May 17th, 2007

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

Life's little irritations

Annoyances I could do without:

Ticks, scorpions, people who send email with humongous attachments (10Mb), handles that break off the tool as I'm using it. 

Just saying.
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woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

Small beauties

I spent some time this afternoon trying to photograph small things--caterpillars on cow parsley, damselflies, spreadwing damselflies.  Along the way some larger things (dragonflies, flowers, butterflies) got in front of the lens, not by accident, but mostly I was dealing with tiny stuff.  Stuff so small I couldn't see it until I had disturbed it.  I was working in the secondary drainage "old ditch" and also in the natural, original drainage where there are also some natural ephemeral pools.  

I learned that standing on mucky ground, with a pack (full of extra lenses, etc.) and trying to focus on something the thickness of a straight pin, with the zoom cranked out to 300mm and the autofocus insisting there was nothing to focus on--so  I had to do it manually, with sweat running into my eyes--rarely leads to the best-quality images.  However, some of the them turned out fairly well:

  This is a Citrine Forktail, the smallest damsel in NA.  Usually the eyes--or half the eyes--are lime green, so I kind of wonder about this one--but there's nothing else it could be, at that size with the green on the thorax and the orange-to-lemon of the abdomen.

At this time of year, the cow parsley has pretty much gone to seed--and the black swallowtail caterpillars are just getting started on it.  This (according to my caterpillar field guide) is the "desert form" of the black swallowtail's caterpillar.   [However, today several people told me that it's not, that it's an earlier instar of the regular black swallowtail "cat" because the desert form doesn't go east of Arizona....EM, 5/18/07]

   And below is the regular form, minus the spines and with different colors.

So, not to overload you with images...that's it for the evening.  But if you check the galleries, there's some new stuff in butterflies and dragonflies.