Thursday, September 3, 2015

An Essay without Words.

Click on each photo for a closer reading.

Or, perhaps, a symphony without a conductor.  Skippers and Hover Flies on Rabbitbrush.

Snowberries. A harbinger?

 My friend on Jackson Street has a 50-foot row of Snowberry bushes along the road. Even thought they are a summer crop, they make me think of snow - wish for snow!  What intrigues me besides the hundreds of little white balls is what you can see when you look closer.  Berries and leaves in all stages of their seasonal cycle.  Some leaves thoroughly munched on by various insects and larvae.

 Insect egg clusters on the undersides of leaves.  Some berries still green, while others have ripened and then been devoured by birds.
 And a few clusters of buds and freshly bloomed flowers.  A season on a bush.

Ooooh, it's getting thicker!

I wish I had a microscope with a camera attachment.  This little dammed-up pond by the FRC tennis courts looks pretty ugly if you think of it as a place to swim, or to get a drink.  But, if you've spent any time looking at Protists under a microscope, you realize how much beauty and amazement lies beneath the surface.  Lacking that opportunity, it is also fun to watch the Dragonflies swoop down and tease the Bullfrogs, and every once in a while miscalculate.  Then, if you pay close attention, you can see how the frogs use their eyes to swallow!  Some day I'll get this on video.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

I Couldn't Wait

I Know It's Still Summer, but....

 Some of the more famous maples around town have not yet begun to show "fall colors," but there's one tree on Jackson Street that I drive by every day that is ready for Fall.  I have been driving by this tree every day, so today I decided to stop and get some pictures. 
In earlier posts I mentioned my goal of photographing the Skippers that have been visiting the Rabbitbrush on the FRC campus.  Saturday evening they had gone into hiding by the time I got there.  Sunday evening, the bushes were already in the shade, and last night, the same.  But, this afternoon, around 3:45, conditions were just right.  The bushes were in the sun, there was little or no wind, and there were several dozen skippers on the freshest-looking bush.  It's my bedtime - I have to get up early tomorrow.  So, I'll need to wait until tomorrow to post the photos.  I'm excited about them.  I 'll also post some photos of a Snowberry bush that intrigued me because on part of the bush, the flowers had already gone to seed, other parts had the white berries, but most of the leaves were somewhat chewed up, and, finally, a small branch in the sahde of the others and near the ground had fresh flowers and buds and unblemished leaves.  It was like seeing a whole season on one bush.

Monday, August 31, 2015

No Skippers Today, But....

 I said yesterday that my main goal today was to photograph skippers on the Rabbitbrush by the main entrance to the FRC library.  I was too late.  The bushes were in the shade and it was a bit windy.  So, I'm showing here some activity around said Rabbitbrush last Saturday night.  I made a rushed stop just before the football scrimmage.  Saw no skippers, but did find a friendly lizard (above), and some
 of the Rabbitbrush still looked fresh like it did in early summer, although most of it had gone to seed.
 The light wasn't very good when I got this shot of some sort of wasp or fly on a blooming Gumplant.  Actually, I was more intrigued by the sepals and bracts on the unopened flower in the background.
This close-up was a test of how much cropping I could get away with.  This image represent around 1/10 of the area of the original.  Tomorrow is a new month.  I'm seeing a hint of fall colors.  I think tomorrow I'm going to get some shots of a maple tree in the neighborhood that's starting to turn red, and maybe see what I can do with a full moon..

Cropping = Telescope?

The image of which this is but a small fraction appeared a few days ago.  I cropped it even further, mostly as a test of just how much cropping I could get away with when I have a 24MP sensor.  Evidently quite a bit!  I love the details in the Dandelion head that's gone to seed.  In fact, several times this past week I have come in close to a flower to photograph a bee or grasshopper and only when I opened the image on my computer screen did I see other bugs.  I don't have a high-quality telephoto lens, so it's nice to have a tool that can see better than I can.  More tiny discoveries await.