Category Archives: macro

“Bee and Asters”

“Bee and Asters”

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/80 sec, f/4.5 ISO 100 

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“Golden Moments”

“Golden Moments”

“Do you know how there are moments when the world moves so slowly you can feel your bones shifting, your mind tumbling? When you think that no matter what happens to you for the rest of your life, you will remember every last detail of that one minute forever?” 
― Jodi Picoult

While on an extended hike yesterday, making photos for my next series, I entered a large meadow, filled with bright yellow Goldenrod. The plants were in peak condition, having just started blooming a few days ago. The entire field in which I stood, from treeline to treeline, was alight with gold. As I stood looking across the expanse of flowers, my ears became aware of an incredible buzzing sound. Upon looking closer, I noticed thousands of honeybees at work, extracting nectar and collecting pollen. I was literally engulfed in a sea of flowers and bees. Wow!

For a few moments, I stood there, eyes closed, the sun shining warmly on my face, savouring the moment, thrilling in the warmth and listening to the thrum of the bees. Everything else melted into the background as my senses drank in the sounds of life. I was blessed to be part of this moment, also thinking how awesome it was to see a significant population of honeybees, which have been on the decline for the past few years.

After pausing to enjoy this experience, I set out to make a few images to remember it by. It did not take long, as every flower has at least two bees on it. That is how many there were. As I said in previous posts, I used to have a fear of bees. What I have experienced lately is that honeybees are very gentle and could care less about me as I lean in close for a photo. I also noticed that as I pushed though the bee laden goldenrod, they simply flew into the air and landed back on the plants after I had passed. They bounced off my arms and chest as I waded through the flowers, simply another participant in the life of the meadow. By the way, for those not familiar with goldenrod, it grows on tall stalks and the flowers are at face level to me. I’m six foot one. So, the bees are right in front of me as well.

So, here it is, a “Golden Moment” to remind me of my time with the bees and the joy of that moment, in the flowers.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/640 sec, f/13.0, ISO 400 

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“Indian Pipe” – Monotropa uniflora

“Indian Pipe” - Monotropa uniflora

“Sometimes all you need in your life is anything strange because strange things can revive your soul just like a cold water freshening your pale face with every splash!” 
― Mehmet Murat Ildan

I thought I had missed them. A week ago, as I was hiking a local conservation area, I came across a patch of Indian Pipes, a very strange plant and a bit of a rarity around here. Alas, they were past their prime and already turning black. Not photo worthy.

Earlier today, as I made a brief foray into a local forest, I was surprised to find numerous clusters of Indian Pipe still in great condition. I was even more surprised to find them in bloom. Honestly, I did not know they bloomed, as I have never seen them at this stage and in such fine condition. I made several images in the highly variable light of the pine forest and this was the best of the series. Generally, the heads of the Indian Pipe are nodding, thus the name: Monotropa, from Greek monos, meaning “one” and tropos, meaning “turn”. I was also surprised by the pink colouration, as these plants lack chlorophyll, which is what gives plants their green colour. These odd plants get their nutrients through a mycorrhizal relationship with a fungus, which in turn gets its nutrients for local trees. It’s this complex relationship that has led to the Indian Pipes lack of chlorophyll, they don’t need it.

As I said, there were many clusters of this usually rare plant to be found, likely brought on by the warm, wet summer we have had. Usually, I have to look hard to find even a single plant, at the right time of year. Fortunately, I had my macro lense and tripod with me, so I was able to collect a nice sharp image, with good depth of field.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/6 sec, f/22.0, ISO 100

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Red Cap”

“Red Cap”

“It is the dim haze of mystery that adds enchantment to pursuit.”
– Antoine Rivarol

I came across this mystery mushroom a few days ago, while hiking during our recent partial eclipse. I’m unsure of the species, but the red cap and ivory stem would indicate it to be a member of the Amanita family of mushrooms. The shape of the cap is not typical of this species though, so I’m stumped.

The image quality is not my best, as it was hastily made while trying to avoid the hoards of mosquitoes which were particularly active that day and were particularly voracious, despite my insect repellent, which is usually very effective. Despite the obstacles, at least I have an image I can review and figure out what this is called.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/15 sec; f/1.8; ISO 40

 

“Lunch for Two”

“Lunch for Two”

“Unfamiliar disturbs us; familiar comforts us! But for the wise man, unusual is more precious than the usual because it offers us a new way, a new vision, a new idea, a new world!” 
― Mehmet Murat ildan

Quite often, I come across scenes that make me pause, because they are unusual or momentary. For me, those scenes are a break from the mundane, everyday scenes, and I relish them. Like this image of two Black Blister Beetles (Epicauta pennsylvanica), feasting on recently blooming Goldenrod. I also had to look the beetles up, since I was not sure what they were. To my surprise, most images of the beetles have them feeding on Goldenrod. So perhaps, this is not so unusual after all?

In my many hours hiking local trails I have not noticed these beetles, which on this particular day seemed to be infesting most of the Goldenrod along the trails. It may have been a unique event for this day, or I may simply have missed seeing it in the past.

What made this scene more interesting to me was that all the beetles; there where more than just these two, were all facing the same direction. It’s just the close proximity of these two that made me come up with the title. I did go back out the next day and the beetles were gone.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/400 sec, f/10.0, ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Incoming”

“Incoming”

“Sometimes opportunities float right past your nose. Work hard, apply yourself, and be ready. When an opportunity comes you can grab it.”
― Julie Andrews Edwards 

This was a fun scene to watch. There were initially two large bees, hastily gathering nectar from this bull thistle. As they busied themselves, a smaller bee approached closely, but when it saw the blossom full, darted off, yet kept coming back to check on the situation.

While I was snapping photos, one of the larger bees left, freeing up a large tract of real estate. As I continued to track the large bee, waiting for a good composition, the small bee darted in from the periphery, just as I hit the shutter release, yielding the action shot above.

The image makes me smile because I am so keenly aware that the small bee was so anxious to get its share of nectar and was probably relieved that one of its larger competitors had departed. Also, the slight blur of the smaller bee’s body gives a sense of speed and urgency to the image. The larger bee was so busy, it never even noticed the new arrival.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/320 sec, f/9.0, ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Monarch Butterfly on Queen Anne’s Lace”

“Monarch Butterfly on Queen Anne’s Lace”

“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.” 
― Amy Bloom 

I’ve been saving a quote for some time, waiting for the right image. Well, the image presented itself a few days ago. As I’ve said in a few posts, butterflies seem to be scarce this year, Monarchs even more so. I think this whole season I’ve only seen a handful.

This one was simply too wonderful to resist, despite it’s damaged wings? What, what, damaged? Have a closer look. What at first appeared to be a ‘perfect’ specimen, on further inspection shows some late summer wear and tear, though not extensive, the damage is irreparable. Does this make the butterfly any less beautiful? Not to me, as I watched it perched so wonderfully, posing, as if just for my benefit.

It was beautiful in its imperfection, and I’m glad for that. The damage makes me wonder how it came about. With all our rain and wind over the past few weeks, I’m surprised to see butterflies at all, let alone mostly intact. I can’t imagine how they survive. Yet, this one did, offering me a nice long view.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/200 sec, f/7.0 ISO 100

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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or my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com