Procyon lotor


Photograph by Patrick May.

Photography contest, Finalist.

Procyon lotor – North American raccoon, Connecticut, July, 2017.

Tenodera sinensis


Photograph by Mark Sturtevant.

Photography contest, Finalist.

Praying mantis
Tenodera sinensis sp. – Chinese praying mantis. Praying mantises have adaptive compound eyes that allow them to see at night. By day, light entry into the compound eyes is controlled by pigments near the surface. The pigments migrate away from the surface at night, allowing the eyes to gather more light. It is the insect version of having bigger pupils at night.

Total eclipse of the sun


I got an unexpected opportunity to travel to Jackson, Wyoming, in the Grand Tetons,

Grand Tetons

to see the eclipse on August 21. I took a lot of pictures, but the bottom line is these phases of the eclipse:

Phases of the eclipse

The sky was clear, the time was near noon, and you could see the moon eat into the sun right along the ecliptic.

More below the fold.

Frost crystals


Photograph by Alan Rice.

Photography contest, Runner-up.

Frost crystals
Imprint of frost crystals preserved in dried mud, El Mirage Lake Bed, California, USA. Dry lake beds like this one hold small quantities of water after storms. Before this photo was taken, water froze into ice crystals which were recorded into the Playa surface. The marks were erased by the next storm.

Enallagma civile


Photograph by Vivian Dullien.

Photography contest, Winner.

Enallagma civile sp. – familiar bluet damselfly, emerging from nymph cast, Echo Lake, Colorado.

20 votes were cast for the 7 finalists. Dr. Dullien’s splendid picture of the damselfly earned 8 of those votes and therefore is the winner of the 2017 contest. She will be awarded an autographed copy of Why Evolution Works (and Creationism Fails) by Matt Young and Paul Strode. The runner-up, with 6 votes, was Alan Rice’s frost pattern preserved in mud; Mr. Rice’s photograph will be displayed in 2 weeks.