Tag Archives: Nikon 1.7x teleconverter

Coming Out Party

Not the clearest photo, but you can see the two moths around the opened cocoon.

Not the clearest photo, but you can see the two moths around the opened cocoon.

Since I mentioned those pesky asps in yesterday’s post, this seemed like the perfect opportunity for an update.

I’m happy to report that two or three of the cocoons have burst open, leading to the debut of four or six puss moths. Apparently, two (one big, one small) emerged from each one. Surprised the heck out of me.

When I checked on the chrysalis the first night it appeared, I could see that the cocoon on top of the arch near the caterpillar’s temporary home had opened. The next morning I used my Nikon 70-200mm lens with the 1.7x teleconverter to snap mediocre photos.

This doesn’t look promising.

This doesn’t look promising.

Then I examined the icky, disturbing cocoon on the front door jamb. It looked like I was going to be able to watch this moth emerge up close and personal, complete with clear, crisp photos. An apt reward for having to be careful not to harm the pupa for months. I was stoked!

However, nature gypped me! The moth never got beyond pushing part of his body out and remains in this still-life position. Darn it!

Where did they come from?

Where did they come from?

The next day when I was walking along the driveway, I noticed two southern flannel moths lounging together under the house’s overhang. But there was no cocoon nearby. Just the two critters. So I’m not sure if these were the same moths from the entryway or newbies.

Visitors who can’t quite reach the doorbell.

Visitors who can’t quite reach the doorbell.

Later that morning as I was going into the house, I saw two more little, furry beasts, this time near the front door.

They looks cute!

They look cute!

Moths are nocturnal, so I wasn’t surprised that none of the critters I saw moved an inch during the day. But at night it was their time to fly without saying bye.

We still have several cocoons high up on the front entry and around the house, so the asp Motel 6 still is, unfortunately, in business. We continue to leave the light on.

Feathered Friends

Love those yellow feet!

As a reward for jogging eight miles the day before, I went on a photo walk through our neighboring master-planned community last Sunday. Armed with my Nikon D700 and Nikon 70-200mm lens extended by a 1.7x teleconverter, I spent a good 45 minutes or so looking for wildlife. Mainly birds, which love the lake system.

Sailing away above the water

First, I found a cute snowy egret enjoying life on a pier until people (mainly me) got too close to it.

As I walked around the lake, a flash of white followed by a splash of water caught my attention.

Searching for food

It was a Forster’s Tern (as ID’d by my wildlife expert, Jess), a bird I never had noticed before.

The tern closes in on the water.

This little guy hovers over the water looking for small fish.

Target sighted!

Suddenly, it dives into the lake!

The tern is on its way out of the water.

But not for long.

Off he goes.

Soon it exits the water, ready to start the pattern over. It was fascinating to watch!

See ya later!

After awhile, a pal or relative joined the action before they both flew away.

I guess one good tern deserves another!

One-Word Wednesday

A pennant dragonfly on a windy morning (Nikon D300 and Nikon 1.7x teleconverter)


A New Dragonfly Hangs Around

Not much to see on our pathetic-looking society garlic, especially not dragonflies.

Every day I gaze out on our front yard—specifically at our society garlic plants—hoping to see a dragonfly. But it’s been at least a month since one of my flying favorites has hung out. There.

Look at what’s hanging near the top of the minivan’s antenna!

Apparently, I needed to widen my view!

Last Saturday as I was pulling out of the garage in my Honda Pilot, I looked at the Mercury Villager sitting forlornly in the driveway, missing its former driver, my older son. As I slowly drove by it, I suddenly stopped and said, “Look at that!” To which my younger son, who was in the passenger seat, responded, “You know the window’s been broken for years, right?”

The wind whips the dragonfly’s wings forward.

That wasn’t what had caught my eye. Instead, I had seen a dragonfly clinging to the minivan’s antenna in the face of a brisk wind. My #2 son and I were on our way to meet the Mister for lunch, and we already were a little late. So, of course, I stopped the car, ran inside, and grabbed my camera. I wasn’t about to miss this opportunity!

The dragonfly kept adjusting his position to stay on the metal.

I snapped a few pics with the Nikon 70-200mm lens and then reluctantly drove off.  When I returned home about an hour later, guess who still was hanging around grooving on that antenna? I hustled inside and added the Nikon 1.7x teleconverter to the 70-200 so I could get closer to the dragonfly without physically getting in its face.

The d-fly hangs in there.

After taking a bunch of photos, I bid the d-fly a fond farewell and went inside. Later when I checked the antenna from the kitchen window, it was minus its winged visitor. I doubt that I’ll ever drive past the old minivan again without checking its antenna for an occupant.

You never know what will attract a dragonfly!

No (R)egrets: Takeoff and Landing

The egret is perched in a tree . . . but not for long.

Remember that egret that enjoyed surveying the lake in that colorful tree? After taking those reflection photos, I drove around the water to get closer to the great white bird. Who, of course, promptly flew across again to a tree near where I had been standing. Figures. Just my luck.

So I drove back to that spot and was able to snap some good closeups of the egret thanks to my Nikon 1.7x teleconverter and Nikon 70-200mm lens. Which was nice and all, but what I really wanted was for the egret to fly across the lake so I could try to capture it and its reflection in the water. I kept edging closer and closer to the tree.

There it goes!

Finally, the egret had had enough and off it flew. And I pushed down the shutter button.

It was hard keeping the bird in focus and making sure to get its reflection, too.

And held it.

Land ho!

Enjoying the reflected fall colors in the lake while I let the Nikon D300’s burst mode do its job.

The landing gear is out and ready!

Until finally the egret was ready to stop on solid ground once again.

The egret is relieved to be far away from the birdarazzo.

Watching the majestic egret glide along the lake was magical and wonderful. It even had the natives talking.

The Third Time Is the Charm!

Reflections of fall . . . with a twist

And on the third day, I finally got my reflections of fall photo!

The timing, around 8 a.m. yesterday, was spot on, so much better than my attempts on Sunday and Monday.

Several colorful trees reflect on autumn.

Standing across the lake with the sun at my back, I reveled in the colorful, reflective fall scenery. How fortunate I felt being able to capture such beauty!

Then I took a good look at what was sitting on top of one of the trees. I added my Nikon 1.7x teleconverter to my Nikon 70-200mm lens so I could zoom in better.

An egret enjoys its colorful perch.

Bonus, baby!

Last Gasps of D-fly Glory

Female blue dasher dragonfly rests on a plant.

What has amazed me most about this past summer has been the amount of dragonflies that have populated our front yard landscaping.

Li’l Blue D-Fly hangs around.

There’s really nothing special about the plants and weeds growing in our front bed.

Li’l Blue D-Fly from behind (I never tire of this view!)

But for some reason, blue dashers (like Li’l Blue D-Fly and the red-eyed dragonfly) have enjoyed their stay here . . . much to my photographic gratitude!

A damselfly visits.

Every day I look out our front door to see if any flyers are paying us a visit. Recently we had a couple newbies stop by.

Where’s Waldo? The damselfly blends in.

This damselfly, a dragonfly cousin, caught my eye with its wide-apart pair of peepers!

Waldo? Waldo?

The critter was so tough to photograph amid the mulch, but that does allow it to stay safer.

The big guy rides into town.

On the same day that I spotted the damselfly, a large, brown dragonfly also made a short stop. It settled on a rose bush, allowing me to get a close look with my Nikon D300, Nikon 70-200mm lens, and Nikon 1.7x teleconverter. Ain’t it a beaut?

Look through any window to see a dragonfly.

When I went back inside the house and into my office, I glanced out the window and could still see the big dragonfly hanging around. So I grabbed my Nikon D700 and Nikon 105mm macro lens and snapped off a few more pix though the glass.

Adult dragonflies don’t have a long lifespan—after just a few months they’ve met their maker. It gladdens my heart that some of them prefer to spend some of those short moments in our front yard  . . . making me smile.

Going Steady

Love those wings!

As much as I’ve liked all my recent dragonfly photos, I knew I needed to be steadier to get better clarity.

I can’t get enough of these shimmery wings!

I’ve scored my best, close-up results with my Nikon D300, Nikon 70-200mm lens, and Nikon 1.7x teleconverter. But that’s a heavy combination, and it’s hard to deliver crisp pix hand-holding that load even with a fast shutter speed.

The wings look good at every angle.

I tried using my monopod that is my mainstay for outdoor sports photography with my long lens. But one leg isn’t steady enough.

It’s Li’l Blue D-Fly!

That meant I needed to pull out my tripod, which is reserved for camcorder duty. It’s the perfect solution for having a steady camera.

There’s the face I’ve grown to love!

There was just one problem: I didn’t have a ball head for it, only a pan-tilt head. Which meant that I couldn’t mount my camera on the tripod so that it could move up, down, and around. So I ordered an inexpensive ball head from amazon.com and used it for these photos. I still need to get a better plate for it, because the one it came with doesn’t anchor tightly enough. But I think the ball head-tripod combo made a big difference in the quality of my photos of Li’l Blue D-Fly.

Hello, gorgeous!

I think I’m really going to like going steady!

Winging It

Little Blue D-Fly has lovely wings.

Having dragonflies, which intrigue me, visiting my very own front yard this summer has been amazing. When I see them hanging on a plant, I usually rush out with my camera equipment and snap away.

It’s all about the wings.

The other day when I saw Li’l Blue D-Fly, as I like to call him/her, perched on that pitiful, dead petunia plant near my front door, I couldn’t help but be attracted to his/her wings. How I wanted a close-up of those transparent appendages!

Wings are great things!

But, sadly, my Nikon 105mm macro lens was too short to get great, close photos, because Li’l Blue D-Fly wouldn’t let me near. So I grabbed my Nikon 70-200mm lens to put on my Nikon D300 (chosen for its crop factor over the full-frame D700) and decided to use a teleconverter (secondary lens) for more extension.

The blue is gone when the tail is up.

Thinking I had picked up my 1.4x teleconverter, I screwed it on between the camera and the zoom lens. Then I put the heavy combination on my monopod and went outside to shoot pix of my little friend. I like the 1.4x, because there’s not a noticeable degrading of quality.

Notice the splash of orange-yellow on the wings and body.

When I put my eye to the D300’s viewfinder, I could tell by looking at the f/stop of 4.8 that this wasn’t the 1.4x—it was the 1.7x teleconverter. That really put me up close and personal with the little blue dragonfly. I was afraid that I wouldn’t get great pix having that much glass between the 70-200 lens and the camera, but the 1.7x proved to be a great addition to the team. It helped me hit several photographic home runs.

A side view of Li’l Blue D-Fly

Even though I loved shooting from behind the dragonfly to capture those ethereal wings, the real personality of the insect is evident from the front.


I’m totally smitten by Li’l Blue D-Fly’s smile!