Each Spring, the return of the insects to my garden prompts me to dust off my macro lens. After that, it tends to be the default lens until Winter sets in once more. However, it always takes me a while to get my macro eye back in. This year, other commitments meant that I didn’t have much time for photography; a foray into the garden yesterday showed me that my macro eye is most definitely still out! Never mind, there’s always next year…
These shots of a hawthorn shield bug are from earlier in the year. One of the challenges with photographing insects in this country is most of them are so small. In warmer climes, there are big, chunky bugs to capture. These shield bugs are among the biggest I see in my garden, and they are still only 8-10mm when full grown.
I must confess that I was not 100% certain of my ID here and originally misidentified this as a birch shield bug. Thank you to Maria for the correction in the comments below.
Monthly Archives: September 2013
Encore La Corbière
Last year I bought my husband a helicopter flight with The London Helicopter. We finally got around to booking it earlier this summer.
I love helicopter flights. I love the change of point of view and the crazy angles you don’t get from an aircraft.
Photography is challenging. Windows are not where you want them and never clean enough; viewpoints disappear before you have time to frame them; and then there’s those pesky reflections.
It doesn’t stop me trying though.
We were blessed with a clear afternoon, luckily. It was so much fun seeing parts of London we know well from a whole new perspective.
This was not my first helicopter sightseeing experience. We have taken a ‘copter over the Grand Canyon.
We have also enjoyed a flight over Kauai’s spectacular Na Pali coast.
And, perhaps most spectacular of all, a flight over Volcanoes National Park on Hawaii’s Big Island.
I kept the crazy angle in the next shot, to show that it was taken from a helicopter.
I was much happier seeing this from a helicopter than on foot!
I would love to do a ‘doors-off’ flight next. I think I am hooked.
Borg Queen: Brave words. I’ve heard them before, from thousands of species across thousands of worlds, since long before you were created. But, now they are all Borg.
Lieutenant Commander Data: I am unlike any lifeform you have encountered before. The codes stored in my neural net cannot be forcibly removed.
–Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
Sunset at Grosnez
Sun sets behind the evocative ruins of Grosnez Castle on the Northwestern tip of Jersey, one of the British Channel Islands.
Ladybirds with attitude
Sanity will return tomorrow. I promise.
Our trip to the Channel Islands this summer included a stay on Sark.
Under the effects of wind and water, Sark is becoming two islands, Great and Little Sark. They are joined by a narrow isthmus called La Coupée.
It’s a spectacular spot, the cliffs shearing off steeply from both sides of the narrow path. My photos don’t really do it justice.
La Coupée used to be so dangerous that people would crawl over it on their hands and knees. During the nineteenth century, the path eroded until it was only three feet wide. The present road dates from 1945 and was constructed by German prisoners of war. It can still be an eventful crossing even today; on busy days tourists pushing bikes, the principal means of transport on this car-free island, mingle with carts pulled by horses. The latter have right of way, but there’s not a lot of room when they pass! Sadly, I didn’t get a shot of a cart on La Coupée; I always seemed to be there at the wrong time.
I did, however, manage to take some photos of La Coupée at dusk. As the light dims, and the people leave, it becomes a spooky place and, not surprisingly, has had a reputation for being haunted. One story tells of a black dog, called the Tchico, who roams the cliffs around La Coupée at night. I didn’t see Tchico, which is probably just as well.
More about Sark next week.
The return of Gasteruption Jaculator
Last year I posted a few shots of this bizarre creature, a wasp parasitic on solitary bees. For some reason I didn’t include this shot of gasteruption in flight, so here it is now. This is just for you, Gunta, because I know how much you like my buggy posts 😉
In July, I shared some images of a poppy field I had found near the village of Send. I couldn’t resist sharing a few more. It was really special being there, among all the flowers. Three whole fields were covered in poppies. The first shot was taken in the morning, but I popped down again in the evening for some better light.
As the sun set, the poppies began to close, but the light was more interesting.
In low light like this, a tripod was essential. Needless to say, the camera was not set up for a moving deer, so when one bounded across the field I was working in, all I could do was react and take the shot with the wrong settings. At least I have something vaguely deer-like to jog my memory; I have a picture in there that needs no settings.