This bizarre creature is a lace bug, probably stephanitis rhododendri, which is bad news for the rhododendrons and azaleas in my garden. Or it might be stephanitis takeyai, which is bad news for the pieris in my garden. So it is bad news for me as a gardener either way! I don’t know why it was posing in my sumac tree instead of one of its preferred meals, but I thought the colours worked rather nicely.
A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by a photographer, Jenifer Bunnett, based in Surrey who had found me on the internet and suggested we might go out on photo safaris together. We met up for a coffee and a chat and found we hit it off. Jen is a super photographer whose interests are similar to mine. On Tuesday we had our first adventure together. I have already posted my shots of fungi from the woods around Friday Street in the Surrey Hills. However, our main quarry was this waterfall, something Jenifer had read about but hadn’t yet found. It seemed to be something of a secret, mentioned mysteriously on the internet but without directions. It turned out, to my surprise, that I had been there, several years ago, on a family hike. Surrey isn’t known for its waterfalls, but this one is pretty and tranquil – we had it to ourselves. Although most of the trees around it are laurel, and so evergreen, we did notice a few birches so a return visit in a couple of weeks is very much on the cards.
If you are interested, do visit Jen’s website and/or her Facebook page.
It’s a grey, drizzling day here, the sort of weather that people imagine when they think of England. A day for editing images rather than shooting them.
I hope you can forgive yet another mushroom-related post. There were so many toadstools and other fungi in the woods near Friday Street yesterday. I snapped a few of the nicest, or strangest, depending on your point of view.
The last couple of days have been bad back days so I only had my little Fuji along. But it coped well with pretending, using the 18-55mm kit lens, to be a macro shooter.
One or two of the mushrooms were kind enough to pose above ground level.
Using a wider lens than I would normally gave me the chance to try something a little different from my usual shallow depth of field, isolated subject, loads of bokeh style. In the shot below I wanted to make more of an environmental shot, using the log to lead the eye into the frame.
It was while I was taking that shot that I noticed the cute little toadstool posing on top of the log featured in my post yesterday. Here it is a bit closer. Well, I couldn’t keep the bokeh at bay for long.
Despite having now edited all of the images from the shoot, the image I posted yesterday remains my favourite of the day. But I have made a better edit of it, muting some of the brightest highlights in the background.
Tomorrow, one more secret of the forest, but not a mushroom in sight.
Master Po: Do you hear the grasshopper that is at your feet?
Young Caine: [looking down and seeing the insect] Old man, how is it that you hear these things?
Master Po: Young man, how is it that you do not?
-Kung Fu, Pilot episode (1972)
(Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)