All posts by Justin

I am currently a graduate student at Kent State University earning a PhD in Aquatic Ecology. My research interests lie primarily in community ecology of stream and wetland ecosystems. Apart from academia, I am deeply passionate about ska, computers, and photography.

New camera, more Amos

I have thousands of digital photographs that I’ve taken since my first digital camera purchase in 2000 (maybe 1999). That was an Olympus D-150Z, which sported a whole 1-megapixel sensor, a 3x optical zoom lens, and an 8 Mb storage card. Not a lot of photographs (if any) from those days have made it to Montegraphia, nor have many from the next in line, a Canon PowerShot A530, but my Lightroom database reports over 9,000 photos between these two devices. Lots of great memories are tied to the photographs that I took with those devices, and some were shared through other means, such as Google Photos (Picasa at the time). A set of parody films that I made in college, a cold, snowy day collecting leaves for crayfish processing, or a foggy morning spent at Magee Marsh with lab mates and my advisor where we saw 99 bird species (I think that was the frustratingly close-to-centennial number) popped up when I did a quick look through.

The vast majority of photographs here were taken using my first DSLR—an Olympus E-420 with just a handful of lenses. That device is still around, but a loose memory draw and an increasingly frustrating inconsistency in single-autofocus function in my Sigma-made macro lens, followed by a recommendation for a waterproof device, led me to purchase an Olympus Tough TG-4. That’s been my go-to for the last two or three years.

The accumulated backlog of photographs is one of the reasons I have inconsistent postings here. I have a workflow and process I like to use prior to “archiving” onto Montegraphia—the photos should have meaningful tags, some image processing effects, and often a geo-location, and that’s time-consuming; and, it’s overwhelming at times. So, my solution: buy a new digital camera.

I recently purchased a Canon EOS M6 with a 18-150 mm kit lens and a separate 28 mm macro. Maybe I’ll keep this up, maybe I won’t, and I suspect most of the focus will be on Amos.

Quebrada Cerro

One of my favorite streams within the Las Cruces preserve is Quebrada Cerro, which drains nearly exclusively primary forest. The water is clear and filled with tadpoles and belostomatids, but surprisingly few crabs, to Kainalu’s disappointment.

This summer, I found a tile hot glued to a PVC pipe within the stream—a remnant of a 2015 primary productivity study one of Frank Camacho’s students was performing that was washed out in most sites.

Fer-de-lance

I ran into two Bothrops asper (Fer-de-lance or Terciopelo) on Las Cruces trails (one on Sendero Selva and one on the Water Trail) this year (so far), which is two more than any other year since 2013. Below are a few images of the two.

The only other B. asper I’ve seen in the area was Finca Cantaros in 2013 while batting. The first was a juvenile in a stream bed at Campanario (on the Osa Penninsula) in 2008 that we (at least Oscar Rocha and Mike Monfredi) encountered while walking upstream.