Tag: bees

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Jeopardy Answer: In California. Question: Where are Bees Fish?

Yep. Last week a court basically reclassified bumble bees as fish. Where else but California could one thing that is be called something it ain’t. Hehe, it’s the craziest, but not necessarily intentional, twist on identity politics yet. Someone tell me: What’s the appropriate pronoun, so I don’t offend anything that flies or swims?

The problem, if you can call California legislative narrowness anything less, is the definition of protected species used in the 1970 Endangered Species Act. Amphibia. Check. Bird. Check. Mammal. Check. Reptile. Check. But, whoops, somebody overlooked insects. Which is how through one court proceeding and appeal the definition of fish now applies to some bees.

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Which Bee Better?

Welcome to an unexpected compare-and-contrast session. Tonight, while preparing to share a bee and sunflower shot, I came across another that is surprisingly pleasing, particularly considering its vintage and source. We’ll start with that one, from Google Nexus 5 smartphone on May 30, 2014. Vitals for the Featured Image: f/2.4, ISO 100, 1/4200 sec, 3.97mm; 9:44 a.m. PDT.

I made the moment outside what was the wonderful wildlife sanctuary nicknamed the Butterfly House. The tenants maintaining the lush plants and trees moved to Hawaii in January 2019 and the sanctuary is no more.

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The Swarm

This afternoon, while walking and talking to my sister who lives in Florida, I came across bees buzzing around a front yard along Mississippi between Mission and Monroe here in San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood. I excused myself briefly and shot a short video using iPhone XS.

Strange thing, when finished I observed the insects swarming about the next property. That kind of deflated my working presumption of a disturbed nearby hive. So I snagged another short video, followed by the Featured Image taken using Leica Q2.

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Bee Better

This is an odd post: Disappointing photos. Today, while waiting for my wife to fetch me from the ophthalmologist, I stopped to gawk at bees busily bouncing about flowers for nectar. Hundreds of them gathered and proved no threat to me as I closed in and captured 20 shots, using iPhone XS.

Grumble. Can the Apple cameras do no better than these, which are the best of a bad lot? I experimented with standard and Portrait modes—and all the pics look artificial at best, and not sharp enough at worst.

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The Bee Tree

I am not a photographer and bear no illusions about ever being one. My composition skills are raw, and rarely cooked, and I lack the post-production sense that someone else would use to create art. My camera, the Leica Q2, is professional grade and seemingly beyond my skills. But I handle the all-in-one well enough, and it is satisfying to use—enjoyable and versatile.

I am a storyteller, however, and use photos to mark moments or to illustrate a  narrative. Take as example the Featured Image (warning: 30GB file), which I captured today along Georgia Street between Lincoln and Polk in San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/320 sec, 28mm; 11:36 a.m. PST. The original was portrait, but I cropped square.

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Bee Friendly

Along the sidewalk outside what was the Butterfly House—and a yard now greatly trimmed back of insect-and-bird-welcoming flowers and plants—a bee drinks nectar on July 19, 2019. I captured the Featured Image and companion using Leica Q, manually focused. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/1600 sec, 28mm; 12:19 p.m. PDT. Other is the same, except for 1/2000 sec.

Neither bug mug is as sharp as would please me, but they’ll have to do as memory markers for a refuge vanished. As Monarchs migrated South this autumn, I wonder where went those accustomed to the Butterfly House as one of their way stations.

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Busy Bee

I am in process of completing a review of the Moto Z Force Droid, which is a Verizon Wireless exclusive. This afternoon, I shot some nectaring bee photos with the smartphone and iPhone 7 Plus for comparison. My wife and I went on a walk with both devices, stopping at what we affectionately call the Butterfly House. The residence is a mini-wildlife refuge for Monarchs, hummingbirds, and other flying things; oh, and chickens, too.

The Featured Image comes from the Droid, which packs a 21-megapixel camera. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 50, 1/465 sec, 4.51mm; 3:01 p.m. PDT. However, the image is only 16MP because the default setting, which I neglected to check, is 16:9 rather than 4:3. No matter, focus is spot on, IQ high, bokeh beautiful, and color accurate. I’m pleasantly surprised.