Tag: bugs

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Caution, Caterpillar Crossing

Outside the home where lived Grace (before she passed away) and nearby where once crouched Champagne, chalked caution and watch out warnings seek to raise caterpillar awareness. Both putty-tats appeared in my “Cats of University Heights” series—in April 2018 and February 2021, respectively.

The husband and wife who own the property tend flowers and flora that attract butterflies and caterpillars. I often see Monarchs fluttering about. Spring—or in San Diego three-season parlance, early Summer—is breeding and feeding time.  So, please, be mindful where you step.

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Tiger Moth Caterpillars

While walking along Louisiana today, Annie and I came across two of our neighbors tending their flower garden. Gracie, one of the “Cats of University Heights“, belonged to them before she passed away at age 19. Seeing my camera, the wife turned my attention to three caterpillars munching leaves.

I immediately exclaimed “Woolly Bear caterpillars!”—for their colors and fuzziness. But the resemblance ended there. My memory is a larva with orange band in the middle and black at both ends. If I rightly recall, and please correct me if mistaken, that caterpillar eventually becomes the Isabella tiger moth.

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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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Making Monarch Moments

Surely weather is major explanation: Monarchs are uncharacteristically present this summer. I see more around University Heights than any year since moving our family to San Diego in October 2007. I wondered while walking around the neighborhood: How effective a photographic tool could be Fujifilm GFX 50R for capturing butterflies? After all, composing is deliberate rather than quick, and the Fujinon GF63mmF.28 R WR lens isn’t specifically designed for macro (e.g. close-up) work. I have experimentally used the oversized camera as a street shooter—since acquiring it in February 2019 to replace my Leica M10, which a Mexican wedding photographer purchased from me late last year.

The massive medium-format sensor collects heaps of data, which makes shooting with a 50mm-equivalent prime lens surprisingly satisfying. In post-production, I can crop in close, retaining amazing detail—something that the Featured Image and first companion demonstrate. The 50R is able enough, and more. Question answered.

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Flickr a Day 255: ‘Polyphemus Moth’

The nature shots from the photostream of Stan Lupo are so fantastic, I wrongly wondered if he reposts images from National Geographic. Choosing one is a nearly impossible task. Being his work is so exceptional, today’s selection is a bit unfair. But the insect is one of my all-time favorites, and our Day Taker emphasizes the importance of shooting with what you got, not what you want. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 50, 1/151 sec, 4.1mm.

Stan used iPhone 5 to capture this Polyphemus moth, hence the self-title, on July 11, 2015. “A first for me”, he says, “and I only had my iPhone with me. The best camera is the one you have with you”. True that.