Silver-Beaked Tanager

One of the big local news items this week has been the story that the University of Missouri is considering switching from the Big Twelve College Conference to the Big Ten Conference.  The Missouri Governor, Jay Nixon (D), has been a proponent of this change.  Ostensibly, the reason for moving would be to leverage the higher academic caliber of Big Ten schools, but the sports of football and basketball are also a consideration.  The Big Ten, really already the Big Eleven what with Penn State, are looking to add another school to their conference over the next two years.  If Missouri elects and is selected, The Big Ten (The New Big Twelve?) will have three U of Ms in its ranks.  Personally, I am all in favor or this course.  As of now the only Big Ten sports that I get to see are a few Illinois games.

The picture with this post is of a Silver-Beaked Tanager.  It was taken last month at the Missouri Botanical Gardens.  It was taken in the Climatron.  This bird is one of several Tanager species that live under the dome.  Today’s header was taken on the same trip.  These yellow-orange berries were found in the Temperate House.

It was a cold day when I when to the gardens, so when I walked into the Climatron, with its tropical humidity, my glasses fogged up.  I was able to clean and defog them pretty easily, but my camera was a different story.  After about ten minutes of waiting and trying to defog the camera lens, I gave up and went to the adjoining Temperate House.  There the humidity was much lower and I was able to begin photographing almost immediately.  I eventually made it back into the Climatron and was able to take pictures, but as I ascended the Climatron’s walkway and when from one micro-clime to the next camera fogging became a reoccurring problem.

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