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Foto Fair Post your photos for friendly, non-critical feedback. This is the place to show pictures if you aren't yet ready for full-blooded critique, or simply want to share an interesting picture with other e-group visitors.

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  #2611  
Old 8th June 2019
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

Harold, You first...

Hmmm - online comments vary from edible but sharp or bitter to warnings of dire reactions such as...

Although edible, the plants contain berberine, a compound found in many Berberis and Mahonia species, which can cause vomiting, lowered blood pressure, reduced heart rate, lethargy, and other ill effects when consumed in large quantities.

And the blackbird usually goes and drinks from the birdbath for a long time afterwards, which doesn't fill me with confidence. And the water in that would take the paint off the front door, so I'm not trying it
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  #2612  
Old 9th June 2019
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

Wind-tolerant Robberfly

We have experienced some very windy weather. A 20 foot Sumach tree adopted an angle of 45 degrees to the vertical two days ago. Yesterday afternoon it increased that to 90 degrees.

It had been a warm, sunny day. The wind gusted strongly all the time, pausing only for two or three seconds at a time. I had made several searches of the wilder part of the garden but found few insects, none of interest.

So, having been busy with my chain saw, I was taking a wheelbarrow loaded with freshly-cut logs to the wild area. As I walked by the larger herb layer vegetation I saw a larger than usual fly on a broad umbellifer leaf. I took a close look and confirmed that it was a robber fly.

I think it is the Golden-haired Robberfly Choerades marginatus.

I fetched my camera but the fly had gone. Knowing something of the habits of such flies, I kept searching the area for a few minutes. I was rewarded by its return to a leaf close to the original one.

I got a (just about acceptable) shot from above then moved to try to get a head-on view but the fly took off. Waiting for the wind to drop had been an inconvenience and cause of delay.

Not discouraged, I extended my search to some Hazel leaves a short distance away. These leaves were being blown about violently but, to my surprise, about half of my exposures, at 1:1, were reasonably good, including a stereo pair.

The images have been cropped moderately.

The stereo is crosseye.

Harold







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  #2613  
Old 10th June 2019
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

A Shield-Bug Nymph

It think this is Pentatoma rufipes. The nymphs of several species are quite similar. It stayed on this leaf, mostly keeping still and occasionally changing its orientation.

Olympus EM-1 (aperture priority), Olympus 4/3 x2 TC, Olympus 4/3 50mm f2 macro, f11, hand-held.

The stereos are crosseye.

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  #2614  
Old 12th June 2019
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

Solitary Bee on a Windy Day

With frequent, strong gusts of wind, with still air only momentary, this bee was disinclined to fly. Due to the same conditions, few of my shots were sharp. Only two images, not shot as a stereo pair, are worth uploading. The antennae were not in the same position in both images and I had to do some faking.

Olympus EM-1 (aperture priority), Olympus 4/3 x2 TC, Olympus 4/3 50mm f2 macro, 1/60 and 1/80 at f10, hand-held.

The stereo is crosseye.

Harold



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  #2615  
Old 12th June 2019
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

Thats nice considering the wind problems. Good to be seeing bees. Wish I was.

I'm beginning to see a few hoverflies and bees, but far fewer than I should. We all should be getting far more worried than we are.

Three trips to a wood last week (sunny and warm) were spookily quiet. Fewer birds and very few of the insects I want to be seeing now.

I'm off to Switzerland to photograph butterflies in Alpine meadows in a couple of weeks. If I don't see a huge difference there I shall be even more worried.
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  #2616  
Old 12th June 2019
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

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Thats nice considering the wind problems. Good to be seeing bees. Wish I was.

I'm beginning to see a few hoverflies and bees, but far fewer than I should. We all should be getting far more worried than we are.

Three trips to a wood last week (sunny and warm) were spookily quiet. Fewer birds and very few of the insects I want to be seeing now.

I'm off to Switzerland to photograph butterflies in Alpine meadows in a couple of weeks. If I don't see a huge difference there I shall be even more worried.
Thanks, Peter.

Yes, a third slow season after two indifferent to poor years.

There were lots of tiny bees (honey bee lookalikes) around last week and the leaf-cutters have been busy.

There have been fewer butterflies than expected, just token ones of each species we usually get, after the early ones. I saw my first Small Copper ever in the garden recently. Also, very few hoverflies.

Look out for longhorn Beetles. This is their season.

The good news is that we have two thriving bumble bee colonies.

Harold
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  #2617  
Old 14th June 2019
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

The Bishop's Mitre Shield-Bug Aelia acuminata.

I had seen these, rather spindle-shaped and quite stripey, bugs on the stems of flowering grass in our garden. They were always at or near the tops of stems and readily moved around to the opposite side from me.

I occasionally took a few shots but disturbing the long grass near the bugs made then move out of sight. There were normally one or two but on the final occasion there were five within about a meter circle. They were always in an undefined patch to one side of the path but I never saw them on similar grass in the same patch, which was several meters square.

[Edit] They have one generation and are around all year round. The young (spring & early summer) feed on ripening grass seeds. [Edit ends]

When the five were present I decided to get a good set of images.

The last thing I thought these were was Shield-bugs but I came across images when looking images of a definite Shied-bug.

Olympus EM-1 (aperture priority), Olympus 4/3 x2 TC, Olympus 4/3 50mm f2 macro, f11, hand-held.

The stereo is crosseye. I had to crop out one of the antennae in one of the pair of images to make the stereo work. All images have been cropped.

Harold











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  #2618  
Old 14th June 2019
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

This is a very refined looking bug, I think the name suits it well. I found a nice 8 page guide last time I looked (https://www.nhbs.com/guide-to-shield...ish-isles-book) but was diverted from purchase by a new butterfly book, but I thought it would be a useful extra field guide. I may pick one up as it is nice to have simple guides like that and this has reminded me...

It has almost enabled me to see a stereo too . I say that because viewing via my ipad whilst still getting up I managed to stop my brain/eyes from jumping and managed to see three images with about the same size and density. Of the three the one on the right seemed to get a little 3D but it was hard not looking directly at it. So I will have another try tomorrow. It was different to previous days so I call that progress
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Old 14th June 2019
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

or if you prefer here is a free downloadable pdf guide. I like them for the ipad.

http://norfolknaturalists.org.uk/wp/...Shieldbugs.pdf
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  #2620  
Old 14th June 2019
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

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Originally Posted by art frames View Post
This is a very refined looking bug, I think the name suits it well. I found a nice 8 page guide last time I looked (https://www.nhbs.com/guide-to-shield...ish-isles-book) but was diverted from purchase by a new butterfly book, but I thought it would be a useful extra field guide. I may pick one up as it is nice to have simple guides like that and this has reminded me...

It has almost enabled me to see a stereo too . I say that because viewing via my ipad whilst still getting up I managed to stop my brain/eyes from jumping and managed to see three images with about the same size and density. Of the three the one on the right seemed to get a little 3D but it was hard not looking directly at it. So I will have another try tomorrow. It was different to previous days so I call that progress
This is my goto book for insects:

https://www.nhbs.com/search?q=Insect...&qtview=197401

This bug is not the best for stereo practice. The stereo is always in the middle (virtual) image.

Harold
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  #2621  
Old 14th June 2019
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

Excellent set Harold, I have never seen one here.

Sent from my cracked folding Samsung.
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  #2622  
Old 14th June 2019
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

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I found a nice 8 page guide last time I looked (https://www.nhbs.com/guide-to-shield...ish-isles-book)
That is one of the few such guides (including lichens, reptiles, etc.) I don't have, so I have just ordered it. The FSC site didn't show it.

Harold
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

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Originally Posted by Harold Gough View Post
This is my goto book for insects:

https://www.nhbs.com/search?q=Insect...&qtview=197401

This bug is not the best for stereo practice. The stereo is always in the middle (virtual) image.

Harold
Harold, a good book but I always prefer Richard Lewingtons illustrations if I can get them. I have met Richard a few times now and hope to support him until he retires. As an ex natural history illustrator myself I know how hard it is to compete against virtually free photographs, with far clearer and more helpful (in my view) illustrations. So I tend to get more specific illustrated guides or try to.

I will carry on with your stereos as I know one day all will become clear..
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Old 14th June 2019
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

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That is one of the few such guides (including lichens, reptiles, etc.) I don't have, so I have just ordered it. The FSC site didn't show it.

Harold
Yes me too - along with another. At least I wasn't diverted this time....!
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Old 14th June 2019
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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Re: Communal Dragonfly, Butterfly and Insect photo thread

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Harold, a good book but I always prefer Richard Lewingtons illustrations if I can get them. I have met Richard a few times now and hope to support him until he retires. As an ex natural history illustrator myself I know how hard it is to compete against virtually free photographs, with far clearer and more helpful (in my view) illustrations. So I tend to get more specific illustrated guides or try to.
I have lots of specific guides and find a mixture of ones with photos and ones with coloured drawings works well, especially for mushrooms, where I often consult two or three books, plus websites, for one species.

Harold
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