Friday, October 29, 2010

Mr. Bumblebee having a chat with a Spotted Cucumber Beetle in Basil... October, 2010

bumblebee and beetle in basil
I first saw a Spotted Cucumber Beetle (Diabrotica undecimpunctata) in my Korean Chrysanthemum 'Apricot' blossoms last year... they seem to enjoy flowers and munching on their petals quite a bit! Imagine my surprise, though, to discover one in my Basil while trying to get up close and personal to a Bumblebee! The imagined conversation goes something like this (from bumblebee to beetle): "Hey Beetle... what are you doing in MY Basil?!"

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pentas lanceolata... revisited after the cluster had fully opened...

Pentas cluster in full bloom
The previous post showed a single blossom in a Pentas cluster with the rest still in bud... a few days later... after a rainy night... this is what the plant blossom looks like. Enjoy!

I'll try to remember to occasionally publish the shooting information but generally shoot all my macro images with aperture priority, adjusting ISO to allow me to shoot with a fast enough shutter speed (in the case of shooting insects) to prevent motion blur and to give an F stop that gives me the desired DOF. I'm not a super geeky photographer and can never remember from one time to the next what I was shooting so always have to rely on pulling up the EXIF data after the fact.

My equipment includes a Nikon D90 with a 105mm VR Nikkor lens for the macros and Kenko extension tubes when I want to get super close. I'll try to remember to tag/label when I use extension tubes.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pentas lanceolata... also known as Egyptian Star Cluster or Star Flower... Summer, 2010

pink Pentas blossom
Pentas lanceolata is not winter hardy in our zone so this is the first year that I've tried it in my garden. Apparently, butterflies and bees as well as hummingbirds LOVE this plant... but I cannot vouch for that since I planted it in an area of my garden that is surrounded by Plumbago larpentae ground cover which has blue blossoms that are a real attractant for all manner of pollen gathering insects. Perhaps next year, I should plant more of this in a different area of my garden... and also plant different colors since pink is not one of my favorites! However, this tiny, perfect, first blossom caught my eye... later on... the entire cluster of tiny buds opened for a very nice display!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Skipper Butterfly series... From my garden... 2010

Earlier (just a few seconds ago) I published a sunrise post from a camping weekend in Virginia. Since I'm SO far behind posting to my blog, I'm going to include a series of shots of a Skipper butterfly drinking from one of the many flowers of my rampant Plumbago larpentae ground cover in this post. When viewed in the order in which they were taken, they sort of tell a story. Here he is drinking nectar...
skipper drinking nectar from flower blossom
There simply MUST be more nectar all the way at the bottom of this flower!
face planted in flower blossom
Well, I think I got ALL the nectar there is here so it's time to stop drinking from this flower...
skipper pulling out of flower
And it's time to move on to the next flower...
skipper finished getting nectar from flower blossom

Early morning rising has its benefits... Sunrise at Douthat State Park, Virginia... September, 2010

As always, I have good intentions to post an image a day... but somehow that just doesn't happen. For today... I'm going to post several to catch up with some of the backlog.

sunrise over Douthat Lake
First a sunrise from a camping weekend at Douthat State Park, Virginia in September.