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, 24 September 2014

FAILURE. (24/09/14)

I am in Stockton-on-Tees. It’s turned into a beautiful day 17oC but very breezy. I decided that despite the wind it was worth going out to find some Dragonflies. I wandered down to the river Tees and had a good ninety minutes strolling round Portrack Nature Reserve. There were plenty of Dragonflies and a few Butterflies but they weren’t hanging around and the wind was blowing them all over the place. I also saw a flock of half a dozen Grey Heron. I’ve never seen them in a group before. Tomorrow I’ll pop my wellies on and take a long lens and try for a photograph or two.

I was getting desperate I’d been out an hour and hadn’t even switched the camera on. I was tempted to by a gaggle of nubile young ladies from Durham University. I think they were on a nature walk but they stopped to pet the dogs. I did think of lying on my back to see if they would tickle my tummy. The dogs have all the luck.

_MG_3707     I took three snaps of this Teasel into the sun at different apertures to try and get some halos round the spines. Another failure.

_MG_3701     Eventually this Speckled Wood butterfly (Pararge aegeria) flitted and fluttered past and settled. It wouldn’t let me closer than this.

I was about to give up and take some macros of Hoverflies on Michaelmas Daisies when all hell broke loose. The dogs had been chatting to a couple of Huskies and had shown them how to get into the Tees. The Huskies weren’t interested in swimming but were enthralled by the piscean skills of Alf and Molly. A lady came past with three toy poodles and one decided to have a go at Alf. A Husky came to help. Chaos and I have a tiny bite on my thumb from a tiny Poodle. The Poodle has a sore bum. I decided a sit down was required. I was sitting on a convenient bench and to my left my companion was a Dragonfly. I am not sure what it is and I couldn’t get a head on view. I thought it was a female Brown Hawker but it was nothing like big enough and hadn’t got the orange colour to the leading edge of it’s wings.

_MG_3709   I think it is an immature male Common Darter. Sympetrum striolatum. It was very accommodating, it kept flying off and coming back but resisted all my attempts at a head on shot of it. I popped some extension tubes on and got some close ups.

_MG_3710    Left or port side.

_MG_3712    A plan view from slightly behind.

_MG_3713    Right or starboard side. Sorry about the blown Highlights I did try to shield it with my jacket but it was enjoying the sun. It is often a problem with insects. They are sun bathing so it is hard to get head on shots. I’m not sure what it is but it made my day.

Have fun. These images are big so feel free to click them and press Ctrl+ and tell me what it is.

44 comments:

  1. I can just imagine the drama and the need to sit down and have a little rest. What did you and the dragon fly chat about Adrian while you were both basking in the sun on that convenient bench?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Carol, this and that. Dithery Dave being a smug sod in America. Moribund speaking for an hour and saying nothing. I told it about the little girls with wobbly bottoms.
      I don't know if it understood but it was a very nice insect.

      Delete
  2. I think these turned out magnificently, and next time take some shots of the dogs playing :)

    Mersad
    Mersad Donko Photography

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mersad, I am going on Saturday for some video. I'll give the dogs a brush.

      Delete
  3. Ahhhh......ladies love the pooches. Perhaps one day, one of those ladies will hang around the pooches longer....and you may just get your wish:) But I think she has to love being on the road and having fun. I don't think I could be with someone who didn't want to explore the world around me. I love your life and would love to see your part of the world one day. Personally I'm a cat person. Some say a hoarder because we have 5. However, the answer to be a hoarder is actually 6:) I love dogs but they limit the time we can play away from home:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chris, they are far too young for me.
      The dogs and I like cats but the van is too crowded.

      Delete
  4. You got it in the wrong order again Adrian...you should have arranged to get bitten by the dog BEFORE meeting the young lasses...then you could have laid it on a bit and maybe appealed to their mothering instincts?

    Great closeups of the Dragonfly, spot on with the ID, the yellow stripes along the legs give it away as a Common Darter.

    Good luck with those Herons tomorrow...[;o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trevor, I never thought to check it's legs. Thanks.
      I'm just back in and the Herons are still there but too far away. I'll have to do some paddling tomorrow.

      Delete
  5. I was going to flick it over to Helen for a positive ID but no need I see. I'm away on Saturday: time will tell whether or not I manage to do any camera hunting. Stop leading me into temptation....please.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Graham, I've not had a look at Fforde's site. If you want a camera and all the bits then drive via Inverness and stop at Beauly. Be interesting to see how you get on with them.

      Delete
  6. The teasel looks great even if it wasn't quite what you hoped for. The dragon shots are astounding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John, I am in macro mode at the moment. It's just going dark here and the wind has dropped. Friday looks as if it may be a good day for some more Dragonflies. Hopefully a shot or two of some faces.

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. Thanks Keith, I'll keep trying. I am using the ring flash and it doesn't seem to bother them.

      Delete
  8. The macro really loves you, absolutely brilliant.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The last macros are excellent!! I wish I could join u in ur travels. Instead stuck in stupid long hrs of work :((

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ruby, let us hope that one day you can.

      Delete
  10. Sounds like you had a day from hell glad you managed to get some images.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Douglas, I have had far worse days. I don't know why people with aggresive dogs don't keep them on leads.

      Delete
  11. I think it may be "uglius buggerus". In Gran Canaria I took a couple of pictures of a dragonfly that had a bright scarlet thorax. It also played hard to get. Of course my shots were nowhere near as crisp and close up as yours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YP, I find them beautiful but I can see they are strange. If you post your dragonfly I'm sure it will be worth seeing.

      Delete
  12. Sometimes you wait all day and at the last moment great opportunities appear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Red, it is often the case. Some days I get nothing so this was far from a bad one.

      Delete
  13. The structure of the wings made me go wow...I love nature. Glad you got those shots. On the other matter...photos of nubile young ladies is fine. And...lucky dogs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. R.Mac, I love the intricacy of insects. I usually only take pictures of nubile ladies at the Highland Games. I try to get plenty of shots of the 'Big Girls Racing.'

      Delete
  14. You capture the most wonderful macros. Amazing look into that dragonfly's anatomy. And I had a laugh at how you segued from the tiny poodle bite to the poodle's sore bum. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hilary, the Canon 100mm lens is as near perfect as macro lenses get. A nasty little dog but it was only a nip.

      Delete
    2. Ah well that's the one I have.. but I'm not getting the amazing detail that you are. Of course, I don't keep at it either.

      Delete
    3. Hilary, I have it set to manual and use ring flash. 1/200s, f11 to f16 smaller if possible. Manual focus at closest and just rock the camera until I see the image sharp. I also use extension tubes. I have Dorr ones which are cheap but work well.
      I've been at it years and it has only just clicked together. The hit rate is about 50% so acceptable

      Delete
  15. Hi Adrian The close ups of the Dragonfly are fantastic. Good luck with the Heron today

    ReplyDelete
  16. Terrific pictures of the dragonfly Adrian. Really amazing wings - thank you. How did the poodle get a sore bum? It didn't have an imprint of your boot on it by any chance? No surely not!!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. That last dragonfly looks as though its lying on its back waiting for its tummy to be tickled...?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Frances, yes it does. I was trying to get it face on to the camera but it wouldn't cooperate.

      Delete
  18. That was quite an eventful day, Adrian. Shame about the dog bite. Watch that, they can turn nasty. The bites I mean. Have a good day tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pauline, I gave it a good wash with Savlon. It's only a little nip. No luck so far today. I'm just about to go out again.

      Delete
  19. Found you through Hillary's best posts of the week. What lovely photos!

    Take care of that bite!!

    Greetings from Minneapolis,

    Pearl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pearl, welcome. The photos are okay, not the one I wanted but I am happy. I am lucky it's a warm start to autumn.
      The bite is nothing but a nip. It will be gone by the weekend.

      Delete
  20. Buenos macros Adrian. El cardo se vé precioso!!
    Un abrazo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gracias Laura, no sé la palabra española para el teasel, es como un cardo.

      Delete
  21. Great shots of the dragonflies, almost like they are comfortable enough for you to tickle their tummy :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jay, this one was very relaxed. The others weren't.

      Delete