Category Archives: insects

Creature Feature

Turtle soup

Turtle soup

While I was communing with nature recently, my Nikon 105mm macro lens strayed from the wildflowers. What distracted it? Critters.

First, there were turtles.

Hi, guys!

Hi, guys!

And then a duck joined the party.

A whistling duck

A whistling duck

This feathered friend was fine hanging out by himself on a different part of the lake.

Of course, there’s one critter that always wants to spoil my placid photo party and make me want to shoot and quickly flee.

We both love the bottlebrush bushes.

We both love the beautiful bottlebrush bushes.

Bees! Why does it always have to be bees?

Buzzing Around the Bluebonnets

They’re baaack!

They’re baaack!

As I’ve written many times in this blog, getting up close and personal with my beloved bluebonnets has a distinct downside: Bees love ’em, too. That means that my sting-phobic self battles its nerves to stay as steady as possible while snapping away with my Nikon dSLRs.

Good thing my Nikon 105mm macro lens has a VR (Vibration Reduction) setting!

Checking it out.

Checking it out.

Of course, I’m a fan of bees, because without them we wouldn’t have certain fruits and veggies.

And this one, too.

And this one, too.

But I prefer to shoot solo, thank you very much. I don’t like the little buzzers infringing on my space.

See ya!

See ya! Wouldn’t want to bee ya!

And, apparently, they feel the same way about me!

One-Word Wednesday

This critter hung around the front of our house for several days. Freeloader!

This critter stayed on the front of our house for several days. Freeloader!

Bug!

Indoor Butterfly Fun

A lot of soon-to-be flyers

A lot of soon-to-be flyers

Yesterday the Mister and I participated in one of our time-worn traditions: Using a Groupon within days of expiration. After the, oh, 50th time or so, you’d think we’d do a better job of lessening our stress by planning ahead.

But that would not be us!

Delicate-looking rice paper butterflies were common here.

Delicate-looking rice paper butterflies are common here.

Fortunately, it was a beautiful 70-degree day, which made it easy to go for an adventure. Yes, we sprung loose of my 10-mile comfort-radius shackles and headed for the Big City, aka Houston. Destination? The Houston Museum of Natural Science.

A tiger longwing drinks up.

A tiger longwing drinks up.

We hadn’t visited the museum since that 2009 Bar Mitzvah party. Our Groupon allowed us access to the butterfly center and the exhibits. Of course, I was mostly interested in capturing good photos of the frequent flyers with my Nikon 105mm macro lens.

The underside of the blue morpho is stunning.

The blue morpho’s underside is stunning; wish it had cooperated and opened its wings.

The moment we walked into the sauna-like area, I was wishing I had opted for my Nikon 70-200mm lens, however. The butterflies flitted and fluttered all over the place. They were so beautiful! But they also stopped to rest so far away most of the time.

This tawny owl was hiding in the dark.

This tawny owl was hiding in the dark.

Despite having plentiful light from the large windows and roof, I did use my flash occasionally to try to bring out all the details. Fortunately, it didn’t seem to bother my subjects.

Gorgeous!

Wonder what kind this one is.

It was wonderful watching the butterflies move around us as if we weren’t important at all. And I guess we weren’t.

Charro, a green iguana (mature males are orange), expresses an opinion.

Charro, a green iguana (mature males are orange), expresses an opinion.

Right, Charro?

Monster Mash

Looks harmless, right?

Looks harmless, right?

When I walked into my home office on Halloween morning, the above is what I saw on the top window. At first, I figured it was a leaf or some dirt kicked up by the heavy rains pelting Houston at that time.

But then I stared at the distinctive, pointy, bottom part. Oh oh . . . definitely looks like an unfortunately familiar tail.

Total ugh!

But it’s not! (That’s its slime around it, by the way.)

So I put my Nikon 105mm macro lens on my Nikon D700 and closed in on the blob (I had to use flash to overcome the strong backlighting).

Those spines are poisonous.

Those spines are poisonous (snapped outside the house on the window).

Yep, just as I suspected, it was an awful asp, one of the most-toxic caterpillars in North America. As you may recall, we had about a half-dozen of the deceptively warm, furry, micro mustaches crawling on our light-colored house a year ago.

This time I’ve only seen Angus (yes, I named him for some reason), and he’s far from our front door, thank goodness. But still, even just one asp definitely is a trick, not a treat!

Happy Internet Halloween

Looks like Aragog’s relative (Harry Potter alert!)

Looks like Aragog’s relative (Harry Potter alert!)

Photoshop helped me get into the Halloween spirit with this pic, which I recently snapped in Chicago. When I downsized it for easy blog posting, I selected “save for web.”

How ironic! Hope all the spiders you really encounter are much smaller today on Halloween . . . and every day!

Nature’s Disparity

Hi, cutie!

Hi, cutie!

Last week our front yard was a study of contrasts.

Hanging on to the butterfly plant

Love this side view

Near the front door perched delicately on our butterfly plant was a little dragonfly. It was nice enough to stay still and pose for me.

Juxtaposing that beauty?

Ugh!

Ugh!

This ugly cicada exoskeleton, which was hanging on a nearby rose bush.

At least I didn’t have to worry about it moving while I was snapping its pic!