M. Giant's
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Monday, December 13, 2010  

Winter White

As I mentioned before, Bucky is a breed of dwarf hamster called a Winter White. This deceptively prosaic name simply means that his fur turns white in the winter. M. Edium has been looking forward to this startling transformation since we got him in July, and I think it's time to share it with you.

I wanted to shoot him on a black backdrop so the contrast would be more startling, but I also wanted to get him looking at the camera (okay, the cell phone) so that his black eyes would stand out as well. Perhaps we'll have a whole shoot someday. I could show him on a white background, so nothing would be visible but his floating eyeballs, or just tape him to the ceiling with invisible tape. The possibilities are endless.

For now, however, I just want you to take a look at the amazing transmogrifying creature with whom we are privileged to share our home.

So here he is.

Get ready.

This is going to blow your mind.


Summer Bucky

Oh, I forgot to tell you, that's a picture taken in September. I thought I should show you what he looked like originally, so you can have kind of a before-and-after.

Now here's what he looks like as of today.

Here goes.


Winter Bucky

That second photo was taken only two weeks before the winter solstice, with snow coating the ground and outside temps in the single digits. Just look at that adaptability!

This is not my fault, by the way.

I did a little research on Winter Whites some time ago, and it turns out that what triggers their change in color is a reduction in exposure to sunlight. The days get shorter, the hamster goes white. But experimentation has shown that it's possible to forestall the change in fur color by simply exposing the hamster to fluorescent light.

Now, with that in mind, let me zoom out a bit so you can see how Bucky's cage is situated on M. Edium's dresser:


And yes, that's a CFL in that lamp, the F standing for "freaking fluorescent."

So why haven't I simply turned it off? Well, M. Edium and Trash won't let me. M. Edium sleeps with a lamp on, so that takes care of the nights .But what about the shorter days, and all the darkness between early Minnesota sunset and bedtime? Couldn't Bucky get his much-needed darkness then?

Nope. M. Edium and Trash are convinced he doesn't like the dark. Which must be why he spends so much of his time basking in the bright rays of his blue plastic igloo.

It's only a shame that he doesn't have other Winter Whites to hang out with. They'd all think he'd been on a cruise or something. In fact, now that I think about it, it's even more unusual that he hasn't gone pale during the winter. You know, like most Minnesotans do.

posted by M. Giant 9:31 PM 0 comments


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