- a blog by markus nolf
[posted: Sunday, 2016-05-29] [category: nature, photo] [tags: , , , ]

during two recent trips to tasmania, i had the opportunity to discover the beauty of the island and its amazing wildlife. while the australian and tasmanian fauna generally receives much attention, the plant life here is not less extraordinary.

panorama: pencil pine (athrotaxis cupressoides) at the labyrinth, pine valley, tasmania

with this post, i’m using the opportunity to briefly introduce some trees and other woody plant species i encountered on the island. while some of these species also occur in a wider range in australia, some others represent the species’ last/only occurrence in the world, and a few of them date back to the supercontinent gondwana and a time before even the age of dinosaurs. tragically, most of these old species are very vulnerable to bushfires, and a large area was struck by widespread bushfires in january 2016.


[posted: Wednesday, 2016-04-13] [category: nature, photo] [tags: , , , , ]

on a recent beach stroll on the northern new south wales coast, i came across small weird-looking blue-and-white creatures with lots of appendages. having washed ashore, they looked more like unshapely blobs, but as soon as they got into a bit of water, they unfolded into a beautiful combination of shape and colour.

blue dragon (glaucus atlanticus), a white-and-blue upside-down nudibranch

common names of this creature (glaucus atlanticus) are blue dragon, sea swallow or blue angel. [more…]

[posted: Tuesday, 2016-03-15] [category: random photos] [tags: , ]

a few weeks ago, this outbacky-looking red dirt road led us to one of our research sites at calperum station near renmark, south australia. the namesake “21 hills” – one of these hills is ahead of us in the photo – are actually sand dunes covered lightly with mallee woodland.

driving through the 21 hills area, calperum mallee, south australia

[posted: Wednesday, 2016-01-27] [category: computers & technology] [tags: , ]

here are two customized picasa buttons to automate things that i’ve done manually for far too long. i’m publishing these mostly so i’ll find them in the future myself, but they may also help others looking for a way to do something similar.

after: three new subdirectories are created and filled according to the criteria mentioned above. (picasa buttons: automatically sort video and raw files into subdirectories, delete orphaned raw files) after: three new subdirectories are created and filled according to the criteria mentioned above. (picasa buttons: automatically sort video and raw files into subdirectories, delete orphaned raw files)

sortfiletypes moves all raw files (.arw) and video files (.avi, .mp4, .thm) of the current directory into their own subdirectories, respectively, and deletes .lrv low-res video preview files.

syncraw compares the .jpg and .arw files in the current directory and moves raw files where the corresponding jpg file has been removed to a new subdirectory “deleteraw”, so you can easily delete or move them. [more…]

[posted: Wednesday, 2016-01-27] [category: nature, time lapse] [tags: , , ]

here’s of time-lapse of thunderstorm clouds rolling in over the calperum mallee, south australia. at less than 250 mm mean annual rainfall, every drop of rain counts. this short rainfall burst brought 7 mm of rain.

recorded with a brinno tlc200 pro at 20 s interval.

[posted: Sunday, 2016-01-10] [category: nature, photo] [tags: , , , , ]

bioluminescent fungi at cape tribulation, daintree rainforest i’ve always been fascinated by bioluminescent phenomena. in a relatively wide range of organisms, evolution at some point produced species that can produce light, from marine plankton in warm seas, to fireflies, to the famous deep sea anglerfish.
lesser known is the fact that damp wood can also give off a very faint glow in the forest at night. the bioluminescence in this case is produced by fungi, whose mycelium as well as fruiting bodies glow faintly. it is believed that this helps attract insects that will disperse their spores.

a recent research trip to the daintree rainforest in far north queensland, australia, gave me a first opportunity to see bioluminescent fungi. [more…]

[posted: Sunday, 2016-01-10] [category: random photos] [tags: , , , , ]

here’s a “tiny plot” render of a photosphere (android’s take on 360 degree panoramas) recorded in the conservatory at the royal tasmaian botanical gardens, hobart:

the conservatory, royal tasmanian botanical gardens (panorama)