Despite the heat here in the Denver area, we have still been spending a lot of late afternoons and evenings hanging out in our little backyard oasis. It is always fun to see what comes to visit and of course I take my camera with me. The other day, this cute, orange dragonfly stopped by and hung out for a bit, allowing me to get some nice captures. I love how detailed the face and legs came out.
Having had a couple highly successful, extended photo trips in recent weeks, I stuck close to home this past weekend. In fact, I stuck within a hundred feet or so on Sunday. Certainly that gave me time to get caught up on yardwork and mundane tasks but I did whip out the camera a bit.
While sitting on the back patio enjoying coffee in the cool morning air with my bride, these two insects caught my attention.
We routinely see dragonflies but it isn’t often they land long enough for me to get a picture. This one was quite pretty and colorful – and seemed to be sporting a smile. Then, a rather large moth made an appearance. It had some cool orange coloring when flying but I was never able to get pics that showed much of that. However, I did get some nice closeups, including some with it extending its proboscis (tongue).
I have bragged before about the beautiful job my wife did over a period of three years turning much of our backyard into an oasis for us as well as birds and insects.
After being out of town for much of a week, I desperately needed to catch up on yardwork yesterday so I skipped my usual photo excursion. After much of the work was done though, I broke out the camera and spent some time in the yard photographing some of the cool visitors.
Among them, a cabbage white butterfly, a young broad-tailed hummingbird, a European paper wasp and an orange-belted bumblebee. It was late morning by the time I took these and the light was kind of harsh but fun stuff to see no matter the time of day.
Much of the work was done thanks to Thornton Water Conservation and is a certified National Wildlife Federation Wildlife Habitat.
This will probably illicit some, “Oh, gross!” type comments but it is kind of neat. I spotted these two (look close) spiders on the side of our house recently.
Initially they were separate and I was photographing the bigger of the two. Suddenly, the big one lept at the second and, well, it was clear its intentions were less than kind.
Yeah, definitely a bit of ick-factor to the shots but also kind of cool. 😉
So here is your chance to laugh at me.
This cool dude was hanging out on one of our patio chairs just a bit ago. I ran inside, grabbed my camera, mounted my macro lens and came out and started snapping pics. I was squatting down with the end of my lens hood was only five or six inches from the spider and I don’t think it liked that because it jumped right down the hood!
This is the image I got just as it leaped into the air. That startled me as I was worried the dang thing had landed on me, and I fell backwards, right onto my butt.
My wife, worried I would panic, yells, “Don’t throw that camera!” LOL! I didn’t throw it, thankfully, and gently got it out but, boy, it sure did startle me. 😀
This is apparently an Apache jumping spider – and clearly it can jump. Kind of a cool looking dude.
Check out this little dude! I spotted him in my backyard and had to grab a pic of it. You can tell by its size in relation to the grass just how small it is. I would say it was at most a half inch long. Its bright green color was really kind of cool and certainly helped it to blend in with the grass.
This is one cool looking dude when you get a close view. As my wife’s flower gardens are in full bloom, I have been taking my macro lens out to play with the bugs.
While bees don’t really bother me, I have to admit, wasps kind of freak me out. I figure if a bee stings me, at least I have the satisfaction that it will die afterwards. Wasps though, those buggers hit you and keep coming after you – and I have had it happen.
Last week there were quite a few paper wasps sucking nectar from the flowers so I set aside my irrational fear and stuck my camera right up close to some. I really can’t help but be amazed at the intricacy and detail of their coloring. They do look pretty danged neat – as long as they aren’t chasing me. 😀
Doing some research, I learned this is a European paper wasp (Polistes dominula) – distinguished from the more common yellowjacket by its yellow / orange antennae.
They were first found on the East Coast in the 1970s and have worked their way west, first arriving in Colorado sometime soon before 2000 and are now quite common.
Interestingly enough, they are generally less aggressive than yellowjackets and some types of bees. I guess maybe I don’t need to be so freaked out by them. Haha.
Sitting around the campsite one evening recently, my wife and I were watching this good-sized dragonfly circle around. It proceeded to land on a nearby tree and stayed put for quite a while. This gave me the opportunity to grab my camera and take a bunch of pics of the cool, multi-colored insect.
I’m not really a ‘bug person’ but did find this one way cool! I’m not sure, but doing some searching I think it is a female blue-eyed darner. If anyone knows any different or can confirm, I’d certainly welcome the input.
Not particularly great pics but kind of fun. A couple weeks ago I was photographing the butterflies that were migrating through and hanging out on our miniature rose bushes. I spotted this mean looking dude staking out one of the flowers. It never tried to get one of the butterflies but when a bee would come, it would jump at it and try to snag it. It wasn’t successful during the time I was watching but it was kind of fun to see.
Last week I went for a walk after work through a local open space area. Wildlife was scarce but I did capture a few images of this guy. Notice how part of one of its wings is chewed up. Moths in the closet?? 😉