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Betty LaRue

Post a beautiful nature picture

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1 hour ago, John Richmond said:

There are no native milkweeds (Asclepias sp) in the UK, so no food plants for the caterpillars.  There are a few garden varieties but they're not that commonly grown so the few transatlantic migrants or butterfly farm escapees never get established.

Thanks for the explanation, John. I had not looked up the larval foodplant.

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Posted (edited)

I got two frames of this chap as he moved a lot slower than the bees, and the other one was closer, but one should always choose the lesser of two weevils..........

It probably isn't one, but before I get my coat, could John please identify it? On a nettle-leaved bellflower.

DSC05235.jpg

Edited by spacecadet

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2 hours ago, spacecadet said:

I got two frames of this chap as he moved a lot slower than the bees, and the other one was closer, but one should always choose the lesser of two weevils..........

It probably isn't one, but before I get my coat, could John please identify it? On a nettle-leaved bellflower.

DSC05235.jpg

I'm not that good with beetles but that one I can help with as I took some shots of one in my own garden a month ago. It's a darkling beetle, Lagria hirta, the only hairy one.  Here's a view of it taken when it allowed me to photograph it on white paper in the garden before I put it back on the hydrangea it was roosting on.  It's nice to have a cooperative model 😀

 

Close up of the small, hairy, bronze UK darkling beetle, Lagria hirta, on a white background Stock Photo

 

 

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5 hours ago, John Richmond said:

There are no native milkweeds (Asclepias sp) in the UK, so no food plants for the caterpillars.  There are a few garden varieties but they're not that commonly grown so the few transatlantic migrants or butterfly farm escapees never get established.

Why didn’t I think of that? Lots of native milkweed in the U.S., and I planted 5 of them in my garden. Plus two Joe Pye weed plants for all butterflies to nectar on. The Joe Pye attracts swallowtails. They are not blooming, yet. 😒

People do take Monarchs’ survival seriously here.
Betty

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6 hours ago, Bill Brooks said:

 

In early fall the Monarchs pause on the north shore of Lake Ontario, where I live, before flying south across the 80 KL wide lake towards their wintering ground in Mexico.

They are easy to shoot and I have so many of them, that I have made a note to self to stop shooting Monarchs.

 

In a case of Müllerian Mimicry the Viceroy (top) closely resembles the Monarch (bottom).

 

I find that making a point, with two images in a single image, has more sales potential.
 

 

 

the-viceroy-butterfly-top-image-resemble

At first glance, they do look remarkably similar. I think Monarchs taste nasty to birds, so some butterflies try to skate by on their coattails.

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13 hours ago, Sally R said:

 

You're welcome Bella. Yes Duade does a really good job of getting a really nice shallow depth of field so that all the attention is on the bird without distractions. I am trying to practice getting down lower to attain this nice depth of field. Lying on the ground seems to produce the best effect for birds that are also on the ground or on water. I think I will be taking a blanket down to a local lake soon to try this out. I've taken quite a few shots sitting down but not lying down for birds.

 

I was lucky to see a pink robin in Tasmania 6 years ago. I was actually doing landscape shots at the Tyenna River near Russell Falls. As there was reduced light in the rainforest I had the shutter open for periods of about 20-30 seconds. During one such exposure a pink robin appeared and danced all about in the camera frame. However, with the long exposure the quick moving robin doesn't appear at all. Also, with the wide angle lens he would have been tiny in the frame anyway. So I just enjoyed watching him flitting about, seeming to be observing me as much as I was observing him (I knew he was a male because of his pink colouring). I was really happy to see one as it was one of the things I was really hoping to do.

 

How lucky to have caught one! All these bird and butterfly pics are inspiring and I feel like getting out there, I usually just shoot my local birds  from my back deck :)

 

 

On 11/07/2020 at 17:35, gvallee said:

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

 

 

 

I thought that was such a good idea to put the seed in the top of the mound! I will have to remember that. I'm obviously not a serious birder as I didn't know about the the bowerbird's colourful crest, it's so pretty. We have a few local ones here that come for our seed. I should pay more attention.

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As far as mosquitoes go while shooting birds... just put me out in the field for thirty minutes. Then fog me with insect killer. You’ll not get bitten for a few hours. Of course, I might not survive, either. You probably wouldn’t need to fog me. Just plant me nearby and they would be so busy feeding on me you’d be safe. That’s what my sister always said, anyway. I was her personal protector from bites.
 

Weird thing...when we played outside at dusk, when the bloodsuckers came out, my mother used to spray us 3 girls down with Real Kill. It killed flies, roaches, just about any insect. It wasn’t meant to be used on humans, but nobody knew it was harmful at the time. The jingle for it was “Mama get Real Kill”, a silly commercial.

I’ve often wondered if that, and the doses of melted Vicks VaporRub (Mentholated product) I was given, used like cough syrup, (says on the jar not to be taken internally) contributed to my breast cancer. I was always sick with terrible chest colds, bronchitis and pneumonia as a child, so I must have swallowed untold number of jars of melted Vick’s from a hot spoon held over the stove. She also put plasters of it on my chest, the cloth pinned to my nightgown. 

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, John Richmond said:

I'm not that good with beetles but that one I can help with as I took some shots of one in my own garden a month ago. It's a darkling beetle, Lagria hirta, the only hairy one.  Here's a view of it taken when it allowed me to photograph it on white paper in the garden before I put it back on the hydrangea it was roosting on.  It's nice to have a cooperative model 😀

 

Close up of the small, hairy, bronze UK darkling beetle, Lagria hirta, on a white background Stock Photo

 

 

I didn't think of moving it!

Thanks, John. I'm tempted by a Minolta 100mm. macro now, using the bellows is a bit slow and the focus on the process lens goes AWOL below about f11. There seem to be plenty in Japan, but £130 is £130 and it will never pay for itself.

BTW is that focus stacked or straight? Mine was static enough. Wonder if he's still there.

Edited by spacecadet

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Sally R said:

 

I love your blue-faced honeyeater Gen. After our various descriptions above about being bitten by mosquitoes and other insects while trying to photograph birds, your glass of wine in one hand and remote in the other sounds idyllic and much more relaxing! I think I will try that one day 🙂

 

Thanks again Sally. I could have invented any story, but it's not my style. Here how I did it. Hope this link works. You might have to click on Proceed to Site.

 

https://tinyurl.com/ybfs85nm

 

 

Edited by gvallee
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4 hours ago, spacecadet said:

I didn't think of moving it!

Thanks, John. I'm tempted by a Minolta 100mm. macro now, using the bellows is a bit slow and the focus on the process lens goes AWOL below about f11. There seem to be plenty in Japan, but £130 is £130 and it will never pay for itself.

BTW is that focus stacked or straight? Mine was static enough. Wonder if he's still there.

A macro lens is the one lens I can always justify because of my plant and garden specialisation.  For me my 4 (Canon 50mm, Tamron 90mm, Sigma 180mm f3.5 for my Canon system and Olympus 60mm for the M43 gear - all bought used to keep the cost down) are essential for my plant portrait shots and general nature use.  They've earned their keep many times over.  Of course, if macro and close up work isn't a speciality it's a lot harder to justify the expense.

 

The beetle was just a straight shot, no focus stacking.  I don't like chilling or killing my subjects so the chances of getting 2 or more shots that align for stacking becomes extremely difficult.  It's usually the antennae that cause the problems.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, John Richmond said:

A macro lens is the one lens I can always justify because of my plant and garden specialisation.  For me my 4 (Canon 50mm, Tamron 90mm, Sigma 180mm f3.5 for my Canon system and Olympus 60mm for the M43 gear - all bought used to keep the cost down) are essential for my plant portrait shots and general nature use.  They've earned their keep many times over.  Of course, if macro and close up work isn't a speciality it's a lot harder to justify the expense.

 

The beetle was just a straight shot, no focus stacking.  I don't like chilling or killing my subjects so the chances of getting 2 or more shots that align for stacking becomes extremely difficult.  It's usually the antennae that cause the problems.

Well the Tamron is out of my league and quite a bit used but I hear good things about the old Minolta 100. Meanwhile I've just hacksawed and chiselled (don't ask) myself a 150 from the same stable as the 100. Quite a good lens looking at the chart. Working distance is a bit far though.

Haven't seen the darkling beetle again yet. I wouldn't dream of doing anything unpleasant to an insect.

Ooh. Just seen a 90 for about £120. Perhaps it's time to show it to someone special as it is my birthday soon. From Japan though.

Edited by spacecadet

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1 hour ago, spacecadet said:

Well the Tamron is out of my league and quite a bit used but I hear good things about the old Minolta 100. Meanwhile I've just hacksawed and chiselled (don't ask) myself a 150 from the same stable as the 100. Quite a good lens looking at the chart. Working distance is a bit far though.

Haven't seen the darkling beetle again yet. I wouldn't dream of doing anything unpleasant to an insect.

Ooh. Just seen a 90 for about £120. Perhaps it's time to show it to someone special as it is my birthday soon. From Japan though.

 

I have "automatic" (with electrical connections to camera) extension tubes for my Sony e-mount cameras. They were inexpensive on e-bay and work well. I like them because they allow me to take advantage of image stabilization, which comes in handy when I don't happen to have a tripod in my back pocket. A macro lens would be nice, but I probably wouldn't use it enough to justify the cost.

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24 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

I have "automatic" (with electrical connections to camera) extension tubes for my Sony e-mount cameras. They were inexpensive on e-bay and work well. I like them because they allow me to take advantage of image stabilization, which comes in handy when I don't happen to have a tripod in my back pocket. A macro lens would be nice, but I probably wouldn't use it enough to justify the cost.

Ah yes but my version doesn't involve expenditure- bellows from the Illumitran and pennies for the lens.. My IS is kaput anyway.

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6 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

Ah yes but my version doesn't involve expenditure- bellows from the Illumitran and pennies for the lens.. My IS is kaput anyway.

 

Too bad about the IS. I bet the bellows don't fit in your pocket, though. 😁

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15 hours ago, gvallee said:

Thanks again Sally. I could have invented any story, but it's not my style. Here how I did it. Hope this link works. You might have to click on Proceed to Site.

 

https://tinyurl.com/ybfs85nm

 

That's fantastic to see your setup Gen. It looks very comfortable and great you could park right near the termite mound. Having the motor home means you can bring your home to natural settings and just be in them and ready for photographic opportunities. You are so inspiring me to do something similar one day!

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1 hour ago, Sally R said:

 

That's fantastic to see your setup Gen. It looks very comfortable and great you could park right near the termite mound. Having the motor home means you can bring your home to natural settings and just be in them and ready for photographic opportunities. You are so inspiring me to do something similar one day!

 

The termite mound was a coincidence. We parked first, then spotted it and saw its photogenic potential. This vehicle is a little frustrating for photography. Being a minibus, most windows don't open at all or only slightly. I cannot use it as a hide.

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27 minutes ago, gvallee said:

 

The termite mound was a coincidence. We parked first, then spotted it and saw its photogenic potential. This vehicle is a little frustrating for photography. Being a minibus, most windows don't open at all or only slightly. I cannot use it as a hide.

I understand the window thing. We had a motor home for awhile and it was useless for shooting from. Oh, if we were going down the road and saw something to pull over for, I could roll down the front window and shoot through it. 

As far as not killing insects. If they bite or sting me, they probably will be dead. A spider doesn’t even have to bite. Just crawl on me. It’s instinctive. A wolf spider bit me on the top of my toe once and brought a quite large bead of blood. Hurt like the devil, like being touched with a red-hot poker. Caused panic.  I have a bit of arachnophobia now. I kinda freak when I accidentally walk through a spiderweb in the dark, especially if it snaps. That means a big’un. Beat my hair and stripped off some clothes once when that happened, much to the amusement of my husband.

But I never chill or kill for a photo. That said, if there is a chilly morning during butterfly season, they will be motionless until they warm up.  I came across some butterflies in torpor one morning in Michigan, where the overnight temps are cooler than here.

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Not sure if cultivated plants fall into this category, but the Mrs and I were blown away by this lovely Chinese Dogwood, seen in the quarry at Belsay Hall, Northumberland

 

Chinese Dogwood, Cornus Kousa, in flower at the  Belsay Hall estate, Northumberland, England, UK Stock Photo

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Sloth in a forest in the Nicaraguan highlands.   Alamy has cuter sloth pictures taken closer up, but I thought I'd upload this anyway because it's a sloth in its habitat.   Taken at El Jaguar Nature Reserve.  First sloth I've seen though a few sloths live in the trees of a municipal park here in Jinotega.  

 

2AHANX0.jpg

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I like your sloth MizBrown. For a long time, this sloth of mine was my best seller. I saved it while it was crossing a busy road in Costa Rica.

I picked it up from behind, it was hissing and trying to hit me with its claws, its arms describing a semi-circle at a super slooooow speed. Not much of a threat there. Its fur was crawling with insects. Yuk!

 

A733E1.jpg

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Evergreen bugloss (John?) with a yet-unidentified greeblie. I think they live inside the flower but they declined to confirm it for me.

DSC00266-4.jpg

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25 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

Evergreen bugloss (John?) with a yet-unidentified greeblie. I think they live inside the flower but they declined to confirm it for me.

DSC00266-4.jpg

Yes, evergreen bugloss or green alkanet, Pentaglottis sempervirens.  I can't be sure but I think your tiny greeble is a thrip, a tiny sap sucking insect.  They can do a lot of damage, especially in greenhouses.  I'm seeing a lot in the garden this year due to the hot weather earlier in the year.

 

Oh, and just realised I've spelt Pentaglottis wrong on my own Alamy shots of the plant.  We all make mistakes 😀

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On 16/07/2020 at 17:49, gvallee said:

I like your sloth MizBrown. For a long time, this sloth of mine was my best seller. I saved it while it was crossing a busy road in Costa Rica.

I picked it up from behind, it was hissing and trying to hit me with its claws, its arms describing a semi-circle at a super slooooow speed. Not much of a threat there. Its fur was crawling with insects. Yuk!

 

 

Thanks.  They have a resident moth that lays eggs in their feces, which they deposit on the ground once a week.   The moths end up back in the sloths' fur.  And they probably have some other resident insects besides. 

 

One of the local park sloths got into electrical and phone wires outside the park and was rescued.  Friend videotyped the rescue. 

 

Yours is one of the cuter ones.

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1 hour ago, MizBrown said:

Yours is one of the cuter ones.

 

Thank you but it's also a terrible tranny scan. I'll have to go back to Costa Rica.

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15 hours ago, gvallee said:

 

Thank you but it's also a terrible tranny scan. I'll have to go back to Costa Rica.

 

Come to Nicaragua while you're there.  CR's highlands are higher, but we've got Lago Colcibolca.

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