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A pair of commas have been cavorting in the back garden, where I haven't seen them before.

This one took a shine to the garden chairs. You can zoom in on this one and see the hairs and scales. Just with the long end of a kit zoom.

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Edited by spacecadet
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On 20/06/2020 at 06:40, Regis said:

Mangrove tree at low tide:

 

mangrove-and-mangrove-roots-at-low-tide-

 

And in the mangrove forest at low tide too:

mangrove-and-mangrove-roots-at-low-tide-

How very interesting root formations!

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13 hours ago, Shpg said:

Last time I tried to eat my lunch like that first animal, I couldn’t walk right for a week.

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7 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

How very interesting root formations!

 

Hi Betty,

 

Yes, it is actually amazing to look at.

They very much resemble the architecture of the outside arches of Gothic cathedrals, in the way they support a bigger structure.

 

Have a good day,

Regis

 

 

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Dragged the studio flash out into the garden today for a few larfs.

I've put this one up for John to identify as well as I don't think it's wild- we don't have too many of those, as gardening is not our thing.

Edit: Steeplebush, spiraea douglasii. Thanks, John.

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Edited by spacecadet
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More please.

A red mason bee (?) inside a nettle-leaved bellflower.

This bee really liked this flower. I don't know if it was mainlining nectar or what, but it just sat there for minutes on end. I think he was in love.

 

DSC04828.jpg

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2 hours ago, Sally R said:

This is a Fairy Tern chick I photographed early last year. He or she was almost fully grown, so no longer a ball of fluff but not quite in adult plumage.

 

 

That is completely dead gourgeous.

And all I've got is this enchanter's nightshade (thanks John).

Hot glue custom lens adapter holding up well.

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Edited by spacecadet
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10 minutes ago, Sally R said:

 

Thanks Space Cadet! I like the enchanter's nightshade, including the way the light picks up the hairs all along the stems. It's amazing when you look really closely at things and see what is actually there. It looks like a delicate plant. Glad the custom lens adaptor is holding up 👍

I appreciate it. Getting the flash out into the garden has really done the trick there. My old flashgun with inflatable softbox (you should see it, just like a tiny little shiny waterwing) is at about 90 degrees to camera for that one. Just right for the hairy bits.

BTW enchanter's is supposed to have white leaves when fresh, (I've been listening to John) but ours look pink straight out of the bud. Maybe we have our own special strain.

Valerian

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Edited by spacecadet
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2 minutes ago, Sally R said:

 

Yes I googled enchanter as I hadn't heard of it before and could see that they mostly seem to be white, but I also saw an illustration of it with the same colour you have there.

 

Flashes of various kinds seem to really help with close-up photography. You can keep the shutter speed up while also having enough depth of field to keep everything in focus. One day I might get one of those fancy ring flashes for macro. I've been relying on the bright sunlight here to provide enough light, but in a forest or a cloudy day illumination options come in very handy!

I don't know what you use, but the A58 having a focal-plane shutter won't sync above about 1/160th  of course. Not usually too much sunlight at f16 though so I can just blast it. Or put up a parasol (seriously).

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11 minutes ago, Sally R said:

Wow that's a nice close-up. I like the sort of coral red colour.

Yes- it's pretty much correct for balance, but no white to take an eyedropper off. I usually have Lightroom apply auto tone on import, but I'm not doing it for this nature stuff- the tones end up too harsh.. You'd think the opposite with controlled lighting, but no. Could have something to do with the older optics with inferior coatings maybe.

Thinking out loud, I often have small plants against mostly green backgrounds. Auto Tone probably prefers something nearer the average.

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Sally, dear—did you explain to that bird that its neck is way too long? It needs help.

 

There's not much beautiful nature here in Liverpool, unless you count the colourful selection of antipasti in the M&S Foodhall. 

 

Edited by Ed Rooney
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11 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

 

 

There's not much beautiful nature here in Liverpool, unless you count the colourful selection of antipasti in the M&S Foodhall. 

You've got Blundellsands up the road a ways. Plenty of dead jellyfish. That's the Isle of Man ferry on the right.

 

 

port-of-liverpool-wind-farm-seen-from-blundellsands-beach-crosby-liverpool-C5YJ16.jpg

 

Edited by spacecadet
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Sat all day under an oak tree, hidden in shrubs and being bitten to death by b****y mossies 😖 to get a dozen or so images of this male kingfisher perched on a

branch with a cobweb which looks like a fishing rod and line.

 

2C5DX86.jpg

Edited by Alan Beastall
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Thanks Sally, some great images from Duade and useful video clips. The video clips of Duade using water to attract birds in the field and wearing wellies reminding me of the wet days at Glastonbury.

Alan

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On 03/07/2020 at 11:11, Alan Beastall said:

 

Sat all day under an oak tree, hidden in shrubs and being bitten to death by b****y mossies 😖 to get a dozen or so images of this male kingfisher perched on a

branch with a cobweb which looks like a fishing rod and line.

 

2C5DX86.jpg

Alan, photographing a Kingfisher has been on my bucket list for years. I once saw where one consistently fished from, a broken off dead tree, a stump, surrounded by water.

I went out a few days later in the dark and sat up my hide on the bank of the lake. Dawn broke and since the hide had no floor, I was being chewed up by insects.
Normally, I can sit very still for a long time. Not when I am slapping and scratching. The bird was a no-show, probably because it could hear fingernails on skin and denim. Who knows. By the time I left, the inside of that hide was like an oven. I got tired of being cooked and eaten alive. So not only was I slapping and scratching, I was mopping.
Never tried it again because just thinking about it makes me want to barf.
 

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Top edge of the right-hand fruit. You can click and zoom in.

Photobombed by an aphid.😀

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These are small lemons- a whole or half sliced and skewered on a cocktail stick is about right for a G&T.

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8 hours ago, Sally R said:

 

That sounds truly terrible Betty! You have reminded me of a story a photographer told me a few years ago. He had set up a tent he was using as a bird hide by a lake. After sitting in there a while he realised a tiger snake had slithered in with him. They are highly venomous. He had to wait sitting still for about four hours, after which the snake finally decided to leave.

 

A few years ago I went to a lake to do bird photography in an area that is known for Ross River virus, a mosquito borne virus that we have here in Australia. I was silly enough to have short sleeves and no insect repellant. While intently focussing on a heron with my camera I could feel a mosquito biting me, but didn't want to miss the shot. I left that day thinking, I hope I don't get Ross River virus. 3 weeks later I did, but pathology tests showed I had produced antibodies. I was fortunate in that I was only sick a short time, but some people have debilitating symptoms for 18 months or so. I've learned my lesson. I'm immune to Ross River virus now I've had it, but there is another one here called Barmah Forest virus that I can still get, so I know to take more care now if I know I'm in a high risk area.

 

There probably should be a book called 'Hazards of Wildlife Photography'.

I’ll buy that book, Sally, if you write it! A biting insect or snake is the same no matter the country, except for how quick it can kill you or make you sick.  we have West Nile (maybe others) from mosquitoes, and a couple of things from ticks. My husband was bitten on his toe by a copperhead snake while camping. He spent a night in the hospital and got anti-venom. His toe turned black but recovered fine.

Edited by Betty LaRue
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On 25/05/2020 at 07:55, spacecadet said:

For our American cousins, this is what a robin looks like. We saw this chap dart down from the tree and make like a humming-bird. Here's why- he had a beak full of ex-flying snacks. He missed that one on the right though.

Seen on a long walk in Epping Forest at 0745 this morning, my first for a couple of weeks. Not one for Alamy as I only have the 200 kit zoom and it's a crop as well.

 

DSC04192-2.jpg

 

I've never quite understood why the early settlers in North America didn't recognize the American robin's obvious similarity to its close relative, the European blackbird and instead focused on the red breast and named it after a fairly different looking bird. Maybe it's because they didn't have the internet and couldn't look at photos of them side by side.

Edited by TABan
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Although I live right outside Chicago, if I ever want a taste of the deep south, this bald cypress swamp is less than half an hour away. I've always wondered how hit got there as the closest cypress swamps are about 500km south in southern Illinois. Finally, I ran into a forest preserve conservation worker there who told me the area had been a Civilian Conservation Corps (an idea who's time may have come again) camp in the 1930s and they planted the trees in a low, flood prone area.

 

bald-cypress-swamp-cook-county-illinois-

Edited by TABan
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2 hours ago, TABan said:

 

I've never quite understood why the early settlers in North America didn't recognize the American robin's obvious similarity to it's close relative, the European blackbird and instead focused on the red breast and named it after a fairly different looking bird. Maybe it's because they didn't have the internet and couldn't look at photos of them side by side.

That’s an obvious question since the earliest settlers were mostly the British. You’d think they would know a robin if they saw one. 

But what I’ve noticed, many people aren’t into birds so mistakes could happen. I was walking with a friend one really warm day in late January When a robin landed nearby. I said, “Oh, look, the first robin of spring!” (Even though it was winter).

She looked at the bird, then at me, and said, “That’s what a robin looks like?” She wasn’t into nature at all, whereas I knew a dozen birds by sight and named them correctly by common name by the time I was 8 years old. Robin, bluejay, sparrow, blackbird, starling, Cardinal, Scissor-tailed flycatcher, (I just called it a scissortail) mockingbird, turtle dove, hummingbird and a few more including Canada goose (called it Canadian goose then) and mallard duck. I’m sure I’m forgetting some.

I would think some avian brainiac who sketched and named them for books had a reason for the names. Our robin is called American Robin, so that distinguishes it from yours as not being the same.

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I keep forgetting that there are threads outside of "contributor experience". And now that I am no longer contributing on Shutterstock, I need to get more active on here.

 

One of my recently re-processed images. I'd love to get back to Costa Rica next year (or my bday in December), but not sure how realistic that is these days

 

2C67HEG.jpg

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