[Tweeters] Sense of Scale

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Sun Aug 17 09:42:04 PDT 2014

After sending my last post I had my morning coffee and remembered another boathouse sighting.
One of my favorite things to do in nature is looking at tiny things, and also very large things. I guess I like looking at everything else in between too. Looking at small things can drawn one in to the Tiny World, where a tiny beetle looks huge compared to the even tinier mites on it. Once you get looking, you may see an even tinier mite nearby - mites come in different sizes you know.
I always admired that great documentary film "A Bugs Life" for it's sense of scale. OK, it was really an animated film, and ants usually are not lavender, or have only four legs - however, somebody on the production team had a fine sense of scale. There was a great scene in that film where the hero ant goes to town, when he is surrounded by various other arthropods, like giant millipedes and towering Daddy Long- legs, which in the real world, would be giant - compared to an ant anyway.
A great way to enter Tiny World is through close-focusing binoculars. Mine, at 8x magnification, focus down to five and a half feet. Thus I was able to see the blue eyes of a breeding male Stickleback more clearly from 6 ft away than I was without binocs from 2ft away, head hanging over the dock.
Sometimes being led down this primrose path into the smaller world, one gets a big surprise. As I was watching the Sticklebacks and Perch from 8 ft away thru my binocs, the world changed - the entire background of my little world view was changed into a rapidly moving field of big spots as a young Harbor Seal swam into my binocular view right under the Sticklebacks grotto! I just about fell off the swim-step of the boat. The seal disappeared as fast as it appeared. In this progression of scale, all I needed next was for a Gray Whale to swim right under the seal.
If you want to have fun developing a new sense of scale, you could do worse than fish watching with close-focusing binoculars, if you know what I mean. Of course birds vary considerable in scale too - it's all relative.
Jeff Gibsonjust sayin', in Everett Wa

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