Light Colour Shade



Catching the fleeting scenes of many splendored life with a camera.
'Look closely. The beautiful may be small' — Kant

21 December 2014

European Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

European robin (Erithacus rubecula), is a small insectivorous passerine bird -- a chat that is now considered to be an Old World flycatcher. It is found across Europe, east to Western Siberia and south to North Africa. British robins are usually resident but a few, usually females, migrate to southern Europe during winter as far as Spain, while Scandinavian and Russian robins migrate to Britain and western Europe. These migrants can be recognised by the greyer tone of the upper parts of their bodies and duller orange breast. In autumn and winter, robins add to their usual diet of terrestrial invertebrates, such as spiders, worms and insects, berries, fruits or seeds. Despite their cute look, male robins show highly aggressive territorial behaviour not only attacking other males that stray into their territories, but also other small birds without apparent provocation.

While humanity is generally bedazzled by space exploration perceived as pushing new boundaries, I believe this planet contains the most inextricable mysteries of the Universe (unless there are more planets like earth), the great bulk of which is still beyond our ken -- after all Universe is a dark cold and deadly empty place. This tiny bird is one of such marvels -- like many other birds robins have the ability to sense the magnetic field of the earth for navigation which is affected by the light entering the bird's eye.
The physical mechanism of the robin's magnetic sense is not fully understood, some scientists even throw in theories like quantum entanglement of electron spins. There exist two main hypotheses to explain the phenomenon of magnetoreception in animals. One hypotheses holds that, cryptochrome, when exposed to blue light, becomes activated to form a pair of two radicals (molecules with a single unpaired electron) where the spins of the two unpaired electrons are correlated. The surrounding magnetic field affects the kind of this correlation (parallel or anti-parallel), and this in turn affects the length of time cryptochrome stays in its activated state. Activation of cryptochrome (a class of blue light-sensitive flavoproteins found in plants and animals. Cryptochromes are involved in the circadian rhythms of plants and animals, and in the sensing of magnetic fields in a number of species) may affect the light-sensitivity of retinal neurons, with the overall result that the bird can "see" the magnetic field. The Earth's magnetic field is only 0.5 Gauss and so it is difficult to conceive of a mechanism by which such a field could lead to any chemical changes other than those affecting the weak magnetic fields between radical pairs. (Cryptochromes are thought to be essential for the light-dependent ability of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster to sense magnetic fields.) According to another model, Fe3O4, also referred to as iron (II, III) oxide or magnetite, a natural oxide with strong magnetism remains permanently magnetized when its length is larger than 50 nm and becomes magnetized when exposed to a magnetic field if its length is less than 50 nm. In both cases the Earth's magnetic field produces a transducible signal via a physical effect on this magnetically sensitive oxide.

European robin (Erithacus rubecula). (by-nc-nd)

16 November 2014

Fireworks

Fireworks date back to 7th century China, where they were used to accompany many festivities. Fireworks implemented rocket propulsion common in warfare. In 1240 the Arabs acquired knowledge of gunpowder and its uses from China.
Eventually Chinese fireworks became popular in Europe around the mid-17th century on recreational and ceremonial occasions, and have been an indispensable part of any celebration worth its salt ever since. George Frideric Handel composed Music for the Royal Fireworks in 1749 to celebrate the peace Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, which had been declared the previous year.
And on a humorous note:
“The Chinese used gunpowder to make fireworks for celebrations, and the white man came along and said, Holy shit, we can use this to kill people. What better way to celebrate than that?
― Jarod Kintz


Fireworks red. (© LightColourShade. All rights reserved)

11 November 2014

Summer Colours: Yellow and Pink. Golden Trumpet Tree (Handroanthus Balbus), Crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) and Mirabilis jalapa (The four o'clock flower)

Handroanthus albus, the Golden Trumpet Tree, is a tree with yellow flowers native to the Cerrado (tropical savannas) of Brazil ( ipê-amarelo-da-serra), namely in the states of Bahia, Espírito Santo, Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Paraná, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, and São Paulo.. It is used as an urban tree, as well as a medicinal plant.

Handroanthus albus (Golden Trumpet Tree) flowers close-up. (© LightColourShade. All rights reserved)

3 November 2014

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta garzetta) and Common Grasshopper Warbler (Locustella naevia)

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta garzetta) snapping fish
(© LightColourShade. All rights reserved)

28 October 2014

Summer Colours: Scarlet Red. Hibiscus (Rosa Sinensis) Hybrid

Hibiscus (Rosa sinensis) hybrid red flower close-up. (© LightColourShade. All rights reserved)

19 September 2014

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) Suite


House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) chick. (by-nc-nd)

10 August 2014

Tabby Cat on a Windowsill

Praying

Tabby cat looking out of the window. (by-nc-nd)
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