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Between yardwork and errands today and yesterday, I took some pictures in the garden. I was pleased to see a Hummingbird Moth -- Hemaris diffinis -- a Snowberry Clearwing Moth.

They are difficult to photograph partly because they look like, and are the size of, bumblebees, so unless you are paying attention, you don't even know they are around. They are also fairly shy, and if you get within 6 or 7 feet of them, they tend to fly away. Also, they are moving a lot, so they are hard to shoot.

I used my longest lens here (and cropped the result), so that I didn't have to get too close.

Hummingbird moth (Hemaris diffinis - Snowberry Clearwing Moth)

Hummingbird moth (Hemaris diffinis - Snowberry Clearwing Moth)


And I was also pleased to see a Monarch Caterpillar -- Danaus plexippus -- feeding on the Swamp Milkweed out front. It means I did the right thing planting the Swamp Milkweed -- which I did to give Monarchs a food source.
Monarch caterpillar (Danaus plexippus) feeding on Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

Weekend

Jul. 30th, 2017 09:07 pm
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It was a really nice dinner with friends the other night this past week...the restaurant had a great vegetarian option -- that's unusual for burger place -- and just really nice conversation.

***

Wine with a friend tonight, who has bought a full frame sensor camera -- and wow, it worked really nicely with my fisheye lens! It really is tempting me to trade up from my crop sensor to a full frame!

***

I met a guy for coffee today...I knew he was young...but OMG -- so young, lol! I immediately went into 'uncle mode' because he is so young -- he's 21...There's more difference in our ages than he is old! I can totally hang out with him -- and give him some support as he 'grows up' as a gay man. He was pretty painfully shy -- which brought out my Uncle mode even more!

***

I was taking pictures of a Goldfinch munching on my Coneflowers today...I never realized that birds would 'squat' before they took a dump, lol! But this finch totally did a wing and leg thing and took 2 dumps -- I didn't catch the actual dumping in my photo, but you can see the pose he took, lol!
Goldfinch, ahem, having a private moment after a large breakfast

***

Speaking of Uncle mode...one of my great nephews sent me a text today...he's 8. So I texted a few things...and sent him some pictures. He seemed to like the picture of Milkweed Bugs on my Swamp Milkweed plant --
Milkweed Bugs (Oncopeltus fasciatus)
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My house has a new resident -- it appears to be a leafcutter wasp.

As I was walking around the house this morning, I saw this bug fly into a hole in the mortar. I watched it come and go a couple of times, but it was too fast -- I couldn't see it well enough to identify it! So I brought the camera out. Again, it was so fast that I couldn't point the camera (and have the camera focus) fast enough. So then I brought out the tripod and shutter switch. Still not a great pic, but enough for me to ID the bugger!

The green you see is a piece of leaf it has cut to bring back to line the nest --


The good news is that they seem to be excellent pollinators. And it doesn't seem that they will do great harm to the house. The bad news is that once one finds a 'good spot', they mark the spot, so others know about it. Although solitary nesters, they tend to have nests near each other. So, I suppose this could become a problem in the future. But for now, the nest is safe with me!

***

The heat has been fierce lately, so I haven't wanted to work in the yard. And by the time I was up and about today, I didn't want to go to the river and be in the sun. So, I decided to visit the butterfly exhibit at the local botanical garden again.

If I thought it was humid outside....wait until I got inside the butterfly exhibit, whew!
It wasn't humid in there....not not at all  😜


I wanted to "pan" the camera, in the way I do for bicyclists....but butterflies don't go in a straight, predictable line! I still think this photo is interesting, although not what I was aiming for --
It's hard to photograph a moving butterfly!


I had seen the 'eyes' on the wings of these butterflies before, but the angle of this this photo really made them stand out! I was surprised at how much my eye was drawn to the fake 'eye' instead of the actually head of the butterfly!
The Eye!


Another butterfly in the exhibit --
Butterfly


I have not seen many butterflies in my garden at home this year -- small ones -- Sulfas and Skippers, but not many large ones. I'm hoping when the Asters start to bloom that I'll see a few more.

Sad!

Jun. 27th, 2017 05:38 pm
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The painter painted the porch, and it looks really nice!

But I got home and noticed a dragonfly had gotten stuck in it! You know I like dragonflies a lot!

And he's still alive! But I can't get to him. And even if I could get to him, I think I would end up pulling off a leg or wing or something.

☹️


Awww!  Sad!

Update

I emailed the painter about it -- not because I expected him to do anything, but just as a personal note. He felt bad for the dragonfly, so he came by the next day and used a long stick to free him! And as far as I know, the dragonfly kept all his wings and legs!
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I am still not recovered from my trip, so I decided to have a quiet weekend. Today, I walked a little, and got a shot of an Ebony Jewelwing --
Ebony Jewelwing (?) Damselfly
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Back to the park tonight with a different lens...

Evening at the park

Evening at the park

Reflections at the Park


But I didn't quite get what I wanted. First, bats just seem hard to capture. Second, omg, bugs flying all over me. Not mosquitoes. I had on bug spray. Didn't seem to matter! This photo is pretty heavily processed.
Bats at the park

I wonder what I can do differently. I could bring along an extender for this lens...


And here are those fricken bugs that were ALL OVER ME -- even though I had spritzed bug spray! They were very small, flying, appeared to have 6 legs, a waist and a hard shell.



Dandelions

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"O seguro morreu de velho, mas o desconfiado ainda está vivo." -- "The safe one died of old age, but the suspicious one is still living."





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