Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Never Stand Under a Great Blue Heron

I was taking pictures of a yellow jacket eating an aphid (see slide show at when I heard a loud squawking. I looked up and saw a great blue heron rise up from the pond and land way up in a tree. I didn't have the right lens, but still thought I would try to capture this beauty. She was a good 40 feet up and camouflaged by the leaves. My only shot was straight up. (You can see her looking down at me with two eyes if you click on the first photo.) I got a few pictures and kept clicking until the old girl decided she didn't like the camera. Right then and there she went to the ladies room as the camera clicked away. I had just a second to duck. Lucky me. Lovely bird

Friday, September 24, 2010

Misty Morning

It was a foggy morning today. Here are a few shots from Valley Forge, including two trees in the mist, an orb weaver's spider web, and a golden orb weaver spider waiting for his breakfast.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Two Finalists!!

Two photos made it to the finals in the August Betterphoto.Com photography contest. First one is "Underside of a Caterpillar" and the second is an assassin bug titled "To Dive or Not to Dive." Yeeee Haaaaa!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Grasshoppers, Bubbles and a Stinkbug Blessing

This is a true story. Now dear readers, bear with me on this - it is a little racy, but too amazing not to recount. I was back in the marsh along the pond at Eastern College this afternoon trying out my fancy new 200 mm macro bug lens. As I was walking, I heard a little rustle in the grass. I spotted a nice sized grasshopper who had just hopped onto a stalk of grass. I adjusted my tripod, so I could get down on my knees to his level and take a few pictures, but there were a lot of weeds in my way.

As I looked through the view finder I noticed the grasshopper had hopped off the grass. Darn.... But then I looked a little to my right and there on a large leaf was the same grasshopper. The leaf was a perfect stage for a good portrait shot. As I adjusted my lens, lo and behold I see another grasshopper has joined the first one on the stage. Oh my... so nice to get two grasshoppers in one shot. Then I notice the first grasshopper is leaning over on his side and the second grass hopper is approaching him and leaning over on her side. And before you know it the two grasshoppers are laying down on the leaf doing what all good grass hoppers do.

Well, I had a field day trying to find the right angle to capture this bit of mother nature in the making. As I was clicking away I noticed a big bubble beginning to form where these guys were joined. Who knows what the heck that was. I am clicking away, when I notice from the corner of my eye, a large green stink bug with blue eyes approaching on another leaf near by. This then prompted the boy grasshopper to drag the girl grasshopper off their leaf and into a more private area. The stink bug just kept approaching and was now on a higher stalk peering over the two attached grasshoppers.

I was in a tizzy trying to get the right angle and not get too close to scare anybody away and also trying to get everybody in focus. NOT AN EASY TASK. And then as I looked through my viewfinder, I see the stink bug put his little hands out and touches the two joined grasshoppers as if he is blessing their union.

I mean to tell ya, it's a beautiful jungle out there!!! Click on the photos to see all the action and the bubbles and the stinkbug blessing.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

No Way to Treat a Lady

New 200 mm Macro Lens

Well, I broke down and got myself a new fabulous lens this week. It's a bug lens -200mm macro. What that means is I don't have to put the camera right up to the nose of all these poor bugs I have been stalking. I can stand about two feet away and still get a good close up. I spent almost the whole day yesterday at the John Heinz Nature preserve near the airport just having the time of my life with damsel flies, huge grasshoppers, frogs, wasps, spiders, you name it. Life does not get better than this.

Take a look at this damselfly having herself a little bug for breakfast. If you look closely (click on her), you can see she has her mouth wide open. After that take a look at the grasshopper eating the leaf. This grasshopper and I had a marvelous half hour together. At first he was scared to death of me and hid behind a tall stalk. So I pretended to ignore him and just took pictures of a sandpiper in the marsh all while still within eyesight of the grasshopper. When I turned around, he had forgotten I was there and just went about his morning meal. I think this may have been the first time I actually saw a grasshopper open those beautiful jaws.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Bike Shoes

It was a beautiful morning here in St. Davids. Everybody was feeling good. Ken even suggested a bike ride which was wonderful. We had stored his fancy schmancy three wheeled bike on a top shelf in the garage. I asked our neighbor if he might help me get the bike down, which he did. In the mean time, Ken went to the basement to look for his special VERY EXPENSIVE bike shoes that connect to special pedels on his bike. But they weren't there...... Uh oh.... He came back up into the kitchen and asked me if I knew where they were.


A few weeks ago, I mentioned how we had finally put in a French Drain in the basement. The basement was a total mess for a few months while under going construction, but it was finally finished and then I cleaned out all the bookcases and drawers and donated box after box of old stuff to the Good Will. And guess what went into one of those boxes??? You guessed it, Ken's very special, VERY EXPENSIVE bike shoes. Not good!!!

I confessed and said I really thought they were just an old pair of Ken's sneakers that I thought were too narrow for him to use anymore. NOT GOOD!!!

Ken was not happy. Did a little stormin around, but after a while, he forgave his old batty wife and made due with a different pair of shoes. He had to put a different set of peddals on the bike. But he did that too with the help of our good neighbors. And after all of the excitement, we went on our way and had a wonderful bike ride. We might even ride again tomorrow, if the weather holds.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Blue Magic

Damselflies in Love. Click photo for a close up.