These little guys have really taken to liking our backyard and we don’t mind given that they do a nice job controlling nuisance insects. This past weekend I tried to catch some pics of them in flight but that saw limited (i.e. poor) success. One did stop for a while and give me some nice poses as it held on to a yucca plant stalk. The details that you find when looking at these guys closeup is just amazing to me.
I arrived at camp earlier than the rest of my crew Friday afternoon. I got bored reading and relaxing and decided to go for a walk. I immediately noticed the forest floor had tons of mushrooms and that presented a fun, different photo op than normal.
Mounting up my trusty Canon EF 100 macro lens to my EOS R5, I began crouching and crawling in the dirt, capturing tons of pics of the cool, widely varying types of mushrooms that seemed to be everywhere.
I did not pick any to eat as I would have no idea what was safe and what was not. With my luck, whatever I picked would have probably been the most poisonous in the forest and I would not be here sharing these. 😉
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).
Needless to say, it was COLD this morning! The thermometer on my truck was showing 3 degrees as I arrived at my photo destination and it felt colder thanks to a bit of a breeze.
Despite the frigid mercury readings, I couldn’t resist braving the cold to take pictures of the hoar frost that had coated the grasses. Sticking out a half inch or so from the plant, it was absolutely gorgeous and just way cool to see.
I did not linger much though as a warm truck was beckoning. 😉
One of these doesn’t amount to much but Mother Nature finally blessed the Centennial State with a copious amount of snow yesterday. The precipitation was desperately needed to help settle down the record-breaking wildfires we have seen.
I headed to the backyard yesterday to try my hand at macro snowflake photography. Last spring I got my first, true, macro lens and my first attempts at the end of last season were not good. Yesterday I finally had some success capturing the delicate detail of snowflakes.
I still have a lot to learn and need to practice more but was happy to finally have some halfway decent results.
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.
Well, okay then. Normally I look at these large bees and think they almost look cute. They fly along somewhat lazily and are noticeably fuzzy. Up close with a macro lens though? Kind of terrifying in a way. While they are big as far as bees go, I am thankful they aren’t any larger. Haha.
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.
What to do when you are bored? Head out to your wife’s beautiful flower gardens and see what you can find.
One of the reasons I bought a macro lens was just for occasions like this – photo ops right in my own backyard. I have a lot to learn but am getting better each time I break out the lens.
This little guy was doing what #bees do, pollinating this flower and then moving on to the next.
I do have to give a shoutout to the City of Thornton and their Thornton Water Conservation. Their “H2Overhaul” program provided the incentive for us to do a ton of work on the yard and install these gardens.