ABOUT ME

I live in a camper van with a couple of West Highland Terriers for company.
My passion is photography but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN
ALL IMAGES WILL ENLARGE WITH A LEFT CLICK

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

A NATURE WALK. (07/08/13)

I always loved nature walks when I was at school. I like walking and used to love running. Regulars will have noticed that if any information was offered then I can’t have been listening. Just getting out of school was a relief, I hated it.

I took the dogs out in heavy rain and cursed them and encouraged them to be quick. They found some otter crap so by the time I got them back to the van we were all soaked. I was on the ball this morning and saw it at the same time as they did so at least they didn’t get the chance to squabble over who was having first roll in it.

By nine things were looking good so off we wandered to look for Dragonflies.

_V0G7428   This is a Yellow Dung Fly. I spent ages, well ten minutes, trying to get him magnified in a water droplet. It’s a good job I took this one first. The little blighter wandered about a bit and I went this way and that way and then it flew away. I like these, for something that lives on shit they are remarkable clean and smart.

I gave the dogs a run and then we settled down in the undergrowth to look for Dragonflies. Not a sign of them. Where they go at night and on really wet nights, I don’t know.

_V0G7433   There were hundreds of these. This is a normal run of the mill Crane fly. I was sitting with my feet in a ditch with a damp bum and still couldn’t manage a clear shot of one.

I was rooting around in the ditch trying to find some exuviae. Ta Trevor, it’s a magical word. For folk not familiar with odonatarists and the words they use it’s the little nymph case that Dragonflies creep out of. I’ll find one doing it one day. I was doing my bit for natural history. I must have fed half the breeding female midges within a mile of Loch Ewe…..Bastards!

_V0G7441   This is a pretty spider but isn’t in my book. It’s got very small eyes and moves like greased lightning.

I got fed up with sitting around, I needed a tiddle and the dogs were getting restless so I thought I’d wander up to Loch Kernsary. I did a big circular walk the other day but barely saw it through the driving rain.

_V0G7444 It looked grand today. I wish I'd taken a wider lens. All images today were shot through the 100mm Canon macro lens. It’s far from ideal for landscapes. Back we went as the world was warming up.

_V0G7450

_V0G7461

_V0G7464  There weren’t as many as yesterday but this lens does a better job.

I’ll believe that they are all Common Darters. Enough of you have kindly put me right but could we settle on Loch Ewe Common Darters?…I know that my readers aren’t as daft as I am. Can’t I have a bit of slack for effort? Everything I find has ‘Common’ in front of it.

This is the best from todays nature walk.

_V0G7466  If this is a frog I’ll stand hanging it’s the Loch Ewe White Bibbed Natter Jack Toad. The dogs wouldn’t go near it. They usually give frogs a nudge to watch them hop…Not Toads they don’t. Well, only once. They gave this a wide berth. Whatever it is it is a cracker.

Thirty seven images I had to plough through from today. I will have to go through them again but I didn’t find too much trash on the first look. It’s at times like this that I don’t miss film.

All images will enlarge with a click. The originals will print at over a foot square.. I am going to concentrate on little things for a while. Tomorrow it looks to be set middling fair so I’ll take the MP-E65mm and a load of off camera flash out. I’ll return the favour and give the insects as much grief as they have given me.

The darters don’t have clear wings with a dark oblong. The black mark on the leading edge goes red, black, red and where the wing joins the body or ‘S’ Whatever, It’s yellow. I bet you already knew that, I love looking at these. I’ll print a few and pin them up…Sorry Uma Thurman you had your chance.

 

34 comments:

  1. Adrian, that certainly looks like a toad to me rather than a frog ~ toad implying something ugly. You must have a real passion for this to sit there in the wet to score these shots. I am impressed by the size of those mountains even though you had the wrong lens. Another successful day for you ~ Well done!

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  2. Carol. It has lovely eyes. How can you say it's ugly? I don't do it that often. It costs a fortune in lenses and clothes and cameras. Have a look at these with a click and they are more lethal and prettier than Uma Thurman in either of the Kill Bills.

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  3. Heerlijk Adriaan wat leuk om te lezen dat je zoveel geduld hebt voor deze insecten . hebben ze je nog gestoken?

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    1. Deze insecten bijten niet. Het is degene die je niet kunt zien dat bijten.

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  4. An excellent set of images Adrian, well worth getting a wet bum for!!
    It's amazing, given how they spend their time, how those Dung flies keep looking so smart.
    The Crane flies are always difficult to photograph, those long legs take up so much space!
    I hope you didn't tiddle in that loch it looks full enough already!
    Three super images of the Common Darters, the first one is of the darker Highland form. the wing spots (pterostigma) vary from yellow to reddish brown and the legs are dark brown with a pale yellow stripe, except the 'Highlander' which has darker legs.
    Still working on the Id for the spider, no luck as yet...perhaps it's a rare one!!
    That toad is a colourful, handsome devil...he must be really rare!!!...[;o)

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    1. Trevor, it pissed down. I needed a wet suit.
      They are a beautiful insect. I spill spaghetti down my shirt, they are always spotlessly clean and they eat shit.
      I like Crane flies. They have that little balancing ball on a stick behind their wing. Insects are just amazing.
      I'm going to have another go at these Darters tomorrow. I'll get better shots and count the segments. The really red ones are much shorter and faster.
      The spider I couldn't keep in focus...Very quick it was...faster than the German lass in Altnaharra.
      The toad is only small but it was really vivid in colour. I've never seen one with a serviette round it's chest before. Toads are relaxed because if you ever pick one up it takes two raw tomatoes to get rid of the stink.

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    2. PS. The Loch is over a mile away. I've reached the age when if I don't want a map of Africa on my jeans. I go for a piss.

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  5. What a wonderful place it looks and great atmospheric shot. Loved the raindrops on the first shots and good close up of the insects.

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    1. Margaret, I'm happy if a bit damp here. I rarely do it but if you take a flask of green tea and a sandwich, give the dogs some sheep to chase...only kidding. Then settle down and wait small insects come to you.

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  6. I've never heard of a Dung Fly. In truth I've never heard of any of the insects you photograph but shit is everywhere so it looks like I would be familiar with the Dung Fly. Oh well.
    The wings on the Crane fly are beautiful. The legs not so much. I'm going to have to talk to myself about getting unafraid of legs. They're just downright scary.
    Spiders? I'm pretty sure I will never love. I might...sometime...be able to tolerate them.
    The toad kinda reminds me of Marge Simpson...

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  7. David, the toad reminds me of an ex girlfriend. I must sign on to AA.
    If you click on them they should come up crisp and clean. Focus is shallow. If you have a point and shoot camera you will get stunning depth of field from it but much less resolution of the subject.
    I had just ditched Uma Thurman and you remind me of legs. Uma's legs are scary. Be afraid if she kicks off.
    I just love Uma or the images I've seen of her and insex..sorry insects are wonderful.

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    1. Insex and Uma? Now that's a thought. I would take my chances with her kicking.

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  8. I love the Crane Fly, it is superb, and the Frog, well, I studdied everywhere, and I'm flummoxed.

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    1. Bob, I think it is a common Toad.

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  9. An excellent set of images, from the first two with the water droplets all the way through to the last one of toad/frog, which is a cracking image, well done. Great post

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  10. Nature walk? Now that's from my day. I liked nature walks when I was in school. It meant I didn't have to sit still. Your nature walk was very productive today. You've got some excellent insect photos.

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    1. Red, if I'm honest it was more of a nature sit.

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  11. HI Adrian... Why do dog's like to roll in crap, or a dead mice...had a little white dog similar to your's once, and we had neighbors with cows need I say more!!
    What a picturesque place your at, your photo is beautiful!!

    I have not seen a dragonfly set still long enough to get a shot, perhaps I need to sit still and get my bum wet!!

    Good stuff!!
    Grace

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    1. Grace, I think it's to disguise their smell. I know it's a revolting habit.
      It's counter productive to chase them, much easier to sit and wait.

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  12. The dragonfly wings are exquisite... (I stick to the wide use of the name, I'm no expert!)

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    1. Monica, they are beautiful and plentiful here. Size and behavior tell me they are Darters. After that it gets difficult as males and females differ as do mature and immature ones. If I saw them every day I suspect IDs would be easier.

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  13. The spider is in fact a Harvestman I think and not a spider..

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    1. Thanks Graham, I was going to ID it as a Harvestman but I thought they had black legs.

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  14. Great shots Adrian - worth a wet posterior or two.

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  15. John, I usually wear my incontinence trousers and wellies but it is too hot at the moment.
    I've got to go up another gear I want those superb shots where you can see every individual lens in their eyes.

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  16. If I see so many bugs, I run :))

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    1. Laura, click then press Ctrl+. They are beautiful.

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  17. Tienes uno, ahí que pega unos buenos picotazos:((

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    Replies
    1. No es un fantástico esfuerzo de Laura. Estoy mejorando el.

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  18. What a beautiful post! I love the second frame: what long legs! I also love that frog! They're all great!

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    1. Thanks Maria, it was a good day.

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    2. The first one is awesome too. I'm seeing it again, I love the droplets.

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    3. Water drops can be very good. they are better if you can get something interesting reflected in them or refracted by them. I'll have another go there was plenty of rain last night.

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