Category Archives: Wildlife

“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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“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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“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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“Yellow-collared Scape Moth” – Cisseps fulvicollis

“Yellow-collared Scape Moth” - Cisseps fulvicollis

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
– Marcel Proust

It seems to be butterfly and bug week for me. Butterflies, especially, have been sparse this year, though small months are plentiful, yet elusive. The butterflies also serve as subject matter as flowering plants seem to be in a transition phase, many is seed and others just budding.

When I went hiking during yesterday’s eclipse, I found that most insect life seemed quite subdued, except for mosquitoes, who welcomed the early dusk as an extended mealtime. As I passed a small cluster of Joe-Pye Weed, I spotted this colourful flying insect. Having no idea what it was, I photographed it with the intention of looking it up on my return home, which is my practice lately.

I thought this was some form of fly and was surprised to find out that it is a moth. It did not fit the common form of moths around here. Yet, when I look more closely, it does have all the characteristics of a moth.

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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“Wood Nymph on Crab Apple Leaf”

“Wood Nymph on Crab Apple Leaf”

“Miracles… seem to me to rest not so much upon… healing power coming suddenly near us from afar but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that, for a moment, our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there around us always.” 
― Willa Cather

For those living in the path of today’s solar eclipse, I’m sure it will be tough to compete with the spectacle in the sky. If I had to chase those spectacles, I’m sure I would have stopped making photographs years ago. Fortunately, that is not the case and there is so much wonder in the seemingly mundane spaces around us daily.

Today, I set out mid-morning to make a few images of local wildflowers, only to find many have already gone to seed and the next ‘wave’ is just starting to bud. Yet, in my periphery I caught movement and noticed this wood nymph floating and fluttering from plant to plant, occasionally sitting to sun itself, then taking to the sky again.

It took a while for it to finally land on a leaf that offered me decent lighting and a side view. And, it took me a while to get close enough to get a good image, without spooking it away. Persistence paid off and I was a able to get a few nice shots of it. Despite some wear and tear, so common in butterfly wings this late in the season, it was a fairly nice example of this common woodland butterfly. The only drawback was that the butterfly was content to just sit there and did not open its wings to offer me a top view. Despite this, I’m always happy to be reminded that being in nature frequently puts me more in tune with it and makes it easier for me to spot things like this that others simply don’t notice. I often have people looking at my photos surprised that I made the image steps from home.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/40 sec, f/16.0, ISO 100

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Monarch on Purple Coneflower”

“Monarch on Purple Coneflower”

“There are times to stay put, and what you want will come to you, and there are times to go out into the world and find such a thing for yourself.” 
― Lemony Snicket

For the past several days, I’ve watched one or two monarch butterflies on my purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpura) and I have not had my camera handy. By the time I gathered my camera and got outside, it seems the butterflies had flown off. Or, they fly off as I slowly approach the flowerbed, not to return that day, to my knowledge.

Today, fortune was with me. I was on my way to gather a blossom to photograph in my studio and I noticed a Monarch as busy feasting on the flower’s nectar, along with many honeybees. Once more, I did not have my camera with me and, once again, I went inside to get it. On my return the butterfly was still on the flower, but flew away as I approached. I decided to wait it out by photographing the blossoms and the bees, seeing the butterfly floating around in my periphery. Well, it paid off, and the butterfly, unable to resist this large cluster of Echinacea, returned once more and gave me the opportunity to snap a few shots before taking off once more. This is one of the three images I made while it fed.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/160 sec, f/10.0, ISO 320

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