08.26.2014 A foggy day in Amherst town.

That should be days.  We have had a series of warm days followed by cool nights which can often  produce heavy morning ground fogs.  Often happened each of the last four days.  I thought some of the spooky trees on Mount Pollux might look good in the fog.

Most of the trees are dead and have ivies climbing them…many being of the poisonous variety.  It’s most everywhere on this conservation location.  I tried to use the one on the left as a frame for the ones in the middle  distance.  I hope you like the mood.  It could be eerie or it could be serene…take your pick. :-)Mount-Pollux-foggy-silhouettes-082414-600WebA similar tree on Mount Pollux appeared with the full moon here a few weeks back.

Posted in Landscape, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

08.25.2014 Both sides of the story

In this case, the story is a possible False Crocus Geometer.  I say possible because the Genus Xanthotype is a very confusing one with several species that can only be confidently identified by the delicate term…genitallic dissection.  I am happy just calling mine a Xanthotype spp.   There are many insects whose IDs require such close scrutiny, but it isn’t anything we photographers need to undertake.

I was fortunate to find this moth on a tall dried grass stalk with nothing around it which made the top and bottom views possible.  I hope you enjoy these.

Upper Xanthotype-spp-2.-082414-600WebAnd lowerXanthotype-spp.-082414-600WebThe lower view gives us a bit of personality to bond with.  :-)

This individual was just starting to fade a bit, but the fantastic symmetry of the upper view is still able to be fully appreciated.  For some reason the underside is not a mirror image like the upper.

Posted in Closeup Photography, Insects, Lepidoptera, macro photography, Moths, Nature Photography, Patterns in Nature | Tagged , , , , , , | 20 Comments

08.23.2014 Roadside Attractions

This morning was a bit of a disappointment as the sky was quite overcast.  But there is always something to be found and I’ve a couple to share.

I have seen very few caterpillars this year, so it was a happy find with this Yellow Bear which is the caterpillar for the Virginian Tiger Moth (Spilosoma virginica).Yellow-Bear-1-082314-600WebThe water lilies are still flowering, but my attention was grabbed by these colorful pads.  Such nice rich tones.Water-Lily-Pads-082314-600WebBetter weather is on the way for tomorrow morning.    :-)

Posted in Closeup Photography, Insects, Intimate Landscape, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

08.22.2014 When is a butterfly not a butterfly?…and I don’t mean moths.

If you are a lepidopterist (or wish you were one) then you know I am talking about Skippers.  Quite similar to butterflies, the main differences are a more stout body, not as slim as a typical butterfly, and having a bit of a hook on the tip of the antenna club.  They are also fairly small and tend to flit about more quickly and often than a larger butterfly.

I’ve had Tawny-edged Skippers (Polites themistocles) visit the yard a few times that I have witnessed and no doubt many times that I have not.  And, keeping with an ongoing theme on this blog, here is a shot of one on, of all things, boneset.Tawny-edged-Skipper-072613-600WebQuite the little poser.  As you can see, they also have fairly large eyes per body size.

If you like more color in your Skipper images, here is another Tawny-edged on goldenrod from a few years back.

Tomorrow is forecast to start a bit drippy, but I hope to have a productive few days.  Have a great weekend, everyone!  :-)

Posted in Butterflies, Closeup Photography, Insect Behavior, Insects, Lepidoptera, macro photography, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

08.21.2014 Bee-utiful

Just a quickie from last night.

As the temperature drops toward evening, I often see bumble bees settling in under the boneset blooms to spend the night. They are hidden from predators, but not photographers.  I took advantage of the easy pickin’s and have these two images to share.  Nothing spectacular, just a good look at its fuzzy self. :-) Bee-on-Boneset-2-082014-600Web


Posted in Closeup Photography, Insect Behavior, Insects, Nature Photography | Tagged , , | 22 Comments

08.19.2014It’s hard to believe, but this is the face of abuse

We adopted Murphy through a great rescue agency, Bones (Beagles of New England States).  We found out about them through some neighbors and we are thrilled that we were able to help provide Murphy with a loving home.  It is so hard to look at him and imagine that anyone would raise their hand in anger and abuse to such a sweet face.  As a result of that early mistreatment, he does have a few issues, the most problematic of all being his mistrust of other humans which means we rarely have guests because of his aggressive and protective behavior.  As he ages , we have finally convinced him that humans visiting us provide him with treats and he is more receptive….as long as the treats keep coming. :-) He’s been with us for over 10 years now and, with us, is the sweetest and best behaved pup we could ever hope for.Murphy-081814-600WebI mentioned in a comment on the previous post that I would post some beaver images.  My bad…I already did twice, so here is a link for anyone who wants to see them.


Posted in Uncategorized | 18 Comments

08.16.2014 A close encounter of the Beaver kind (Monochrome Sunrise at Harvard Pond)

As the title implies, I am torn between the proper title for this post.

The obvious is the image of sunrise at Harvard Pond. However, while I was waiting for the sun to clear the distant trees, I noticed a beaver swimming nearby, nibbling on some pond lily pads and seemingly unconcerned with my presence.  He/she definitely knew I was there but just swam around doing the beaver paddle and continuing with breakfast…..no tail slaps for protest.  I was there for the sunrise and thought that, should I abandon that and run for my 300, the beaver would not be comfortable and might leave for another buffet so I stayed put with the wide angle in place and no picture..  Well, no need for concern.  This one apparently is unafraid and proceeded to swim right up to my position on the shore, an obvious beaver trail into the woods, and settled down directly in front of me.  Our eyes met, I spoke quiet nothings and time stood still……for about 10 seconds.  I offered to clear the path, but he/she just turned and went back to the lily pads and eventually some distant reeds.  Seconds later, the sun made its appearance.


Posted in Black and White, Landscape, Nature Photography, Water, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments