Word and Image

Insect

Bee

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I’ve gotten to where I get the occasional bee upon a flower. It’s pretty rare to catch one in flight. I have skill. But, I lack in action photography. I learned long ago that I am off by … that much. I am and remain at the mercy of serendipity.

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Spider

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Yup, done this one before too. No problem. I haven’t done it many times and I don’t think I have done it upside down. Oh! Sure! Yes! Done that too! No matter, it’s still fun and unique. It’s not easy to get the shot. A point and shoot camera has certain disadvantages. Focus on small objects is a problem. But the main advantage is that I had a camera at all when I found this spider asking for his close-up.


Wooly Bear

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At least this is what I call them. And it’s what I taught my kids to call them. Do you recall Proust’s La Madeleine? No matter. The appearance of a wooly bear recalls to me the childhood of my children and that magic moment when they first saw a wooly bear themselves. I was the one to point it out. And so, I passed down knowledge. Ah, they can’t take that away from me.

1566 10 Julia David wooly bear


Tick

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I saw the motion of a leaping frog as I watered the plants. I dutifully retrieved my camera and got some shots. Another? More frog pictures? I have pictures of a green frog… as recently as a few weeks ago. It’s like all the fish I saw in the Red Sea. You take the picture. It might even be the same frog (fish). It has happened. Honest. I post processed and saw the brown spot on the frog’s head. A tick! How about that? No spot. Tick! Darn! Do you remove it? I never did know. The frog was long gone before I ever had a choice to help/interfere with nature. No tick for me. I hope the frog’s ok.


Antenna?

I’ve been shooting images of the swallowtail caterpillar. I don’t touch them or disturb them. But, Mike came to collect some for his garden. Transplant. When I harvested this fellow from the parsley – yes, they eat/love parsley – he sprouted a yellow antenna? It’s probably not an antenna. Wow! I never expected that detail. Surprise! Neat!

“Black swallowtail caterpillar with extended osmeterium. A feature shared by all swallowtail caterpillars, this strange forked protuberance is not found on any other kind of butterfly larva. It has a bad smell and is used to ward off attackers.” http://www.austinbug.com/larvalbugeye/gallery-swallowtail.html

 


Swallowtail

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Sometimes I see something again for the first time. It’s like looking but not seeing. It would be akin to not listening when Colleen is speaking. I like to pride myself on being able to parrot the last ten words she said to me in order to prove that I was paying attention (not). I usually fail to convince her. I wonder why? But, here, I am seeing the spots on the wing as though they were powdered on like delicate feathering. The transitions are soft not sharply defined. Nature is wonderful. In most circumstances I would have been thrilled to get a picture of the whole butterfly. That blue spray upon the wings is such a nice detail mother nature decided to add.


Collateral images

I’m having a day with the swallowtail caterpillars and a praying mantis walks up and into my picture. They are scary looking. And I do not know if they eat caterpillars. Frankly, it’s need to know and I don’t want to… know. It’s considered good luck to see one. They are carnivores. Great! We both go our own way…. I hope he will eat all the mosquitoes in my garden… probably not.


Swallowtail

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We have monarch butterfly caterpillars. Where do they come from? Ha! Well, we have a bunch of caterpillars eating my parsley. So, they aren’t monarchs. They are swallowtail butterfly caterpillars.

It’s all figured out from what they eat. Monarchs only eat milkweed. Okay! The identification is solved. I’d like to have had monarchs. Alas, it’s not to be. Meanwhile, it’s devilishly hard for me to get a properly focused picture. The depth of field is shallow. The caterpillars are small. There are ways… but a point and shoot isn’t the best tool. I got shots.

I didn’t try to go out and find my macro lens. Well, I did it. I was curious to see if I could get a better shot. No, not better, different. There were pros and cons. But I was in much better control with manual focus. Autofocus has been around forever. You become dependent. Or, you adapt. Solve the problem. Okay!


Praying mantis

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My container garden is a magnet for insects. I had an invasion of Japanese beetles that ate a whole New Guinea impatiens. Just one, who knows why they spared the other plants. I have seen a couple praying mantises among the containers. It’s said to be good luck to see one. I think they eat lots of other insects. Maybe that will help against my ants and beetles? From my perspective this guy looks fierce.


Butterfly

We have a number of butterflies who come to the plants to eat. And much of the time they have injured their wings. This one is no exception and has a missing part to the back left. I am amazed at the detail of the camera and lens. I am good. The camera makes me look better. Between us we got a few great shots.