Autumn is here with the low light angle, fallen leaves, cool temps, and all the things I love about the season. It's a good time to do nature studies.
Sunday, September 30, 2012
Saturday, September 29, 2012
I don't usually take macro photos with a point-and-shoot camera. However, I'm learning how my Sony RX-100 performs with all sorts of situations. I've not had a point-and-shoot for a couple of years, and I decided last month to buy one at B&H photo when we were in New York for Michael and Tania's wedding. So far, I like the camera for general applications, but I'm not crazy about it for macros. Sometimes you get lucky, but I think doing macros are easier for me with a DSLR.
Friday, September 28, 2012
Most people never think of bee tongues, so here's a picture of a bee sipping nectar. There are short- and long-tongued bees, and flowers have shapes and sizes adapted to the various bees that are their pollinators. It's kind of an evolutionary arms race. Flowers need pollinators to help with their reproduction, but they need to minimize the cheating for their floral rewards. Pollinators need to out compete each other to secure the nectar and pollen before their rivals. This relationship between flowers and pollinators has resulted in the great diversity of flower shapes, sizes, scent, nectar content, etc. I think the whole thing is pretty cool.....
Thursday, September 27, 2012
This butterfly has very short antennae and an unusual conformation to its wings. It really puzzled me for awhile when I was trying to identify it. Seen at Whetstone Prairie last weekend.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Another sure sign that summer is over and autumn is upon us. During the summer these were lovely thistles in shades of blue and purple. Now they look as if someone has come along and twisted the bracts into elaborate sculptures.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Last month, while in New York, we visited B&H photo. I wanted to get a new point-and-shoot camera to replace the Canon S90 I lost a few years back while traveling. I bought a Sony RX100, which has all sorts of cool features built in, including a panorama setting. You move the camera while holding down the shutter button and it takes a continuous stream of photos and stitches them together. You have to hold the camera at the same level while moving - a bit of a challenge to do without a tripod.
This scene is a river reflection of the trees on the far bank with the blue sky and clouds. It looks very impressionistic to me - all from the ripples in the "mirror" of the river.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Steve and I spent a couple of hours at Whetstone Prairie yesterday morning. I still had my Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8L lens on the camera and so spent my time doing macro photography. The bees are really active this time of year - foraging for nectar and pollen to furnish their hives for the long cold season when nectar will not be available. In this image you can see the bee's tongue probing one of the tubular flowers of the inflorescence typical of the sunflower family. The bee has grasped the pistil of the flower to steady itself in the wind.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Saturday, September 22, 2012
When I was at Glacier Ridge Metro Park last Sunday afternoon, I spent most of my time from 6 pm until sunset working a very small patch of vegetation. If you sit still in a natural area, your eye begins to see the diversity of insects traveling through the understory of plants in the area. This butterfly seemed to be soaking up the last rays of sunshine on a semi-chilly afternoon.
Friday, September 21, 2012
Spotted at Glacier Ridge Metro Park last Sunday evening. Legumes have dry fruits that dehisce along their length in order to disperse their seeds. This is as classic an example as I've seen in a long time.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
I love the paintings by French Impressionists - especially Monet, Renoir, Manet, Degas, Cezanne, etc. The colors are so vibrant and the techniques for applying the paints to create beautiful textures and patterns that resolve into scenes were masterful manipulations of the eye/brain connection of visual perception.
When I do intentional camera movement techniques with my camera, I have in mind this manipulation of visual perception. In this photo I moved from top to bottom during the exposure. I wanted to preserve the upper points of the goldenrod inflorescences while adding the motion blur. The light was hitting just the top of the flowers, which adds to the dynamic of this exposure.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Sunday evening was spent sitting in a weed patch out at Glacier Ridge Metro Park looking for bugs to photograph. I had my Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 L lens, which is one of my favorites to use. The light was fading, but I found several areas that were diffusely lit, including the goldenrod where this grasshopper was happily munching on flower buds.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Saturday, September 15, 2012
One of the most common species in the Rocky Mountains, but also a beautiful ornamental for the garden. This one was in a collection on the University of Wyoming campus.
Friday, September 14, 2012
Inniswood Garden, to be exact. This are the developing fruits of a Magnolia, which flowered last spring. You can see the spiral pattern of the developing fruits along the stem and see the same pattern just under the fruits where the petals have dropped off.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Another of the beautiful subalpine plants that were flowering during the American Penstemon Society meeting last June. This was spotted in the Snowy Range of Wyoming.
Saturday, September 08, 2012
Thursday, September 06, 2012
All photos by Andi Wolfe ©2012
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Seen in the subalpine zone of the Snowy Mountains of Wyoming. Pedicularis is the largest genus of plants in the parasitic family Orobanchaceae. It's not clear just how many species there are, but estimates range from 350 - 700 or so. The epicenter for diversity is in the Himalayas.
What I love the most about this genus is the wide variety of floral shapes - all specific to different pollinators. The flowers of this species remind me of elephant heads.
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Yesterday at the arts festival there was a lady with two cats in a carrier. She was walking them around the festival in a stroller. The cats are in training as therapy cats and had just been in a cat show. They were very curious and friendly.
Monday, September 03, 2012
Here's a slide show of my photos (lots of dogs and owners receiving Obama bandanas - a huge hit today!)
In the subalpine zone of the Snowy Mountains of Wyoming there were numerous flies foraging on the flowers of Asteraceae. I'm not sure if they were after pollen or nectar or both, but they sure were attracted to these plants.
I'm not sure what species of fly this is. It's much smaller than a common housefly, but it doesn't have the long proboscis of a hoverfly.
Sunday, September 02, 2012
This is an example of the alpine habitat where Penstemon whippelanus occurs. It's in the Snowy Mountains to the northwest of Laramie. We were somewhere around 8,000 feet in elevation when we first encountered P. whippelanus.
Penstemon whippelanus is in subgenus Penstemon section Penstemon subsection Humiles. This subsection is characterized by lax inflorescences in loose cymes.
Here are a few more views of this lovely plant: