Tag: insects

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Midday Mourning Cloak

While Annie and I walked yesterday, she delighted about a butterfly fluttering by. It stopped long enough for me to get off a couple quick shots using Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. The Featured Image is best of the set.

I grew up collecting and studying insects and quickly recognized the Mourning Cloak. Certainly, I know the butterfly from Northern Maine and assumed that, like many other Lepidoptera, Mourning Cloak was limited to the East. Wow, my big mistake: The range is broadest among the block of 11 continuous Western states.

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Circle to Search THIS

I ignored today’s solar eclipse, which was nowhere near totality here in San Diego. Had we moved home to Maine as planned last year, well my interest would be—sincerely, ignore the pun—astronomical. While local and national news honed on Houlton, my hometown Caribou was in the path of totality.

That topic dispatched, let’s move on to the Featured Image. Late afternoon, I discovered a bug behind the bathroom door. Black color and white striations suggested spider; any eight-legger gets a free pass in this household; spiders aren’t pests, they’re pest control.

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Garden Supper

Among the many benefits of Leica Q2, or any camera from the series, are dedicated manual focus and macro modes—activated by turning dedicated rings around the lens barrel. I used the latter feature when taking the Featured Image and companion, which were close-cropped in post-production.

I captured the pair yesterday. Vitals, aperture manually set for both: f/4, ISO 100, 1/1250 sec, 28mm; 4:27 p.m. PDT. The second is the same but 1/1600 sec, two minutes later.

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Mommy Monarch

According to one of my neighbors, who tends a butterfly garden in her front yard, a female Monarch lays eggs on milkweed. As such, the mom-to-be stayed still long enough for me to shoot six shots, the last being the Featured Image.

This one is composed as captured and as produced by Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Meaning: No post-production. Vitals: f/4.9, ISO 50, 1/850 sec, 230mm (film equivalent); 11:25 a.m. PDT, today.

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Bumble Bee Delights

Yesterday we returned to 2007 with a backyard portrait of bunny Daisy. A few months earlier, June 24, I shot bug and flowers on a mini-medium that separates Decatur and University avenues where Newport Mill Road intersects both, in Kensington, Md. According to Google Maps street view, from June 2022, the place remains—even fuller and lusher than I recall.

I used Canon EOS 20D and EF100mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens to shoot the Featured Image and companion. How strange is it that I clearly remember this outing when others aren’t recollected. I can’t guess why are the quirks of memory, being such an otherwise meaningless moment.

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Lonely Locust

We take yet another break from the New Vision Christian Fellowship building destruction (and replacement). Dual problems plague us this evening: ants and uncharacteristically unavailable Internet access. To save time and keep posting simple, please regard this locust (not a grasshopper, right?) seen on Sept. 20, 2022.

I used Leica Q2‘s Macro mode, which is activated by turning a ring around the f/1.7 Summilux lens, to capture the Featured Image. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/250 sec, 28mm; 6:16 p.m. PDT.

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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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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.