Sunday, 2 September 2012

Small is beautiful.

I'm sorry but its only small stuff again this week. The opportunities for bird photography really are restricted in Hereford, but I am going to try and obtain permission for a feeder station in one of the many orchards nearby over winter so hopefully something will come of that.

I am enjoying the small stuff though, endless hours of searching through hedgerows etc can be fun, getting shield bugs to stay still whilst you photograph them can be challenging as well. They scurry to the edge of the leaf on which they are sitting and just fall off. For every bug I photograph I lose at least 3 others.

I will start this week with something slightly different, the gravel pits that I go to just outside of Hereford have come alive with dragonflies.Hawkers and Common Darters were everywhere.

Migrant Hawkers;

Catching them landed is not as easy as you may think though, the top pair were relatively straight forward as they were far too busy doing other things, but the one below was high in a hedgerow and difficult to get.

Common Darter:

Commons tease and tantalise, they land a little way infront of you, wait for you to put your tripod down and then move off another couple of feet. The trick is to watch where they land and wait until they fly off of their own accord then move to within a good distance of the spot and wait, they will very often return to the same spot and if you are already in place they dont seem to mind how close you are.

Back to the hedgerows around my home, petrol prices have gone up by 6p a litre in the last month so I am restricted to mostly walking around my patch, my trip to the gravel pits was combined with going to see my grandson to save the expense of two trips.

I have seen literally thousands of Garden spiders on their webs over the last few weeks, they are by far the most common of the spiders I see. They average in size from the tiny to about half an inch to maybe an inch in size, other than this one.

This one is a monster, it's very pale in colour but has the markings of a Garden Spider. This is a full frame shot using my 100mm macro lens from about 10 inches away, I believe this spider measures over 2 inches in length, which is about an inch bigger than my Collins spider book says it should grow. I have returned to the spot where I found it on three different occasions and it sits and looks at me as if to say "dare you?" It fascinates me with its size. it is truly huge. The stuff childhood nightmares are made of.

I have managed a close up of a Large Winged Conehead, another species that I find very difficult to photograph with my 100 lens, I quite like this one.

Shield bugs have continued to be my main target. I was chuffed to get the Troilus Luridus last week, a very brightly coloured larva that looks nothing like itself in adult form.

and more Sloe bugs,

and the rather impressive Coreus Marginatus or Dock leaf shield bug

and its larva.

and hundreds of Green shield bug larva, but not one adult.

Thanks for looking and see you next week.