Sunday, June 26, 2016

Flower Power

The water lilies are flowering on the pond at Innovation Place. The trick is to find ones close enough to the edge to get good pictures, often they're floating out in the middle.

water lily

And at home, the flowers in the garden are blooming as well.


Black-eyed susan


This flower was definitely past its peak, but I liked the shapes made by the shriveled petals.

dead flower

I used my macro lens (Nikon 85mm f/3.5 VR)  for these shots, which meant when I spotted some insects I could get closeups. But holding the camera steady for closeups is almost as hard as for telephoto shots so I got out the tripod and ball head. This insect was the one that prompted the tripod. Unlike many insects, it hung around for me to get set up. (I didn't have to rush, it was still there the next day!) This was a small flower, the insect was only a few millimeters long.

insect on flower

This fly showed up as I was taking photos of the flower. It had almost a metallic sheen to it. And big compound eyes. I'm guessing maybe Brachycera?

fly (Brachycera?) on flower

I also encountered a couple of Harvestmen (aka daddy long legs), identifiable by their long legs, single pair of small eyes, and fused body (as opposed to spiders which have 3 or 4 pairs of eyes and separated abdomen and thorax). They are omnivores and don't have very good eyesight so they use their longer second pair of legs as antenna or feelers. Both of these were missing legs. (as arachnids they should have eight)

Harvestman spider

Harvestman spider

There was a bit of wind which made getting sharp photos a challenge. Some of the time I boosted the shutter speed to 1/500th to try to freeze the movement. But I was also dealing with the shallow depth of focus inherent with a macro lens, so other times I was closing down to f/16. Mostly I just took lots and hoped some would be sharp. If you don't mind "bugs" it's worth viewing the images larger (by clicking on them) to see the details.

For more of these photos, see all 28 as a slideshow or overview

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