Gold Dust

Powdered with gold dust, she glows in the sunlight.

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Velvety Golden All Over - Summer 2011

Doesn’t she look soft? Don’t touch her, though, or you’re liable to rub that dust right off and leave her damaged and unable to fly as well as before.

Hiding Place

He is nearly invisible, despite his glowing green color.

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Who Is Hiding Here? - Summer 2011

He just looks like a part of the plant on which he is resting.

It is like meditating. I go out to take photos – usually drawn out by the beckoning sunlight, sometimes driven out by a need to create something – I first take a few shots and restlessly move on. Then it captures my attention –  it varies – and my attention becomes focused on it, I change angles, or slowly move closer, or think of the angle of the light or how the background contrasts with it. Sometimes those photos turn out as I imagine them, but often, in the quiet of truly focusing, I become aware of something else that I had not seen – would not have seen at my earlier pace – and that becomes the real photo shoot of the day. This little insect was one of those, in the summer of 2011. I didn’t see him until I was focusing on a dragonfly, what I thought was it, trying to ease closer and get a shot with all the elements right, background, the glint of light on its wings, the… Oh no, the dragonfly flew away! Then I saw the bright yellow flowers on their glowing green stems – and it. When I came out of the trance and went back to my computer to look at what I got, I was pleased with this shot 🙂

Does anyone else find themselves out of the everyday hustle and bustle, almost meditating while pursuing the shot?

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.

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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…

Sounds of Summer

Afternoon flashback: I was thinking how the sounds of summer are different than the sounds of winter. The symphony starts with spring peepers, early in the year, then builds through the months, finally reaching a crescendo near summer’s end, when the cicadas add their insistent hum to the sounds around.

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The Shell Out of Which a Cicada Hatched - Summer 2011

Growing up in New York State, I don’t recall ever hearing (or at least noticing) cicadas. I was in Japan when I first noticed the  蝉(せみ)- cicada. Since that is where I first became aware of that hum of late summer, I always think of them first by their Japanese name. It is pronounced “semi,” the e is a short e, the i is pronounced as in Latin, with a long e sound. The call of the cicada seems to herald the onset of Autumn.

Worker Bee

She’s busy as a bee! I was out of town, out of state, actually, and had just a little downtime, so I took a stroll with my camera. It was that wonderful golden hour as the sun sinks to the horizon, and there she was with her sisters, busily trying to collect as much nectar as possible before curfew. Her bread baskets are full of pollen, too.

Beautiful Honey Bee - 2011

Holy Canoli! What IS That?

Here’s a flashback for you. So, there I sat on the pond bank, stalking the ever wary dragon fly and damsel fly (really, I am not picky, I’ll shoot whichever will light close enough and hold still long enough!), when I turned my head and spotted this guy on a leaf really close to my head. Moving slowly, so as not to scare it off (never had I seen anything resembling this critter), I turned and focused the camera. Voila! French is not my language, so ほら!すごい虫ですねえ。

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Wheel Bug - Summer 2011 - Arilus Cristatus

Well, I just called it a prehistoric-looking bug, but my friend Travis did a Google Search and came up with the common name, scientific name, and an article about the beast. It turns out it is a “true bug,” something my Dad had tried to tell me about once – that there were insects that were truly bugs, and insects that were not – a member of the Assassin Bug family. And look there on its proboscis, a little assassinated insect from which it is presumably drinking the juices!

I was so excited to make a new (to me) discovery! And there were wheel bugs all around me, once I started looking. They are really quite a large insect, I don’t know how I never noticed them before. What an absorbing hour of shooting that was 🙂

Dragonfly, the Third Iteration

Yet another flashback photo, again of a dragonfly. I think this is my favorite dragonfly photo! He is nearly camouflaged, but so sharp and clear. You can tell it was early morning, before the dew burned off, which may be why he was not as busily flitting around on dragonfly business as they usually are.

Green Dragonfly - Flashback to Summer 2011