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Betty LaRue

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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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Posted (edited)

Lemon blossom.

Lemons (and greenfly!) to follow.

DSC00289-2.jpg

Edited by spacecadet
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Posted (edited)

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

Photobombed by an aphid.😀

DSC00258-5.jpg

 

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

Edited by spacecadet

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On 05/07/2020 at 02:22, Betty LaRue said:

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.

 

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'.

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Posted (edited)
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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Posted (edited)
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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Posted (edited)

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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Posted (edited)

Hoverfly on a white nettle-leaved bellflower this morning. A lovely bit of dappled shade......and a Lastolite gold reflector.

I've got campanula trachelium, thanks John, but any chance of an ID on the hoverfly..........?

I was so pleased to get the oil-film dichroism (made-up description) on the wings. Zoom in to see.

DSC05194.jpg

Edited by spacecadet

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33 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

Hoverfly on a white nettle-leaved bellflower this morning. A lovely bit of dappled shade......and a Lastolite gold reflector.

I've got campanula trachelium, thanks John, but any chance of an ID on the hoverfly..........?

I was so pleased to get the oil-film dichroism (made-up description) on the wings. Zoom in to see.

DSC05194.jpg

 

It's the marmalade hoverfly, Episyrphus balteatus.  This one:

 

Orange and black banded adult male wasp mimic marmalade hoverfly, Episyrphus balteatus, in a UK garden Stock Photo

 

Lots of those in my garden at the moment.  Just come back from the local nature reserve (it's only a few hundred yards from my house so an easy walk) with a fair few insect images.  A quick browse through suggests I've got about 2 worth keeping.  Field macro is hard work for little reward. 😀

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I’ve never identified a species of hover fly.  I just tag “hoverfly”! Insects can be hard.

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2 hours ago, John Richmond said:

It's the marmalade hoverfly, Episyrphus balteatus.

Thanks again, John. I didn't think I'd be captionless for long.

Not up to your standard, of course, but it was opportunistic out on the patio with the long end of the 55-200. Not the sharpest tool in the box.

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3 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

Thanks again, John. I didn't think I'd be captionless for long.

Not up to your standard, of course, but it was opportunistic out on the patio with the long end of the 55-200. Not the sharpest tool in the box.

There's no shortage of close up insect shots on Alamy so I think there's space for good shots of them in the wider habitat.  Lots of copy space!

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2 hours ago, John Richmond said:

There's no shortage of close up insect shots on Alamy so I think there's space for good shots of them in the wider habitat.  Lots of copy space!

I'll consider it then, thanks fo the tip!

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On 06/07/2020 at 11:58, spacecadet said:

Lemon blossom.

Lemons (and greenfly!) to follow.

DSC00289-2.jpg

 

Very nice. Just wondering, what macro lens (or lens attachments) are you using with your Sony?

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6 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

I’ve never identified a species of hover fly.  I just tag “hoverfly”! Insects can be hard.

They're a lot easier than bumble bees!

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Tall grass prairie in autumn, Missouri, US, when I lived in the DC area and went out to see friends who lived in St. Louis.

 

2A994BY.jpg

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Posted (edited)

We just spent a wonderful week bushcamping in a national park. Stunning scenery with waterfalls, plunge pools, campfires in the evening.

There was a termite mound less than 5m from our motorhome. Camera mounted on a tripod and pre-focused slightly to the back of the top of the mound, I was comfortably seated with a glass of wine in one hand, remote shutter release in the other hand. I spent hours photographing blue-faced honeyeaters and great bowerbirds landing and inter-acting/fighting/begging on and around it. 

 

A skinny dingo ventured in the campground, only to be mobbed by a crow. He had to retreat.

Needless to say, although the scenery was breathtaking, birds were the highlight of our stay.

 

2C6CMG3.jpg

 

Edited by gvallee
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1 hour ago, gvallee said:

We just spent a wonderful week bushcamping in a national park. Stunning scenery with waterfalls, plunge pools, campfires in the evening.

There was a termite mound less than 5m from our motorhome. Camera mounted on a tripod and pre-focused slightly to the back of the top of the mound, I was comfortably seated with a glass of wine in one hand, remote shutter release in the other hand. I spent hours photographing blue-faced honeyeaters and great bowerbirds landing and inter-acting/fighting/begging on and around it. 

 

A skinny dingo ventured in the campground, only to be mobbed by a crow. He had to retreat.

Needless to say, although the scenery was breathtaking, birds were the highlight of our stay.

 

2C6CMG3.jpg

 

Beautiful bird! So do the birds come to eat the termites or what? And what do the termites eat without a house around? :D

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3 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

Beautiful bird! So do the birds come to eat the termites or what? And what do the termites eat without a house around? :D

 

No they don't eat termites. I had discreetly hidden wild bird seeds on the other side. 

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1 minute ago, gvallee said:

 

No they don't eat termites. I had discreetly hidden wild bird seeds on the other side. 

Ah! A woman after my own heart.
Before I got into stock and was shooting film, I seeded a huge washed up twisted, gray tree near a lighthouse in Oregon.  I had the lighthouse in the BG, threw crumbled cookies (all I had) on the tree trunk, scrambled backwards with all that driftwood and rock tripping me in order to get seagulls with wings spread landing on the weathered tree. It took several tries because the gulls swooped so fast and ate the crumbs before I could back up far enough to frame the shot.

The resulting image look almost black and white, but it had a bluish tint because the day was misty. It won a best in show in a local contest, so it was worth my nearly breaking my neck. 

We were on vacation, so this was not a planned shoot. I just saw what was there and my mind painted a picture. So I had to set it up.

Gen, I’m very sure you have done the same thing. In your travels, you stumbled upon a scene and your imagination directed you.

I love it when that happens. Because that’s what it is, a spontaneous happening.

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4 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

Ah! A woman after my own heart.
Before I got into stock and was shooting film, I seeded a huge washed up twisted, gray tree near a lighthouse in Oregon.  I had the lighthouse in the BG, threw crumbled cookies (all I had) on the tree trunk, scrambled backwards with all that driftwood and rock tripping me in order to get seagulls with wings spread landing on the weathered tree. It took several tries because the gulls swooped so fast and ate the crumbs before I could back up far enough to frame the shot.

The resulting image look almost black and white, but it had a bluish tint because the day was misty. It won a best in show in a local contest, so it was worth my nearly breaking my neck. 

We were on vacation, so this was not a planned shoot. I just saw what was there and my mind painted a picture. So I had to set it up.

Gen, I’m very sure you have done the same thing. In your travels, you stumbled upon a scene and your imagination directed you.

I love it when that happens. Because that’s what it is, a spontaneous happening.

 

I ended up with several hundred pix, I'm not telling you the number of deletes... Bird landing from the wrong angle, too low behind the termite mound, too quick, only partially in the frame, wings wrong angle, etc etc. And then when they were two of them, they had to be both in focus, not hiding part of the other's head, etc. Bird photography is when you need the most patience but is also the most rewarding, in my opinion of course. I'm aware that it wouldn't do much for most people.

 

You must have been pleased to win a prize, it makes it all the more worthwhile knowing you are not the only person liking your shot.

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3 minutes ago, gvallee said:

 

I ended up with several hundred pix, I'm not telling you the number of deletes... Bird landing from the wrong angle, too low behind the termite mound, too quick, only partially in the frame, wings wrong angle, etc etc. And then when they were two of them, they had to be both in focus, not hiding part of the other's head, etc. Bird photography is when you need the most patience but is also the most rewarding, in my opinion of course. I'm aware that it wouldn't do much for most people.

 

You must have been pleased to win a prize, it makes it all the more worthwhile knowing you are not the only person liking your shot.

Those were the days shortly after I’d been painting watercolors. My mind was heavy on composition, and of course I love birds as you do. If they wear feathers, I’m a fan. Even noisy, pushy seagulls.

Yeah, I understand on the deletes. Been thar......done that.

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Only during courtship does the Great Bowerbird (Chlamydera nuchalis) stands with its crest erect. When the crest lies flat, it is not even noticed, being the same grey colour as the rest of his feathers. In this case, I think he was just practising. He was part of a group of 7 bowerbirds around us, the others looking like juveniles and females. This particular individual would display on top of the termite mound, jump down, pick up a stick and do his silly mating dance with wings drooping.

 

2C6CMFY.jpg

 

 

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