain they’re violets, but from what I can see, they’re at least consistent with violets’ flower shape and the growth habit of some species. So I’m going on the assumption they are violets.
Today is violets Wednesday… but I’ll be spending most of the day lobbying for improvements to my state’s home-care program for disabled adults (like me and my darling dearest) up in the capital, and I’ll probably be too drained to do much Tumblring when I get home. So I figured I should get this week’s violet post up now!
Source: Flickr / zclphotos
A male amethyst starling. Beautiful, indeed!
Cinnyricinclus leucogaster, meaning white-bellied starling, is the species name, but they’re also known by the common names plum-coloured starling or violet-backed starling. In most starling species, the male and female have identical (or at least highly similar) coloring; the amethyst starling is an exception. Female amethyst starlings have light-brown plumage where the males are iridescent purple, white underneath, and flecked all over with dark brown, so that they resemble a sparrow more than a typical starling. As with most birds sporting a metallic sheen and/or a play-of-color effect in their feathers, the apparent iridescence is actually created by the microscopic structure of the feathers reflecting light in multiple wavelengths, the precise variance being strongly affected by the angle of view and/or the angle of the light striking the bird.
This striking species is native to sub-Saharan Africa, and is fairly common in wooded and forested areas of the continent. Like other starlings, they are omnivorous, both feeding on plants and preying on animals, mainly insects, as the amethyst starling pictured above is demonstrating.
The name “amethyst starling” of course refers to the gemstone amethyst, a member of the quartz family. Amethyst is more commonly found in pale lavender shades (sometimes nearer to pink) to medium purple, but in especially sought-after, gemstone-quality specimens, a deep, vivid color occasionally occurs, and may even display red-violet/blue-violet dichroism — much like the iridescent feathers of the amethyst starling.
(Hi, I’m a giant geek.)