I’ve never seen a monarch feeding so intently before. It would have been nice if it had turned slightly but I caught its beautiful colours and its position added interest.
When 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.
I 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.
Another 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.
I 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. 😊
Although dragonflies can be challenging subjects, in watching them you become familiar with their behaviour and can often anticipate where they will land. The dragonfly in the first photograph was on a perch just above the water which made for a pleasing background. They are one of my favourite insects to photograph.
It will be a few months before we see any damselflies or dragonflies, members of the Odonata species of insects. We begin to see the first dragonflies in May, followed by damselflies a little later. They are delicate looking insects and small, the leaves provide a good sense of scale. I took these photos with my 70-200mm f/2.8. I use it often for close up photography because I tend to walk around with only one lens (I don’t like to carry much gear). I had to crop but still managed to get nice detail.
I took this photograph with my 70-200 mm lens. I do a lot of close up photography with it. As I’ve written before, I usually go out with one lens for the day. I had planned to photograph wildlife but I saw this shot and tried it. It goes to show that you don’t necessarily need a macro lens to do this kind of photography. If the subject is within range, I’ll always give it a go.
The skipper butterfly is a favourite of mine for its beauty and for the way it positions itself on grass and reeds, almost making the photograph. Skippers are most numerous in mid summer but I’ve seen them earlier and later as well. This past May, as I walked along a path that cut through a field, I saw one, then another and within several feet upwards of 50 feeding on wildflowers. They must have very recently emerged. What a delight that was!
In June when the peonies begin to bud the ants arrive in droves. The buds secrete a sap that attracts the ants. Once the flowers bloom the ants disappear with no harm done to the plants. I had my 105mm the day I took this photo, I had hoped for some flower shots and got a “twofer” instead!
If the weather cooperates we usually see the first dragonflies at the beginning of May which was the case this year. The photograph above is one of the early bloomers, a clubtail. The second dragonfly, a meadowhawk, was taken in July but I’ve seen them late into the fall. I hope to see a few more before the season ends.
The other day we followed a trail that led to an open field bordering a busy road. An unlikely spot to find wild grasses and flowers and skippers! We saw one skipper, then another, then a good number more. I would have preferred using a macro lens for these photos (I had a birding lens on my camera) but you can get some nice closeup shots with a telephoto lens too.
A walk in my downtown neighbourhood is always interesting. It’s a mix of old and new homes and apartments many of which have tiny gardens. Although most of the peonies are beginning to fade, this particular bush has not yet come into flower and I focused on this ant as it ran in circles. I increased the shutter speed enough to get it in focus.
I liked the way the first dragonfly peered out between the leaves and stayed still as I set up my shot. In the photo below, the dragonfly had just recently emerged, one of the first of the season. Every few days it seems new varieties appear, particularly welcome this spring as birding subjects have proved less reliable.
A few weeks ago there were few insects around. In the last ten days or so with the return of damselflies and dragonflies, it feels like summer has arrived even though it’s still spring. I didn’t have my macro gear with me the day I took these photos, I used my 70-200mm and I had to crop quite a bit. I was pleased I could capture the detail.
We were walking along a forest trail when I saw first one, then many more trilliums. They are such striking flowers. These were the first I had seen this year, and though still beautiful no longer in their prime. Even so I took many photos, more of which I will feature later on. Trilliums don’t really need any dressing up but I did think this caterpillar was a nice added touch.
In early spring, whenever I see the first of something it’s cause to smile. I have seen a few trout lilies this season but this was the first bee I’ve spotted. Although a lot of the cultivated flowers are in bloom, the wildflowers are slow to appear as are insects. It made the bee especially nice to see.
Wishing won’t make it so but a photo taken on a warm summer day works wonders! A seemingly ordinary insect on a daisy make for two of my favourite subjects. I liked the less than perfect look of the flower. Daisies have a long season in our climate and this showed it a bit worse for wear but still beautiful.
This bee was right in the thick of it, gathering pollen as he gave a nod in my direction. I used to be wary of bees and still have a great deal of respect for them, but I’ve learned that if left undisturbed they are not generally aggressive and just want to get on with the work at hand.
A steep path through the woods led to an open field. We often stop by hoping to spot something interesting. It was late October and we hadn’t expected to see butterflies and especially not in the numbers we did that afternoon. I spotted one, then another, painted ladies were everywhere. It seems we were on their migration path last fall as they headed south. Luckily we were out that day and saw them too.
Here are two more examples of insects I have taken with a telephoto lens, I had to do a fair amount of cropping but retained the detail in the images.
I was never a great fan of insects in the past. But since encountering them out in the field, I can appreciate their beauty, fearlessness and the important role they play in nature.
Like many cities with short summers, Ottawa is packed with festivals and events throughout the warmer months. Often several occur at the same time on the same day so there’s plenty to choose from. We were at one such event on Parliament Hill, when I took a break from the crowds. I was happy to come across this ladybug taking in the sights, opting for a snack not listed on the food truck menu boards😊 .
I remember the day I took this photograph. It was hot. Mid-July. We had been walking along a dusty path beside a field overgrown with tall grass and wildflowers that seemed to thrive despite the heat. We were nearing the end of our walk when this swallowtail landed on a nearby flower. It was in no hurry and I was able to take several photographs. I have not seen a black swallowtail again and was pretty pleased to have had this opportunity.