06.28.2022 Moths as art

I’ve been mentioning how beautiful moths are and this post compares three moths.  One is spectacular and the other two attractive in their own right.

Porcelain Gray-Protoboarmia porcelaria.  These have been fairly common in the yard over the years.

Variable Nigranum-Olethreutes nigranum. A first for me and I got just the one shot before it flew off.  I’ve seen images where the wings show stronger color and the pattern is more obvious but this one is slightly worn missing a few wing edge scales.

Pandora Sphinx-Eumorpha pandorus. This was a very exciting find. I’d never seen a Sphinx moth before, as with the Luna, and got a few shots with the phone before running in the house for the 7D Mark II.  It had become trapped inside our blueberry netting but I managed to gently capture it in my cupped hands and bring it out onto one of our old and larger blueberry bushes that we leave for the catbirds and others. It seems to be missing one leg. It appears to be freshly eclosed and undamaged so likely did not lose the leg to a predator.  What a beauty!

Posted in Amherst, Closeup Photography, Insects, macro photography, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

06.27.2022 Macro Monday-When life gives you lemons…lens flare version

Yesterday morning I headed to Brickyard Conservation Area here in Amherst.  When I go there it is pretty much all about macro so just toss my 5D Mark IV in the bag with the 180 and doubler mounted.  As a result I forgot the 180’s lens hood.I tried shielding the front of the lens with my hand’s shadow but this is pretty much directly into the sun.

At first I thought that this should end up in the pixel bin but decided to embrace the light and now kind of like it. Lots of sunlight bouncing around in there. The basic subject works quite well but the rest will be up to your taste.

I made a few other compositions but could not reposition myself to get less sun while trying to stay perpendicular to the leaf.

Posted in Abstract, Amherst, Closeup Photography, macro photography, Nature Photography, Patterns in Nature, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

06.26.2022 South Amherst at Dawn

I was headed to North Quabbin yesterday for the sunrise that I posted earlier this morning.  But this was why I got there after it had crested the distant hills. I have shot this location before.  The silos belong to the place once known as Mad Woman Farm (she was a psychotherapist) and then Thistlebloom Farm (she decided to tone things down a bit). It has since been sold and I am not sure whether the farm will have a name, old or new. At any rate, it is a spot I like to stop occasionally when there is color in the sky and fog on the ground.

When I posted this farm a few years ago, I mentioned the woman’s decorated windows  but I don’t think that I ever posted them. I imagine that lower window made a few of her clients wonder what they were getting into.


I bet this won’t be that last time I post an image of this place. The lowland here carries moisture and oten that manifests itself in morning ground fog and when the light is right it is hard to pass it by.

Although I get up most mornings between 3 and 3:30 it is getting harder each day to make it out of the house so early. I’ll be glad as the sun starts shifting to the south.

Posted in Amherst, Landscape, Nature Photography, Sunrise, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

06.26.2022 Silent Sunday-North Quabbin

iPhone 13 Pro Max

Posted in Landscape, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments

06.25.2022 The new to me list continues

There are more than 11,000 moth species in the United States so it is no surprise that I find new ones even here in the yard.  There certainly are plenty of repeats but this year I’ve seen several newbies.

Speckled Renia-Renia adspergillus.   While not the most outrageous design, I do enjoy the patterning and coloration of this species. They can vary in their color and another name is Gray Renia. These are among the litter moths, so called because the larvae eat decaying leaves on the ground.

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

06.24.2022 Frog Friday

I thought that I might have a conjunction function shot for the day’s post with the alignment of five planets plus the moon this morning.  Alas, as so often happens in my skies when something of note occurs, it’s cloudy and “move along,  nothing to see here”. Oh well. There’s always 2040 to look forward to.

Today’s post could be said to be a Flashback Friday post as this little froggie is from 2013 and reprocessed with the newer digital darkroom tools.

Posted in Uncategorized | 15 Comments

06.23.2022 Daisy Fleabane

This has been a great year for Daisy or Annual Fleabane-Erigeron annuus and especially here in the yard.  Everywhere locally really.  It attracts a fair number of insects besides those wonderful hover flies.

We had rain most of the day yesterday and I decided to go out with the 7D Mark II and flash to see what I could find.  Most of the insects were hiding from the rain but the flowers were enjoying the refreshment. This one in particular caught my attention.

I don’t often shoot flowers with flash because I prefer a more natural background although with a blur but there was a little breeze yesterday afternoon and I was hoping to catch some insect action which the flash is good for. I am pleased with how this turned out even with the black background.

Posted in Amherst, Closeup Photography, Flora, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts, Wildflowers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

06.22.2022 Bentley

Ordinarily he looks the other way when I point a camera at him, especially with a flash.  But he had just done his business outside which is followed by a reward treat (part of his house training) so had his mind on one thing and one thing alone.

Of course, he always has his mind on that one thing.

Posted in Uncategorized | 23 Comments

06.22.2022 Wordless Wednesday-Four-spotted Speranza

Macaria coortaria

Posted in Amherst, Closeup Photography, Insects, Lepidoptera, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , | 13 Comments

06.21.2022 Little Devils being naughty

Trying to stay vigilant in searching for monarch caterpillars on our yard milkweeds.  Finding these at first glance on a milkweed leaf I thought they were fireflies because of the orange at the head.  But upon closer examination they are mating moths.

Little Devil Moths-Dichomeris nonstrigella

Although BugGuide does not give them a common name, iNaturalist does and it seems appropriate with those colorful “horns”. Not the best shot with all that flash evident but they are cool enough that I wanted to share them anyway.  Their larvae are voracious devourers of plants and some are used as invasive plant controls. But they can be pesty if they attack valuable crops.

Posted in Amherst, Closeup Photography, Insect Behavior, Lepidoptera, Moths, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , | 16 Comments