BELINDA GROVER PHOTOGRAPHY

STOPS ALONG THE WAY


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MY BAGS ARE PACKED

Bee

Yesterday was the first time I’ve picked up a camera in a long while. We spent the morning with friends in their wonderful garden. As we walked and talked I took a couple of photos. I was pretty pleased with the results, and was happy to see that I could still shoot a moving object. 😊


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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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MONARCHS (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

MonarchsLast year was a terrific one for butterflies; monarchs and painted ladies seemed to be everywhere. Monarchs were a particular pleasure as we hadn’t seen too many in recent years. I took these in September, shortly they would begin their migration to central Mexico.

Monarchs-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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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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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.


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SKIPPER 1

SkipperIt’s a season of firsts. The other day I featured my first dragonfly photograph, today it’s a skipper. As I walked next to a field, I saw one, then several more of these butterflies. You rarely see a solitary skipper so you usually have several opportunities to take a photograph, always nice.


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AT HAND

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.


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GOLDEN

This scene is a perfect antidote to this late December day. I thought the image looked like a corsage designed by nature. The photo to me is less about the spider and the flower and more about the colour and delight of summer.


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GIVE ME A BEE

I featured this bee on my blog earlier in the year, although this is a different image. Opportunities for photos like these are scarce these days, given it’s -21C with windchill! It’s going to be a long winter………….


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SKIPPER

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!


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THE ANT AND THE PEONY

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!


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DRAGONFLIES (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

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.


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CABBAGE WHITES (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

It seems to be a good summer for cabbage whites, it’s very hot and sunny with plenty for these butterflies to feed on. Not as flashy as many butterflies they still have a unique beauty and are fun to photograph in some of their loopier poses.


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EYE TO EYE (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

I’ve found that when startled, a dragonfly will fly off but will often return to the same spot. That is what happened here although on its return it landed at a different angle. We get a good number of dragonflies over the summer, I believe this is a variety of meadowhawk.


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BEE AROUND TOWN

Another photo taken on a walk through my neighbourhood. I’m always amazed when I see bees going about their business alongside busy streets. You don’t expect them to thrive in this kind of environment but they seem to, to the delight of people and flowers alike.


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SKIPPER BUTTERFLIES (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

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.


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ATOP THE PEONY

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.


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DRAGONFLY SEASON (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

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.


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DAMSELFLIES (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

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.


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TRILLIUM AND CATERPILLAR

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.


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SPRING BONUS

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.


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FLOWER AND THE FLY

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.


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BEE AT WORK

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.


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PAINTED LADY BUTTERFLIES (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

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.


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LONG-HORNED BEETLE (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

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.


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TO BEE OR NOT TO BEE (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

I’m not sure if this is a bee or a bee mimic, perhaps someone might be able to confirm which it is. It was a three-fer day: summer, flowers and insects. The photo was taken hand held with my 300mm lens. I had planned on taking bird photos but I saw this opportunity and gave it a try. I usually only take one lens with me when I leave the house (I hate carrying a lot of equipment). You can get some nice close-up shots with long lenses too.