Dragonflies are not always loners like this one. They often group into swarms. Bees and Wasps can sting you, Mosquitos bite you but there is something exceptionally magical about Dragonflies. That is of course unless your a mosquito in which case they are your worst nightmare. Both the larval and adult form actively hunt mosquitos in their various life stages. They are certainly near the top of the local insect predator chain. I’m pretty sure a preying mantis will make a mess of a dragon fly though 🤔.
During the Carboniferous geologic period 300 million years ago, when coal swamps and high oxygen levels allowed it, Dragonflies grew to massive sizes. With a wingspan of up to 6 feet, they were a force to be reconciled with. They were likely a top level predator of anything they could pick up including small amphibians and proto-reptiles. There were numerous insects for them to feed on of course.
There are currently around 5000 known species, the identification of which I shall leave to a specialist. Their larval stage lasting up to two years is aquatic where they eat about anything that they can in the water.
They are amazing fliers putting most helicopters to shame. They only hunt on the fly, but they also mate there. Fly United is their only option. They are the best mosquito control out there. I’ve seen swarms covering large areas down in the ranches wetlands. I don’t see them a lot on barbed wire though lolol.
I’m still finishing random photos from pretty much the last 3 years so don’t bee surprised to see a few more trickle in this winter lol. Its nice to keep the season in perspective. Looking back 6 months ago is healthy if you have the images. This wing detail is pretty good and the overall focus dang good considering how close I am. The limitations of the technology are such that deep focus in these macro images is not easy to achieve. There is a fine balance between getting closer and getting focus. It depends on what your wanting to do technically.
Bumblers are sort of rare these days. We’ve been in winter conditions pretty much since Oct 1. That was the last time I’ve seen a flying bumbler this year. I’ll do my best to give you macro fans a slow but steady flow of the little guys 🤠
The detail in the bokeh is the dividing line of two planters on our lodges main “patio”. It’s nice and warm on that concrete pad. THe first hard freeze took care of all that opportunity 😖
I like the winter, but……starting in October is a LOT early. I’m used to mid-november kick offs and hard freezes. I’ve took a road trip through Yellowstone in mid October one year. Not this year lolol. Wyoming weather is such you can have snow in any month of the year.
Photographing a Lady Bug Beard is not that straight forward as you might think…. They always try to hide from your lens and are usually constantly moving anyway.
Getting a LadyBug to cooperate for the camera is one tough negotiation. Like dealing with a millennial that is triggered and melting to calm down…. Stick a big lens in my face will you kind of stuff 😜 Some Ladies just don’t want their photograph taken for any reason. Getting that little beard has been a bucket list item of mine lolol ✔️☑️
Hunting hard constant motion
Mostly, Lady Beetles are in constant motion hunting surfaces for small parasites. Travelling easily on both side of the leaf with little regard to the camera lens following them. This leads to some frustrating moments for sure. You JUST get it in focus the way you want her and zip off she goes around the leaf.I have to invoke “Photo-Yoga” to keep up with them as usually shifting one’s feet will cause too many things to move in the flower patch.
So you learn to lean with a 5 pound camera for long minutes at a time. I love photo-yoga… It’s sort of how I stay “in shape” these days . That and a lot of walking backcountry ridges with 20 pounds of gear lol. I put at least a mile in each day walking around here. Usually carrying something lol.
Anything you do enough of, you will eventually succeed I find. You’ll at least get better while failing eventually😜At any rate, the way to succeed in photography is to mostly keep a camera with you and figure out how it works. Then there is the computer side of this lololol
This Frost Feather was actually on the bottom of a very well insulated window taken from the inside out with a flashlight doing the highlighting. Dark as pitch outside. COLD AS HECK…
Seeing this as it was small…
This was a TINY 1/2 inch growth which was just screaming to take it’s photo as frost is so Fractal in it’s design by the master architect of such things. Window frost forms as a pane of glass is exposed to sub-freezing temperatures on the outside freezing the relatively moist air on the inside. Water vapor from the air condenses as frost on the inside surface of the window. The picture above demonstrates a patch of window frost about the size of U.S. Quarter Coin. . Window frost often makes elaborate patterns as the crystal growth is strongly influenced by the window surface because scratches, residual soap, cleaning streaks, etc., can all modify the way the crystals nucleate and grow.
Window frost was more common in the before about the 1970’s, when houses still had single-pane windows. Snow used to actively blow in the windows of the 1970s ranch house we first moved into up here lol. The newer double-pane windows are working far better insulators and thus not so cold on the inside surfaces. Frost can cause damage because as it melts, it transfers moisture to whatever is next to it. If that’s a wooden window, it can discolor varnish and crack paint or even damage the wood. Frost can also melt off single-paned windows and seep down into a wall. resulting in damage of one kind or another.
If moisture is not handled swiftly and completely, mold can begin to grow. Keep it warm and dry inside to avoid the frost. A dehumidifier will help. But the best way is to replace older inefficient windows with double or triple layer windows. Boy they make some nice ones these day lolol. (Ours are 20 years old and one just lost a seal 😖. ).
We had a lot of moisture/rain/snow today. Wet year overall so far.
The Horizon is falling across the sun’s face here Up close and Personal. The sun is actually not rising here. Remember that during a sunrise, it’s not the sun that is moving, it’s the horizon that is falling relative to the fixed ball of nuclear fire. Professional long range ballisticians/shooters even compensate their aim at long distances for the horizon dropping or rising shooting straight east and or straight west over the flight time of the bullet.
The atmospheric lens consisting of hundreds of miles of low angle air density changes (inversions) and moving air current distort several things. 1: The sun is not actually line of sight here, it’s actually and physically BELOW the horizon because the aforementioned “lens” is bending the light around the globe to make it look like it’s above the horizon lol. It takes a few minutes for the actual line of sight and what you see to get back in sync. 🤔 2: The edges of the sun (in the VERY sharp image) is sculpted by the “roiling” air. I often watch it live real time through the lens. Mirage in miniature along that normally very sharp edge.
This Cone Flower (Echinacea) is a wonderful summer flower with this silhouette captured from one moment in time. There are millions of them on this ranch being ubiquitous in the borderlands.
This kind of sunset lends itself to silhouettes with a particular lens I like to use for it’s smooth as silk bokeh.
Obviously this is from this summer and not current. I will be posting a mix and match all winter with summer photos creeping in where ever they occur in my workflow. I have a folder with close to 1000 images to finish at the moment lolol (laughing maniacally) …..
Your not trying as a photographer if you can’t make a Fly’s butt look good lololol….
The Apple had fallen and a host of insects were taken advantage of the free meal. This guy was at the feed trough and some how I got in there up close and personal.
Sneaking up on a fly to get this kind of photo using a lens with a minimum focus of about 1 inch is not a quick process lol. Moving slowly is the game….really slow….📸
Catching a Lady Bug Up Close and Personal little guys around a plant is nerve wracking as they are as likely to zip across and go under the leaf as sure as not. They don’t like the big lens coming up this close and tend to scatter off. Can’t blame them…if this huge lens started chasing me lolololol.. My bucket list has an item number listing catching one in flight
focused as a goal in life….. Some day when the planets line up…. I’m so easily entertained these days😎
“Hey Blue Eyes”, these Mayflies are very small. About 1/2 inch long and are really jumpy. Apparently they don’t like that huge one eyed camera creature slowly encroaching on their personal space. I have to get 9 inches away for this close a shot. Sort of photoyoga sometimes. Location: Bliss DInosaur Ranch, Wyoming/Montana borderlands.
Meanwhile in the Hollyhock garden, the late season Lady Bug is hunting for food.
Catching one of these guys flying is a bucket list item though. I don’t see them much and they are pretty active so getting interesting angles is hard and they will continually move or fly away. To catch one of these flying in the wild is a lot more unlikely than trying to catch a bumble bee flying at 9 inches with a macro lens lol.
I build a lot of square 18 inch by 18 inch printable high resolution image now days. Mostly made for box canvas prints but any media will work generally. .😁
Location: in the garden, Bliss Dinosaur Ranch, Wyoming/Montana borderlands…. might be snowing when this posts…..
I use filters all the time. In this case, I used a “Cellulose” filter (the thistle seed globe about 5 inches across) Biggest one ever lol. That old bright sun even here at sunset needs some moderation before those photons hit that digital chip in my Sony Alpha Cameras. Just for the record, I haven’t put an actual glass filter on ANY of the 7 cameras I used daily for well over a year🙏
I try REALLY HARD to be a photo-realist photographer.
Location: miles into the backcountry of the Bliss Dinosaur Ranch, Wyoming/Montana borderlands.
A Dragon Fly doesn’t need much of a landing strip, one of the longest surviving critters on the planet that were up to 6 foot in wingspan during the Carboniferous periods in Pennsylvania for instance. They got big. This one was about an inch long, jumpy and he didn’t like the big one eyed monster trying to come within 9 inches of him.
Location: the backyard of the homestead at the Bliss DInosaur Ranch, Wyoming/Montana borderlands.