Smarter Than Us…

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In her book “the wave in the mind”, (2004, Shambhala Publications, Inc., Boulder, Colorado), author Ursula K. LeGuin contends that cats and dogs are superiorly smart over the human being.

“They look in the mirror, once, when they’re a kitten or a puppy,” Le Guin says; “They get all excited… run around hunting for the kitten or the puppy behind the glass… then they get it. It’s a trick… they never look again.”

“My cat will meet my eyes in the mirror, but never his own,” she concludes.

What is your view of the intelligence of our domestic animal friends?

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Credit:
Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

— Find more on animal talk at the following blog:
http://www.horsesandanimalsaretalkin.wordpress.com

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Coffee Cup Series

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Rudolph-the-Red-nosed-Reindeer failed to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to another NBA championship, and the Golden State Warriors, via the new king, Kevin Durant, sent a message that pricked like fork tines. They said emphatically through their dominant play to the title, “We’ll be here awhile.”

Rudolph ultimately agreed, stating he’d probably be sitting down to figure things out before the next title run begins.

Drinking from Rudolph’s coffee cup I call “Humble” for now…

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Credit:
Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

(See also http://www.championsinsport.wordpress.com/ “LJFF Helps Keep Kids in School” and
http://www.fansandgamers.wordpress.com/ for more of this continuing Coffee Cup Series!)

More Than A Bloom

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A Dandelion is more than a bloom; it’s delicate structure is made for several stages of life, during which it changes forms continuously until it departs altogether.

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More photographic history of the Dandelion may be found at:
http://www.myspecialphotos.wordpress.com (Dandelion Gang)
and at:
http://www.photosandbeyondwordpress.wordpress.com/2017-05-17/dandelion-delight
by the same blog author.

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Credit:
Photos from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

McConaughey Reigns

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Just recently chatted with jordanandeddie about Matthew McConaughey’s out-of-this-world performance in “Gold”.

Pictured ABOVE is another of his movies dealing with gold, “Fool’s Gold”, an entertaining fictional romp with Kate Hudson over a treasure hunt for buried gold.

“Gold” is a whole different story, based on true events that are worthy of a thrilling fictional page-turner.

M&M is a superb artist, no matter what subject matter he takes on — gold, fool’s gold, Marshall’s football fortunes, a wedding planner, adventures in the Sahara, AIDS, outer space, a lawyer’s plea for a father’s justice. He wows, every time out!

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Credit:
Photo of the cover of the DVD “Fool’s Gold”, 2008, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., from the blog author’s personal copy of same.

(Read more movie trivia from the blog author at:
http://www.favorite20thcenturyfilms.wordpress.com )

 

Special Color Camera Settings

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One of the features my Nikon CoolPix L830 has which my Canon PowerShot SX410 IS does not is a color setting. Red only, yellow only, green only, etc., plus cross-over features are built into my “auto” Nikon.

Separate settings available on a digital “auto” pilot camera do enhance the features.

The ABOVE photo was taken with cross-over, featuring yellow. BELOW is a red only Tulip:

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Next (BELOW) is a yellow with green cross-over image:

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My PowerShot, however, offers a fun “fisheye” view which my Nikon lacks. Take a look (BELOW):

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The clouds received a swirled look through the “fisheye” lens. It’s a fun feature that also can produce a luscious difference in a well done photo, or an abstract image.

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All Photos from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

(View more of the author’s photography at the blogs below:
http://www.myspecialphotos.wordpress.com
http://www.photosandbeyondwordpress.wordpress.com
http://www.abstractphotoartblog.wordpress.com )

 

 

 

Spring Tulips

They come and go quickly in the Spring, these wonderful, colorful marvels of our plant world — Tulips!

Using different settings on my Nikon CoolPix L830, I photographed the Tulips in the circle garden at the Veterans Park at the Bridge across the street from my apartment building.

The top right photo is Yellow Tulips in black and white; below that photo is Yellow Tulips in sepia.

The photo at the top right is Yellow Tulips in black and white. Below it is a Red Tulip in a red only setting.

Close-ups are, from left, red only, red in black and white, and yellow in a yellow only setting.

 

 

And then, they begin to fade, and break away, to seed for another day:

Hooray for Tulips!

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Credit:
Photos from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

(More photos from the author can be seen at:
http://www.myspecialphotos.wordpress.com and at:
http://www.photosandbeyondwordpress.wordpress.com )

Derby Fever…

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“Here’s lookin’ at you, California!”

A few seasons ago, it was California Chrome and the DAP that rocked the American Kentucky Derby world in one of the most improbable Derby back stories.

This time around, the back stories of the 1-1/4 miles Derby, run exclusively for three-year-olds, were just as luscious:
— Venezuela’s leading trainer, Antion Sano, twice kidnapped in his home country for his horse racing stables’ fortunes, left Venezuela and started over from scratch in the USA, acquiring Gunnevera for $15,000. The horse earned an unlikely Derby spot in the exclusive field of 20.

— Seven-time Trainer of the Year Todd Pletcher, having captured one Derby crown from 45 entries, entered his usual numbers to Run for the Roses, but this time he had the last minute favorite, Always Dreaming, winner of the Florida Derby, and the favorite had won the Derby over the last four years.

— Patch, one of three Pletcher entries, made the Derby field without the benefit of two eyes. His left orb was removed a year ago when a severe infection was successfully halted to save his life.

— Bob Baffert, meanwhile, had no entries in a dry year, after having the Derby favorite in the field for… years! No problem. He won the Kentucky Oaks (the Derby version for three-year-old fillies) the day before with Abel Tasman, who charged from last to first under veteran jockey Mike Smith.

— Always Dreaming was sired by Bodemeister, a Baffert Derby favorite in 2012. Bodemeister finished second that year.

— Trainer Mark Casse, who years before owned a house one door down from the Churchill Downs track, where the Derby is run, took on his son, Norman, as an assistant. The two had been separated for many years after Mark’s divorce from Norman’s mother.

— Weatherman Jim Cantore, who’s “thunder snow romp” was rebroadcast for a whole Winter season, picked — ready? — Thunder Snow to win the Derby! But Thunder Snow didn’t like the sloppy track and on-and-off-rainy day, apparently preferring snow, as he bucked just out of the gate and made it known that he was done for the day.

— Jockey Rajiv Maragh, six months removed from a 16-month rehabilitation following massive injuries from a track spill, gained a Derby mount when trainer Graham Motion found himself needing a jockey for Irish War Cry, one of the early favorites to win the race.

— In the end, all-time leading money winner among jockeys, John Velazquez, and Pletcher, teamed for the Derby win. Although having worked together for many years, it marked the first time the duo crossed the Derby finish line ahead of the pack together, and the dream came true. Pletcher, by the way, tied his mentor, D. Wayne Lukas, this year for most career Derby entries at 48.

The dark brown colt Always Dreaming led the field early, then brightened the day in a 2-3/4 lengths victory that included a powerful, kick-away stretch run and a fourth straight racing triumph.

Here’s the rest of the finishing field:
(2) Lookin at Lee; (3) Battle of Midway; (4) Classic Empire; (5) Practical Joke; (6) Tapwrit (Pletcher’s third entry); (7) Gunnevera; (8) McCraken; (9) Gormley; (10) Irish War Cry; (11) Hence; (12) Untrapped; (13) Girvin; (14) Patch; (15) J Boys Echo; (16) Sonneteer; (17) Fast and Accurate; (18) Irap; (19) State of Honor.

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Credit:
Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg