BELINDA GROVER PHOTOGRAPHY

STOPS ALONG THE WAY


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THE FLOWER AND THE BEE

Although it’s still spring, the temperature has been in the low 30Cs the last few days. The birds and their offspring are scarce but the wildflowers and insects are everywhere you look at the reserve. My first bee and flower photograph of the season, always a cheerful combination!


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FIRST DRAGONFLIES (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

In the past week we’ve seen our first dragonflies of the season. Once these insects appear summer is truly on its way. Since I rarely carry more than one lens with me, and had set out to photograph birds that day, these were taken with my 300mm lens. I took plenty of shots, the dragonfly was in no hurry to fly off, and though some were discarded I had quite a few keepers. I look forward to the weeks that follow with more dragonfly varieties emerging as well as the appearance of damselflies.


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OPPORTUNITY

I don’t mind flies, as long as I don’t find one in the house or landing on my dinner plate! In the woods, however, all’s fair. I was hoping for a dragonfly to photograph but this fly landed on the reed instead, and didn’t move. There was no wind either which made taking this tiny insect much easier. He was attractive (for a fly), I liked the background so I took his portrait.


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FASCINATOR

I thought the Pearl Crescent butterfly perched on the flower looked like a fascinator you might see at a cocktail party. The tilt of the butterfly, the position of its wings and the richness of its colouring created this illusion. Only its face and the flower are in focus, I would have needed a larger F stop to have got all of its wings in focus. But in this case I don’t think it mattered.


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UNEXPECTED

As I walked along the path I glanced to my side and saw this bald-faced hornet looking my way. I was struck by its bold colouring which made it stand out against the brown of the bark. This hornet is a member of the wasp family. They are known to attack if their nest is disturbed but generally aren’t a problem when away from their nests. They can be quite beneficial too as they eat flies and other insects. I was surprised that the fly in the picture did not try to fly way. The bald faced hornet has an impressive but rather sinister look. I took this photo at a distance of about five feet, a respectful distance given my subject.


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BEAUTY OR BEAST

I was pleased to get as near as I did to this Japanese Beetle. I’m beginning to photograph insects at a closer distance so that I don’t have to crop as much and to get more detail. I took this with my 105mm lens with a flash to slow movement and a diffuser to soften the light. The beetles can be tricky to take in the bright sun as they reflect light. The diffuser helps tone down the highlights.

Japanese Beetles are very destructive insects, eating through many crops, plants and trees. But as subjects to photograph, their iridescent colouring is very attractive.


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DRAGONFLIES (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

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The breeding period is quite short for dragonflies and by mid-summer you are practically bumping into mating pairs. They don’t seem to mind and go about their business undisturbed. These meadowhawks caught my eye as they stood out so strikingly against the green of the leaves. As we near the end of winter, with the cold and snow still very much with us, the colour and life in these photographs make me restless for the spring to come.

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