Silvery Secrets

Multitudes of small, silvery butterflies flutter around these flowers on warm summer days.

Back_Forty_graybutterfly_001

Silvery Flutters - Summer 2011

Until looking at the still images, I was unaware of their secret beauties. The delicate, black and white striped antennae tipped in golden yellow is the most striking hidden feature. I also love their furry little faces and the false eye and face at the other end that might serve to trick predators into attacking a less vulnerable part of their anatomy, hopefully giving them a chance to escape.

I have always loved being out in nature, but the camera both gives me “permission” to spend more time outdoors and also reveals so many lovely little secrets that I couldn’t (or didn’t) spot with my own, “normal” vision. I hope I am becoming more observant and also winning my lifelong fight to grant value to the artistic side of my personality, rather than dismissing it as unuseful or not worthwhile.

Advertisements

Some Itches Just Gotta Be Scratched!

Does she have an itchy foot?

Back_Forty_prayingmantis_6290

Itchy Foot? - Summer 2010

This was another insect Bridger spotted. He ran in, “Mom! I think you will want to take a photo of this praying mantis out here!” I grabbed my camera and hurried after him.

When I got there and started shooting, this praying mantis turned out to be a natural model, striking several interesting poses in quick succession. This was my favorite, though, chewing on her foot, because it made me think of my dogs and horses 🙂

This was when I was new enough to my camera that I was having a hard time with some focus and depth of field issues, but you can see most of her pretty well.

Grass & Wee Bug

Zooming in on the gold, sunset-lit filaments of this grass seed head, I saw an anomaly.

0-Back_Forty_Summer_8493-Grass&WeeBug

Wee, Small Fellow Hiding in the Seeds - Summer 2011

A fat filament? No, it moved. Although it was well camouflaged, it definitely had legs and eyes. I don’t know what it is, but several of the same variety of grass sported similar denizens. Do you know what it is?

Just a Fuzzy Muzzle!

Still bedewed with water droplets from his frigid early morning drink, Blaze’s fuzzy little muzzle is silhouetted against the sunrise.

Refreshing! - Winter 2011


This adorable post: http://h2obyjoanna.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/41365-snowy-nose-of-a-shetlander/ – from h2o by Joanna, a fellow photography blogger, is what reminded me of my shot of Blaze.

Blue and Green Summer Afternoon

Today is bright and sunny, triggering today’s afternoon flashback. It is quite a cheerful looking day. But step outside and your mood may change; it is brisk, to put a nice spin on it. Cold, frigid compared to recent days in the 60s.

Back_Forty_Summer_Harlan_Iowa_8245-greenBug-A

Does this summer sight help you smell and hear echoes of summer? 2011

Looking out the window, feeling the heat through the windows, called to mind this summer afternoon in Harlan, Iowa, 2011. Warm in the sun, slightly less warm in the shade. Humming insects, gentle lapping of waves, soft susurating breeze…

Arctic Cartoon Mosquito?

This is another flashback to warmer, sunnier days. Last spring I set out to photograph the wild plum blossoms – and revel in their heady scent.

Back_Forty_Spring2011_5131-FuzzyInsect

Happily for me, it is more interested in nectar than in my blood - Spring 2011

As I moved around to find blossoms highlighted by sunlight, I was not the only one interested in the sunny, sweet smelling blooms. In fact, there were numerous visitors of many sizes and shapes, but the most astounding to me was this odd creature. I realize it sort of resembles a bumblebee, but I do not think it is a bee at all. What it most looks like to me is those cartoon mosquitoes with pointy proboscii (is that a plural for proboscis?). Only this one is dressed for cold weather, rather like an Eskimo, and his/her face is all whiskery like a Schnauzer. Of course, now I have exited the realms of science and, rather, entered cartoon-landia, but none-the-less, I wanted to share this marvelous little creature. 🙂 And I loved the light sparkling off the fur on his back!

Good Golly, Miss Molly, I’ve Never Seen That Before!

I started out focusing on a patch of lavender-pink Bee Balm (I think that’s what the flowers are), seeking to capture the glow of sunlight through their translucent petals. Then I noticed perfectly camouflaged little insects, their green the color of the leaves, their pink matching the petals, and their graceful black-and-white striped antennae seeming extensions of the flowers’ own reaching stamens.

Back_Forty_Spring_8013_BeeBalm&Insect

This secret world is why I like to leave large swathes of our 40 acres UN-mown.

I caught a focused shot of one, but I didn’t want to lose the whole image of the flower with the insect hidden in its petals, so I enlarged just the insect and super-imposed it over the image of itself on the flower. So you can see both the enlargement and the original image combined into one photoshopped image.

I hope you enjoy your glimpse into this tiny, hidden world as much as I enjoyed discovering and recording it!