Multitudes of small, silvery butterflies flutter around these flowers on warm summer days.
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.
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.
Bridger was excited to spot this very large caterpillar one morning in September of 2010. He thought I might like to make its portrait. He was right!
A Caterpillar Contemplates... ? - September 2010
I don’t know what caterpillars contemplate in general, but this one was trying to start to spin its cocoon. Talk about an opportunity for deep contemplation, the time spent metamorphosing, wrapped in a cocoon, might just be time for deep coming-of-age thoughts!
Should we take a cue from the moth and butterfly world, and tightly wrap our teenagers in swaddling clothes to contemplate their coming of age years?
Zooming in on the gold, sunset-lit filaments of this grass seed head, I saw an anomaly.
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?
Wishful thinking? Can a grasshopper have wishes? I know a grasshopper can be very aware of me, the photographer!
Frozen in Time - Grasshopper - 2010
When I moved to one side to get a better view of him, he would edge around the twig to the other side where I could not see him as well. I finally had to use one hand to kind of wave at him so that he would edge away from my hand into the view of my camera. I caught him, though!
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.
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…
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.
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!
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.
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!
This afternoon’s flashback was triggered by memories of taking photos of flowers like this morning’s frost-covered blossom nearly one year ago. This is a clearer view of the details, unobscured by the sugary-looking frost crystals of this morning’s shot.
Sweet Little Candy Striped Flowers - March 19, 2011
Are these flowers blooming earlier this year? Or did I simply not see them last year under the 16 inches of snow we had the first week of February?!