BELINDA GROVER PHOTOGRAPHY

STOPS ALONG THE WAY


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SILVER-SPOTTED SKIPPER

Skipper

I’m more accustomed to seeing orange skippers (the Least or European) in my area so I was pleased to see this new variety. As the summer progresses, many butterflies linger as they feed and don’t seem to be bothered by the passing photographer.


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BUTTERFLY AND BEE

Butterfly and Bee

My eye was on the tortoiseshell butterfly, I didn’t see the bee at first. This was the first and only time I’ve seen this kind of butterfly. It’s interesting to see more than one insect on a plant at once, a bit of drama at play. In the end the butterfly blinked first and moved on.


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PINK-EDGED SULPHUR

Butterfly

I saw quite a few sulphurs last year, all within the span of a few days. We were walking along some flower beds in a botanical garden hoping to see some painted lady butterflies.  The day was a bonanza of butterflies, we saw three different kinds, including the sulphur.


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SKIMMER DRAGONFLY

Dragonfly

Another surefire sign of summer is the arrival of dragonflies.  I saw this skimmer in early August. Each variety puts in an appearance throughout the summer.  I’ve even seen a few still flying around late in the season if the weather remains warm.


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BEE’S BUSINESS

Summer Scenes-2

At the best of times, watching bees visiting flowers and gathering pollen is a good sign for nature and our part in it.  In these troubled times, it’s reassuring to see that life continues, there is still order and more will return in time.


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CABBAGE WHITES (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

Cabbage Whites-2

Another sure sign of summer are cabbage white butterflies. Their caterpillars are rough on gardeners but as adults they feed on nectar and are a pleasure to see. Unlike many butterflies, they fly slowly between the flowers and seem to linger longer than most.

Cabbage Whites


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METALLIC BEES (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

Sweat Bees I took these photos early last fall. It was a good year for these brilliantly coloured bees. The first was taken in the woods and the second in a neighbourhood garden, both with my 300 mm lens, which I often use for close ups like these. It keeps me at a comfortable distance from stinging insects although these bees are usually too busy feeding to pay me any attention.

Sweat Bees-2


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JUNE DRAGONFLIES (THREE PHOTOGRAPHS)

DragonfliesI took a lot of dragonfly photographs last June. They tend to emerge in bursts and you see them everywhere. I particularly like to watch them when they land on lily pads and turn slowly towards the sun. They look like mini helicopters.

Dragonflies-3

Dragonflies-2


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DRAGONFLIES (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS

DragonfliesWhen I took the photograph of this mating pair, I didn’t notice the other insects in the frame until I downloaded the image. I did a larger crop to show the damselfly on the far left, and a few other hangers-on on the tree stump. It was a busy time of year for these insects.

Dragonflies-2


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SILVER-SPOTTED SKIPPER

SkipperI usually see more orange skippers than the silver-spotted variety shown here. I was pleased to spot this one though, he was as perfect an example as you could hope for. I like to keep my photos as natural as possible and the butterfly made that easy. I cropped in a bit and added some contrast and that about did it.


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TOP OF THE TEASEL

Mimic FlyMimic flies are fun to photograph. If I had my macro lens with me, I would have concentrated on the insect but as I didn’t I took the shot I could. I rarely carry more than one lens when I go out so if I see something worth taking I’ll give it a go.


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BEETLE (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

Beetle-2Another insect post. I miss these vibrant summer colours. We see a lot of white and grey in the winter but when the sun does shine, the sky never looked bluer.
These beetles tend to climb on long grass stalks which make for an attractive background and gather in groups too so photo opportunities are abundant.

Beetle


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GRASSHOPPER

GrasshopperGrasshoppers are always fun to photograph, when you can find one. I only saw this grasshopper because it jumped onto a stalk of grass as I was walking by. It gripped the grass as still as could be and I took my shot.


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HUMMINGBIRD MOTH (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

Hummingbird MothI saw a hummingbird moth just once this year, in mid-September. A friend introduced me to these insects a few years ago and every summer I keep an eye out for them. They are remarkable looking, and unlike many moths feed during the day, so if you’re really lucky you might just see one. In the second photo the moth looks like its had one too many. 😊

Hummingbird Moth-2


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‘BYE BUTTERFLY

Swallowtail I saw the last swallowtails of the year in August although other butterflies were still around until early October. A very good year for them all. The swallowtail made picture taking very easy as it lingered on the Joe Pye weed, a plant they love.


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SOLITARY DAMSELFLY

DamselflyI thought the season for damselflies was over for the year when I saw one a week ago, perched on a stem. We’re still seeing the occasional Monarch but this is the only damselfly I’ve seen in over a month. A wonderful sight indeed.


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SULPHUR BUTTERFLY (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

Sulpher-2It’s been a terrific year for butterflies in my part of the country. When visiting a local botanical garden, in among the clouds of painted ladies was this solitary sulphur butterfly. I went back a day later and I saw it again. Unlike the painted ladies who were constantly on the move, the sulphur, Pink-edged or Clouded (I’m not sure which) savoured the nectar for a while.

Sulpher


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HUMMINGBIRD MOTH

Hummingbird MothA friend had some success photographing a hummingbird moth at a wildlife garden we frequent. Luck was on our side too on a recent visit. This moth beats its wings at great speeds so I was pleased to get this photo and several others in decent focus (of the hundreds I took). Not an easy subject but oh, when it works😊.


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METALLIC BEE

Metallic FlyThis is a metallic or sweat bee. Their attractive colouring make them one of my favourite bees. We don’t see many of them but when we do they often have a dusting of pollen that makes them stand out even more. You might notice another insect making its way up the underside of the flower. Had I seen it when I was taking the photo I would have remained to witness the encounter.


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LADYBUG (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

LadybugAs the end of summer approaches it was nice to see this ladybug. Ladybugs hibernate over winter. Here in Canada, if they hibernate in your garage, it’s said to be a sign of good luck. Many would disagree 😏. The ladybug was racing along the stem and I kept my lens trained on it as it dodged in and out of sight. I hope to see a few more of these insects before the cold weather sets in.

Ladybug-2


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THE GALL OF IT ALL (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

DamselflyThis damselfly perched on a plant that contained an insect gall (the growth you see on the stem).
We are getting to the end of the damselfly season although dragonflies will continue to emerge into September. It feels as though summer has barely begin but I sense the change of season. The days are warm but the evenings are cool and the wildflowers are beginning to fade.

Damselfly-2


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RED SOLDIER BEETLE

BeetleI believe this is a red soldier beetle.  I saw one then a few more on surrounding plants. It’s been my experience that you never see just one. I took this with my 300mm so I was pleased that I got a decent shot with a bit of cropping.


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HIGH-FLYER

FlyI’m not a great fan of flies but they can make engaging subjects, particularly the pollinating kind like this one. There’s a tiny garden maintained by a local business association that plants a variety of wildflowers every summer. I was walking by when I spotted the fly on some milkweed.


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EYE TO EYE

Giant SwallowtailWe got to the park in the early morning when it was still cool and watched as the swallowtail landed on the plant. If we had been an hour later it would have led us on a merry chase; as the temperature warms, butterflies speed up and don’t stay still for long. We see a few of these butterflies every year, always a pleasure.


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SKIPPER 2

Skipper 2 I always see skippers low to the ground in bright sunlight, tricky conditions for photography. If you can spot them before the day gets too warm, they are more slow moving and easier to photograph. This variety of skipper is tiny, the clover gives you an idea of scale.