Saturday, July 06, 2013

Flowers and Bugs

Around one of the public seating areas at Innovation Place (in the Atrium building) there's a thorny bush in a planter. When I've sat too close and been snagged by it I've wondered why they chose such a thorny plant. But when I walked by yesterday I noticed it had some flowers on it. Of course, I had to take some photos of them :-) When I looked at them closer, they looked a lot like bougainvillea. I didn't remember bougainvillea having thorns, but then again I usually just look at the flowers.


They're selling small bougainvillea plants at the Farmers Market so I looked at their flowers for comparison and they seemed identical. And Wikipedia says they are thorny. I'm used to tropical bougainvillea having masses of flowers all over them, quite a contrast to the few solitary flowers on this plant, but we are in Saskatchewan. (As my father used to say, "Man should not live where bougainvillea will not grow." Somehow I don't think he would have counted these few house and summer plants.)

Once I had my camera out, I of course had to take more photos. Can someone tell me what this bush is? I like their bunches of little flowers.


Once I started taking photos of the flowers I realized there were quite a few insects on them. There were a number of these smaller bees (at least that's my guess). It was a little tricky to photograph them since they were constantly crawling around. Zooming in on the photos you can see the pollen accumulated on his back legs.


There were also a few bigger bumblebees around. There were even harder to photograph because they never landed for more than a few seconds.


I don't know what this next insect is. Possibly an ichneumon wasp. None of the pictures I found looked quite right but there are over 60,000 kinds. Maybe my father the entomologist would have known. (In his books Bernd Heinrich talks about ichneumon wasp because his father collected them.)

Ichneumon wasp ?


Walking through the building back to my office I stopped to take a few photos of these flowers.



Photo Notes
These were taken with the Canon G12. It does quite well on macro shots as long as you remember that it only focuses close when it's at wide angle. If you zoom at all, it can't focus as close. However, that means you can't blur the background as much because the wide angle gives a bigger depth of field. (As does the small sensor.) On the other hand, the bigger depth of field helps get your subject in focus. For these kinds of shots I don't miss the SLR view finder since I find it easier to compose with the screen. I did push the ISO a bit (200 outdoors, 400 indoors) on some of these shots (to get a faster shutter speed), but with the G12 I don't like to go much past 400 since the noise becomes quite noticeable.