Working backwards

14 September, 2014     Working backwards

Normally I start posts early or mid-week and build it up as the week goes on. This week had a few things pop up and I never got started. Now I’m looking at the week’s pictures – and working backwards. And of course – when in doubt – when working backwards – post dog pictures. Because now I see I only took a few pictures this week.


Mackey and Turner had their annual visit with our excellent vet Dr. Chris Scotti at their superb practice, Springfield Veterinary Center. If you’re in Ashland of course visit Dr. Campbell at Ashland Veterinary Hospital. But here in Richmond I recommend Dr. Scotti and Dr. Escobar and Dr. Kolster at Springfield.


Mackey and Turner’s personalities could not be any more different. Turner is into everything, all the time. Mackey is, as Pat once memorably described him, “not impulsive.” But when the aide took Turner back to get weighed, Mackey kept his eyes glued on the door until Turner came back through it.

Mackey awaiting Turner's safe return

Mackey awaiting Turner’s safe return 

They brought Turner back to the exam room and took Mackey back to get weighed. Turner’s turn to fixate on the door:

Turner anxiously awaiting Mackey's return:

Turner awaiting Mackey’s safe return:

I don’t put up a lot of movies but this is a cute five second clip of Turner waiting for his buddy:


I took a picture of a Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) earlier this week as well. I’m learning something as I take more pictures: some subjects are difficult to photograph well. Or difficult to photograph in such a way that they’re visually appealing. I was bored with cormorants at first. But – this happens a lot – the more I read about them, the more interesting they become. And the more certain I am I’ll at some point take a picture I find pleasing. Cormorants are ungraceful looking birds to all except I imagine their mothers, but I’m convinced there’s an attractive cormorant picture to be had. This isn’t it, but it’s getting closer to the one I want:

Double-crested Cormorant.

Double-crested Cormorant. 

Cormorants are described as “prehistoric looking” but I haven’t learned (yet) just how old they are. When I learn more I will post it here. With that excellent picture I’m going to take. Keep your eyes peeled.


Longnose Gar (Lepisosteus osseus) are not just described as prehistoric “looking” – they are prehistoric. The link above (should you choose to click on it) is to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) Wildlife Information page. This is the first two sentences, copied directly from that page: “Living relic of prehistoric past; family dates back 245 million years. Nothing in Virginia is even remotely similar to the gar.” I like the faint shaking-my-head tone of the second sentence.


I’ve gotten a picture of a gar at Pony Pasture a time or two in the past. They’re always up at this late-summer time, lolling around in the warm shallows waiting for something to come in. Water photographs are difficult but this isn’t bad. The thing about gar is, all the ones I see are big. This guy was about a foot and a half long. Great looking fish. They sort of look like the aquatic cousin of a cormorant:

Longnose gar

Longnose gar 

I’ll leave off here and put this post up – I’m already a day late. More next week!

All best,


PS I’m just beginning on Instagram and remain clueless. But you can follow me at NEWFAZE1 if you like. Some of these pictures (not all) will turn up there before they turn up here.


Also, I changed my mind about leaving off. A couple more quick pictures. Summer is going away fast. But look at the colors of these flowers (and this wasp) that I’ve photographed w/in the past seven days:

I'll cease to be amazed. But not soon.

I’ll cease to be amazed. But not soon.

So bright! And it's SEPTEMBER!!

So bright! And it’s SEPTEMBER!!

Feel free to tell me the name! But what a beauty!

Feel free to tell me the name! But what a beauty!

About Jay McLaughlin

I am a rehabilitation counselor. I have many friends with autism and traumatic brain injuries. They help me learn new things constantly. I hike with dogs at the James River in Richmond - a lot. I've completed an Iron distance triathlon a year for 11 years. My most recent was in Wilmington, NC in November, 2013. I currently compete in mid-distance triathlons. And work and hike and take pictures and write and eat.
This entry was posted in Birds, Dogs, Flowers, Fun, Rivers and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Working backwards

  1. evzakyoga says:

    Beautiful! That red bloom is quite possibly a fading lobelia cardinalis.

  2. Cindi says:

    Love the Mackey and Turner vet visit story; made me laugh out loud; so cute; exquisite nature photos; you take these with you iphone? how? mine never turn out like this ;->

  3. Hi Cindi! Mackey and Turner are cute boys. They really stick together. Mackey is calm and thoughtful and Turner is… always wagging his tail. The flowers and the fish and the cormorant pictures were all taken with my “real” camera, a decent (not great) 35 mm DSLR. Iphones can take some decent pictures but conditions have to be flawless and that’s rare.

    Have a great day,


  4. Cappy says:

    Awesome post, awesome photos!

    • Hi Cappy! Glad you enjoyed the post! And the photos! Mackey and Turner are always cute together. And the flowers are still pretty remarkable, especially considering it’s September. Have a great day,



  5. Pingback: PP Fauna | NEWFAZE

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