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

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

BONKING BEETLES. (14/07/15)

The weather has taken a turn for the worse. It’s damp and cool. Yesterday I got soaked and likewise this morning.

Sunday I was just having a wee nip about five thirty when Andrew asked for a hand haymaking. It was almost dark when we finished but at least the hay got baled before it got wet again. I was going flat out with the hay tedder but not being used to such things had done a hundred yards before I realised I was spreading not rowing. I had to stop and switch all the prongs round. I was soon into the swing of it. Five rows round then up and down the hillside, dodging marshy bits and rocks,  trying to guess ten rows in front of myself as you have to work clockwise. I kept my head down and eyes to the front as looking at my rows I bet Andrew was having fun baling. I had set a veritable tractor gymkhana course. I didn’t want to catch his eye as we passed.

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I did enquire why I got an old tractor and not a new one but was told I was too old to manage a new machine. This was the nearest he had to my age other than a Grey Fergy and that was too slow. I am sure we used to call the implement a cock pheasant. I don’t know why. Next time, if there is a next time I am going to demand a new machine with air con and Katie Melua, Dire Straights and maybe a bit of Kate Bush blasting from the stereo. Unfortunately next time it will be trailer driving alongside the combine. I’ll have Eva Cassidy on for that…. Dream on Adrian. I bet I get the Grey Fergy and a two share plough for doing the bits the big machines can’t get at.

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This is an image I forgot from a day or so ago. It’s a micro moth on a daisy. I only include it as it has a longer tongue than most butterflies and I can’t work out where they put them whilst flying around.

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_V0G9813 The puss Moth larva is still growing but is a bit wet. I couldn’t get a head on shot as it has changed leaves again. It is getting much more active and it’s head is more distinct now. I couldn’t find any bird netting but have used some net from the baler. The white sticky stuff used to wrap around round bales; like thick bits of shredded cling film. I’m hoping that will keep it safe.

_V0G9819 This is a female Snipe Fly; Chrysopilus cristatus. I think. I am trying really hard to get pictures of tiny flies but all I’m doing is increasing the shutter count and wasting strobe batteries. This is as good as my efforts get which is not very good at all. I’ll keep trying as it took me ages to get sharp shots of dead things and flowers.Easy Peasy is that job. I’ll get there with more practise.

A couple of days ago I met Polly on my way back from the wood. She asked if I’d seen anything interesting so I showed her the caterpillar and a Spotted Crane Fly which unfortunately disappeared whilst my eyes were perusing her legs and bottom. We wandered on and she suddenly exclaimed.

“ I know what these are, they are Hogweed Bonking Beetles.”

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I have never heard them called that but it is apt as they always seem to be bonking. They are Orange Soldier Beetles Rhagonycha fulva. But Bonking Beetle is a far better name.

That’s all for today.

37 comments:

  1. Looks like a busy day. Too bad about not getting the new tractor. :(

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    1. John, to be fair I am pretty sure I couldn't drive the baler and all it's automatic functions. It's fine when it is on auto but difficult if you have to control it manually.

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  2. A job well(?) done with the hay making Adrian, and just in time by the look of the weather?
    The P.uss Moth larva continues to do well, I hope it makes it to the next stage, especially now that it's got a new tent to live in?
    Yep!..you've gotta be quick with those flies!
    Polly is spot on with the Bonking Beetle ID, I wonder how she knew?.... you'll have to take her out with you, she might be able to teach you a thing or two.......about ID's, I mean!...[;o)

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    1. Trevor,
      Machine driving is not as easy as it looks. Not that my rows look easy to achieve. Like a Celtic Knot on steep narrow bits, very decorative.
      I have been out early and late but the blasted things are like lightning. I'll get used to catching them.
      Polly knows everything, she makes cider, supervises the bees making honey, shears sheep and is from Cornwall originally. She has a farm across the glen now and can speak in a funny accent.

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  3. I can't make out whose bottom you were perusing: the spotted crane fly's or Polly's..? The magnification on that daisy is quite stunning.

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    1. Frances, the Crane Fly's. Polly is married and twenty years younger than I am.
      When the lens works or I work it properly it is brilliant. It is an Ox eye daisy not one of the tiny ones.

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  4. I like the name "bonking beetle" much better too! Nice pics as always.

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    1. Thanks Linda, it is a much better name.

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  5. Ha ha ha, bonking beetles, you are a card.

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  6. Bonking beetle is such an apt name for them - love it!

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    1. John, I have never heard it before. I think it must be a Fife expression for them.

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  7. You are a man of many abilities. I never ever thought you would be driving a tractor. Guys who photograph bugs just don't seem to be tractor drivers. Again , always different in interesting bug shots.

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    1. Red, just because I can drive a tractor doesn't mean I can't work a camera or computer.

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  8. I could have sworn that The Beatles were first known as The Silver Beatles and not The Bonking Beatles. I think the last picture needs a word balloon - "Get on with it Ringo! I haven't got all day. Me and John have got to write "Fixing A Hole" later on!"

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    1. YP, just one word for you, Beetles.

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  9. Well---- I've certainly got my morning laughs! Like the tractor shot!

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    1. Bill, I like machinery in HDR>

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  10. I bet you had as much fun hay making with the old tractor as those bonking beetle's did............well maybe not


    peter

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    1. Peter, it isn't that old but not an auto box like the modern ones. It is four wheel drive so reasonably stable on steep downhill bits. I don't mind driving them now and again but i wouldn't want a twelve hour shift on one.

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  11. You are having a whale of a time aren't you? I can't believe you've got me enjoying HDR so much! The puss moth larvae saga is getting quite exciting.

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    1. Graham, I am happy here though the area could be considered a bit dull. The caterpillar is coming on nicely.

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  12. Another enjoyable and amusing post, Adrian.

    Can I tap your brain, please? When you do HDR, do you do it what seems to be the conventional way of taking several exposures at differing exposure levels, or do you do what I do, and take one shot in raw, then produce several different versions by applying exposure compensation to the raw file? I suspect that my way gives inferior results, but I've never set up to try the conventional way as it's extremely rarely that I have a tripod to hand.

    Best wishes - - - Richard

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    1. Richard, I nearly always just hand hold and take a burst of three shots at -2EV, 0 and +2EV. I then just run them through Photomatix. with handheld checked and 15% shift selected.
      I rarely take pictures inside buildings but when I do It's a tripod job and usually several exposures. I spot meter the brightest and darkest bits. I start with the brightest and just keep halving exposure time until I get to the dark reading. Mirror lock up and cable release are advisable but as it's usually just for fun not essential.
      I have rarely had much luck fusing them in Photoshop.
      I can always email some screen grabs. I tend to use a pre-set called painterly and light surreal then play with white point and micro smoothing to get rid of the worst of the halos.

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  13. I had a good laugh about you creating a tractor gymkhana course. You were probably well advised to avoid the eyes of the baler driver. I think people like Polly have much more sensible names for creatures, her version is much easier to remember.

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    1. Pauline, he was happy enough. The field or mountain side as it ought to be called was clean enough when we'd finished. Having said that I don't think I'm quite ready for ploughing yet. A couple of other folk know them as Bonking Beetles so it is what they are called round here.

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  14. Sound like you're having a great time on the farm Adrian. To be fair I tried a tractor out once. Never again though won't say how much damage I caused lol.

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    1. Douglas, I have driven them before. You have to be careful because they are low geared and don't want to stop if you hit anything. I wear varifocal specs and have to be very careful reversing as for some reason I see things further away than they are.

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    2. Yep I went through a hedge, gate and a barn door, you'd think my mate would've got me out after the hedge....

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    3. Douglas, I am lucky, Scottish tractors have a clutch and a brake peddle, in fact most have two brake pedals but you can kick a bar across to join them together.

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  15. Replies
    1. Dirk it's a wonderful lens. Canon MP-E 65mm. I love it.

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  16. Nice macros Adrian. I don't know what bonking means exactly. Can you please clarify it for me in few words? Thanks :)

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    1. Kovacs, it is slang for copulation but not rude.

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    2. Noted with thanks. I thought that's slang but didn't hear it earlier.

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  17. Hey, it's not fair they made you drive the older tractor. Your age should give you special privileges. Bonky Beetle? I bet I'll remember that name.

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    1. Tina, it's ageism and it's rife round here.

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