Nature is cruel, survival, and all of that. Feather found a tomato worm. She worried the thing across the deck, pawing, and toying with it. She licked it – taste test. Then, she bit it and swallowed it. I was a bit shocked. Not surprised. Just amazed that her base instinct took over. Gone. Hardly a meal, a mere snack. Done.
It’s technically a butterfly and not a moth by the definition; I will not elaborate. I just got great detail. No complaints. It just flew into my camera view and landed on the butterfly bush. No kidding. It’s called a butterfly bush. Thank you. It works! – the bush.
Sphinx moth, tomato horn worm. I got ‘em. How? Dunno. They showed up eating a bite out of my green tomatoes. They proceeded to eat the leaves leaving bare stems. They pooped leaving droppings outside the tomato pot. Finally!!! I caught on. Duh!! First one, then another, then another… Colleen said they had to go. She’s got the farm background. Ok! They stick to the plant like glue. I fashioned chop sticks from two BBQ skewers. No luck. (They stick, remember?) The anatomy is fascinating. Fake “eye” spots. Horn! Multiple pairs of “clinging” legs in clustered pairs. The mouth end looks to have row upon row of teeth to chomp the leaves to the stem. They poop! But! They seem to poop near the head not the tail end. (Yes! That is pictured, top center.) That was interesting (too). I mistook the horn for the head and the head was so non-descript to be mistaken for the tail. Ha ha! My bad. I know my vision is fading with age… but maybe there’s something worse when you can’t tell the head from the tail.
It’s not easy shooting moving targets. The flower and the butterfly are moving in 3D. This makes focus near impossible. Focus, composition, detail, and so on, all are critical. I was able to come away with two passable shots. It looks easy. It wasn’t. I feel fortunate that I was able to get something good.
I’m still trying to catch a bee in flight. Someday… Meanwhile, I get my share of bees. Pollen collects on their legs. It’s fun to get a detailed shot. I have lots of good shots. Some stand out a bit more. I’m happy to share.
I liken my flower photo expeditions to the dives I did in the Red Sea. Walk around the garden and shoot the flowers. Not fish, flowers. And then pick out the best. And sometimes I get fauna – bugs. Lady bug, bee with pollen. Neat! It’s a plus!
I don’t Photoshop. I can. I would. I don’t much. Can you get it? But, there are exceptions as on this occasion where my vision and the photo needed tweaking to match my imagination.
Wasp! I got great detail! My luck! I’m still waiting to get one in motion – flying. That will be quite a trick. I’m casual not crazed. So it will indeed be luck if I get a wasp in flight. Meanwhile, I got detail. Nice! He stood around while I got my shot.
Some time ago – many years – I started this blog. Photography was my passion. I never pandered for followers. There are a few hundreds who have come and gone. A few follow along at any given time. There are silent followers among friends and relatives. You know who you are. Ginny, Susan…more. Thank you. I am public and my thoughts hang out. Sometimes way out. Sometimes humorous. It is a picture into my life in photography. One (a few) pic and a short story (very long caption), it jumps forward and backward. There are no brakes and no editor other than me. Unfiltered.
To all of you who follow along – Thank you.
I took these pictures. I know it because they are in my files. And it was from my deck container garden. Do I remember? No. I’m old and headed on to demented. Oh well, we knew this would happen. I hope not. Memory is a funny thing. I have forgotten more than I remember. I remember more than you know. I constantly amaze myself with obscure trivia that just pops up on demand. My images are my brain’s external storage. My photos have always served as an anchor. I can often see a random pic and recall the circumstance and place where it was taken. This flower and moth in my container garden? … not a clue. Demented? …every day you meet new people.
Try to get a bumble bee in flight. Try? I’m generally unsuccessful. I can’t get the shot. Camera or photographer or both conspire to prevent me from capturing what I see. The limits of equipment keep the camera manufacturers happy. I buy another to see if it will perform better than the last. No! There are some things I shall keep trying. But another camera? I’d have to sneak that by the “Boss.” She may not know about cameras but she knows a new one when she sees it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
Another year, another dragonfly. They do pose for me. And I shoot lots. And then I pick one to post. I suppose I should try to get a better vantage. But then again, I am happy that they will pose for me. Welcome back.
If you wait, then another opportunity will present itself. It’s a different day. And, the light was favorable. And the dragonfly was cooperative. I got a better shot. Hey! I have seen a bald eagle and a red dragonfly while we sat on the deck. I can’t show you the picture. The video of them is in my head. And you can’t download that.
Sometimes pictures just jump into my lap. On our terrace door was a grasshopper clinging. This meant I had a ventral view – belly – not so usual for bugs. I got some shots. I was pleasantly surprised the camera did the exposure and it focused sufficiently through the glass so the eyes were sharp.