Tag: insects

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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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Sanctuary No More

I started more closely watching what the Wilcox clan calls the Butterfly House—a lush Monarch (and other creature) refuge along Maryland Ave., going down the hill from Meade. A major culling of plumage made me wonder if the residents might be leaving. Yep. Last week, I passed by as a moving truck was loaded. Three days ago, I spoke with one of the tenants. They’re Hawaii-bound, and the future of the mini-wildlife habitat is uncertain. Much depends on whomever resides there next. The longstanding caretakers, who contributed much to the neighborhood by way of their overly-committed gardening, bought a house and acre of land on the Big Island. Their tending will be missed by many.

For a small sense of what will likely vanish, please click through to the “Cats of University Heights” profile of Wink, laying low in the middle of the magnificent front yard. Incidentally, two other felines—Flower and Skull—were previously profiled in the adjacent properties on either side of the Butterfly House. 

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Luna Moths

On the afternoon of June 14, 2004, something quite remarkable happened in my Kensington, Md. backyard, about which I briefly posted on that day. My wife urgently called me from my basement office. Beautiful butterflies had taken up residence on my daughter’s snow sled, which she had dragged out and left for some inexplicable reason. I immediately recognized them as something better: Luna moths.

I was an amateur bug collector in my youth and teens (someday I should tell you about raising praying mantids). So interested, I came a hair’s width from majoring in entomology (e.g. study of insects) in college. I dissected a good number of animals during anatomy and physiology classes, but nothing grossed me out more than cutting open a cockroach. But I digress. 

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Flickr a Day 76: ‘Common Green Lacewing’

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Surely, this isn’t the green photo you expected. But I couldn’t resist this wonderful closeup (e.g., Macro shot) taken with little more than a digital compact—Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, which zooms from 24-840mm. Yikes! Meet the lacewing, one of my favorite insects growing up in Northern Maine.

Martin Cooper, who joined Flickr in February 2013, makes a photographic study of the fungi, fauna, and bugs of Christchurch Park in Ipswich, United Kingdom.  He shot today’s selection on March 12, 2014. Vitals: f/8, ISO 100, 1/200 sec, f/42.4mm.