The Intractable Autodidact

You are your own best teacher

177 Years Ago Today . . . The Seminole Wars

Key Biscayne sits off the east coast of South Florida, just south of Miami Beach, and north of the beginning of the Florida Keys archipelago. It faces out to the … Continue reading

July 23, 2013 · 2 Comments

Spring Treats

Spring is different in South Florida than in most parts of the country. Though we do have seasons, their transitions are more recognizable due to changes in humidity and the … Continue reading

May 6, 2013 · 18 Comments

Animals Adrift in my Suburban Pool

Getting dressed this morning for another routine day, I opened the curtains to let in some, but not too much, light. I don’t like seeing myself too clearly in the morning. … Continue reading

April 30, 2013 · 16 Comments

Ocean Rocks Part Two — Ball’s Pyramid

Nearly a year ago I wrote about Rockall, an odd lump sticking out of the North Atlantic. I’m finally getting around to another ocean rock. What’s the hurry?

April 23, 2013 · 9 Comments

The Silver Green Forgotten Cemetery

Welcome to the second of my posts on interesting cemeteries. Last time I wrote about how wonderful cemeteries are for exploring. They contain great artwork and history in stone, interesting … Continue reading

April 10, 2013 · 4 Comments

Mangrove Finds — A Quick Follow Up

I can’t believe it. In my last post on finding cool stuff at the beach and in the mangroves, I failed to include one of the strangest things I’ve found.

February 2, 2013 · 5 Comments

Beachcombing for Things You Cannot Buy

Beachcombing ‘for’ isn’t even accurate. You can’t beachcomb for anything. You get what King Neptune thinks you need, and maybe you need nothing. And in the spirit of full disclosure, … Continue reading

January 31, 2013 · 10 Comments

Old Bones and (Nearly) Forgotten Cemeteries

Do you ever explore cemeteries? I’m one of those people who likes to walk around old graveyards. A taphophile is one who digs (Ha ha, get it? Sorry) graves, cemeteries, … Continue reading

January 11, 2013 · 6 Comments

Rainbow Scarab Greeting

Got a sweet but brief greeting from a rainbow scarab beetle just now. I scooped her out of the pool. I consider it a nice reward for some little yardwork. … Continue reading

January 1, 2013 · 3 Comments

The Island Can Only Be Found by Those Not Seeking It

While perusing CNN for anything of interest this headline grabbed my attention: “An ‘Undiscovered’ South Pacific Island”

November 28, 2012 · 4 Comments

In the Heart of the Sea

Today is the anniversary of a remarkable event in nautical history. The whaleship Essex, stove and sunk by a whale: the victim/leviathan fought back. The ultimate text on this tale … Continue reading

November 20, 2012 · 2 Comments

The Mushrooms Have Arrived!

Back here, I mentioned sending away for a kit to grow my own luminescent mushrooms. I’d like to follow up as I promised myself I would, and let you know … Continue reading

October 21, 2012 · 8 Comments

On this Day in Publishing History …

When I opened Google today, the Google doodle featured this beautiful scene from one of my favorite author’s magnum opus:

October 18, 2012 · 4 Comments

Vestiges — Ancient and Otherwise — in New York City

I recently returned from a long weekend in NYC. I hadn’t been back since 2008, and as always it has changed a lot. A bit cleaner and seemingly safer; consequently … Continue reading

October 7, 2012 · 10 Comments

The Mushrooms are Coming!

Or the mycelial fruit bodies are, via the USPS or UPS, not sure which. On my life’s list of goals has been to find and photograph bioluminescent mushrooms in the … Continue reading

September 15, 2012 · 4 Comments

One of my Favorite Creepy Words — and Why

As a young linguist (I love saying that, though it sounds way pompous), I most loved the little tidbits of linguistic lore some of my favorite professors would bestow on … Continue reading

August 21, 2012 · 6 Comments

Miami Love Motels along the Tamiami Trail of Tears

I would like to thank my fellow blogger at http://forkinmyeye.com/ for inspiring this post. Check out this one in particular for some better photos of old signs. I’ve long been fascinated by … Continue reading

July 22, 2012 · 6 Comments

Tropical Storm Brings Most Welcome Visitors

Is it because I drew them to me emotionally/spiritually/attitudinally, or did the change in barometric pressure due to T.S. Debbie Debby cause a change in behavior in these two beautiful … Continue reading

June 24, 2012 · 4 Comments

The Versatile Blogger

A writer whose blog I read regularly recently nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award! How cool! I still can’t believe people read anything I write. I encourage you to … Continue reading

June 1, 2012 · 7 Comments

Further Fungi Following me Home, et al.

Ok, what the hell is this? I love mushrooms. I still think they may have an extraterrestrial origin. But these recent visitors to my front yard are just so weird. … Continue reading

May 31, 2012 · 11 Comments

Moonlore: Our Verdant Satellite that Never Was

One August morning in 1835, New Yorkers awoke to the increasing heat and humidity of a typical northeast summer. Any one of them wanting to read about the events going … Continue reading

May 17, 2012 · 4 Comments

Ocean Rocks, Remote and Romantic — A Series for Those Who Stare at Maps

I’ve always loved to think and daydream. And maps and globes have always been catalysts to my daydreaming and pondering — particularly the little dots in the middle of nowhere … Continue reading

May 11, 2012 · 2 Comments

Bioluminescence Comes in Many Forms

It seems as though it is that time of year again, when I become intrigued and enchanted by fungi. I always am, of course, but now in warmer weather I … Continue reading

April 27, 2012 · 4 Comments

I Did Something Very Odd at a Wedding

I photographed it. Last December. This is not at all in my character. One reason I love photography is it lets me focus (pun intended) on a subject and get … Continue reading

April 20, 2012 · 9 Comments

Photographers: Lyrid Meteor Shower to Peak This Weekend; May Be Best in Years

If you dig sky photos, look up this weekend: Lyrid Meteor Shower to Peak This Weekend; May Be Best in Years.

April 19, 2012 · Leave a comment

Free White Noise Generator on the Internet

Quick post to let you know about a cool discovery I made today. It’s a free, online white noise generator to block out extraneous noises like annoying coworkers (not that … Continue reading

April 17, 2012 · 2 Comments

Sun Dogs, Moon Dogs, and Halos

I saw the coolest thing on April 1, and this is not a belated April Fool’s prank. The midday sun was encircled by an enormous bright & beautiful halo. It … Continue reading

April 9, 2012 · 9 Comments

Things I’ve been bitten by

I got to thinking about all the animals we get stung or bitten by in our lifetimes. I’m sure there are so many we don’t ever even become aware of, … Continue reading

March 21, 2012 · 7 Comments

I Met a Scrimshander

I was lucky enough to meet a very talented man many years back, with interests similar to mine (nautical art & oddities being one of them). He, however, didn’t just … Continue reading

March 8, 2012 · 2 Comments

Planet Mold

Look at this amazing Earth-like planet recently discovered and photographed! Na, It’s just my wife’s lunch. She left the vestiges of it sitting for days in a round glass container. … Continue reading

February 29, 2012 · 2 Comments

Combing Through Castellow Hardwood Hammock

A couple weeks back I woke up with the usual sore back, only to bend down to feed our rabbit at the worst angle possible. I could not stand up … Continue reading

February 27, 2012 · 5 Comments

Hey, Look at This Weird Thing I Found!

I’d like to write a couple posts about finding things. Coming across a lost or discarded item might not seem to have much to do with photography and nature, but … Continue reading

February 7, 2012 · 5 Comments

Green Animals are Cool

Now that Nome’s fueled up, I can get back to nature. Thanks to my neighbor across the street, who knows I like “weird things,” I’ve recently become acquainted with this … Continue reading

January 25, 2012 · 3 Comments

Nome Fuel Crisis Update: View the Activity on the Ice

After some difficulties approaching Nome, it looks like fuel will be delivered to the city today from the tanker via hoses along the ice. The U.S. Coast Guard is keeping … Continue reading

January 13, 2012 · Leave a comment

Nome’s (not) Burning.

Because apparently it’s running out of gas and oil. I’m lucky to have been to the great state of Alaska twice, and both times have been to the city of … Continue reading

January 12, 2012 · Leave a comment

Reindeer and Caribou and Christmastime

This day has got me thinking about reindeer and caribou, and which is which. While toads and frogs have differentiating characteristics and behaviors, and are definitely quite different animals in … Continue reading

December 25, 2011 · 4 Comments

Castellow Hammock Continued

Way back in October, I posted about a great walk I took through the Miami-Dade County Park of Castellow Hammock. It was great in no small part due to the … Continue reading

December 24, 2011 · Leave a comment

Octopus Picture – Underwater Photo – National Geographic Photo of the Day

I WISH this was my photo. It’s just such a perfect image of one of my favorite animals, I had to share it. A octopus in its octopus’s garden.   … Continue reading

December 15, 2011 · 1 Comment

Camera as Telescope — Jupiter’s Moons!

Just a quick post today. I’ve been into photographing the moon for a few years when it appears in an interesting way, like as a blue moon (the 2nd full … Continue reading

December 9, 2011 · 1 Comment

My Further Photographic & Anthropological Adventures in the Field

I usually prefer finding photo opps rather than setting them up. It just seems more interesting to me to find the unexpected. I visited a nature preserve last Saturday, hoping … Continue reading

November 30, 2011 · 3 Comments

The Forest Provides — Orange Marmalade?

I found this beautiful orange jelly fungus in the shade under some Silk Floss trees. There were about five “piles” of them. It’s hard to capture them in a photo; … Continue reading

November 7, 2011 · Leave a comment

Found: The Big, Bad Manchineel Tree

I found it! In my earlier Post on the poisonous Manchineel tree, I had yet to find the specimen supposedly growing at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. I returned on October … Continue reading

November 4, 2011 · 1 Comment

Ah the Fecundity! A Fungus Walk through Castellow Hammock

This post has been long in the making. Not the text, which isn’t very involved, but the photos. Saturday, October 15, 2011 was an overcast day after many days of … Continue reading

October 27, 2011 · 2 Comments

And with that, I leave you with a Cuban Tree Frog

I couldn’t resist posting today, even briefly, and especially to show this cute little Cuban Tree Frog (Osteopilus septentrionalis) I discovered sleeping between the water-filled leaves of a bromeliad. It … Continue reading

October 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

Digger Bee Squatters’ Rights

You know the nozzle sprayers that go on the end of your garden hose? I have one unused in my yard, just sitting on a shelf between some plants. I … Continue reading

October 13, 2011 · 4 Comments

Painted Buntings, Nature’s Paint Palette, Return for the Winter

The Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) is unarguably the most colorful bird I could hope to see in my neighborhood in South Florida. We’ve got all kinds of parrots and other … Continue reading

October 11, 2011 · 2 Comments

Clathrus Crispus, the latticed stinkhorn

I like photo opportunities best when they seem to be presented to me, rather than preplanned or set up. It’s a serendipitous gift from nature in my eyes, providing a … Continue reading

October 6, 2011 · 1 Comment

The Greenhouse Frog

Frogs and amphibians in general are our environmental “canary in a coal mine.” Because they have porous skin, and need to return eventually to water to avoid dessication, they absorb … Continue reading

October 1, 2011 · 2 Comments

Seeking: Killer Trees and Forbidden Fruit

There are poisonous trees in the world, but one is so poisonous, it’s said if you fall asleep under it, you will sleep forever. It’s called the Manchineel tree, Hippomane … Continue reading

September 29, 2011 · Leave a comment

Amanita muscaria, or do mushrooms have quadruped envy?

In late July, I was lucky enough to be in Colorado’s Clear Creek County area, at a dude ranch with my family. One option, not for the faint of heart … Continue reading

September 28, 2011 · Leave a comment

Take a look at my collection of photos on Flickr

Ramble stone arch bridge

Doyers Street

Nom Wah Tea Parlor, Chinatown

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