07.25.2015 Dogbane Beetle Annual

Across the street from the lotus pond that gave me that lovely bullfrog last week is a nice patch of Spreading Dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium).  Curiously enough, this beetle which feeds on these plants is known as the Dogbane Beetle (Chrysochus auratus).

Dogbane-Beetle-072515-700WebNo messing around with saturation here…they really are this colorfully iridescent.  I try to photograph at least one every year and today was the day.  And, yes, this is a blade of grass, not dogbane.  :-)


Posted in Closeup Photography, Insect Behavior, macro photography, Nature Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

07.23.2015 Horse Nettle

Anything with the name “Nettle” gets my full attention.  Having bumped into more than my share of Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica), I am too aware of the result if one is careless around all those tiny irritating and sometime pain causing hairs.  Unlike a true nettle, Horse Nettle (Solanum carolinense) aka Carolina Nightshade is not prized for any medicinal or food qualities despite being a relative of tomatoes and eggplant (and others in the Solanum or nightshade family).  If it gets in the hay fed to horses and cattle they can be very unhappy with internal irritation from swallowing the tiny hairs that line the stems and leaves which you can see in the image. And they are also not a welcome find in most folks’ gardens.

Horse-Nettle-071915-700WebThe flower, however, has a wonderful crinkle to it.  The fruit, which looks like cherry tomatoes, is toxic and may look tempting but should be avoided.

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

07.21.2015 Northeast Street-a second interpretation

I like strong contrasts.  Sometimes maybe a bit more than is necessary.  So I have taken another run through of Monday’s sky.  This time I have used three images for a combination of exposures for the sky, the shadows and an average of the whole scene to create an HDR but, I hope, without an obviousness of the technique…I actually am on my second iteration as I thought the first too obvious.  As well, this framing includes a bit more of the foreground I was seeing which I think adds a little something to a sense of location.  At first I wanted to avoid the fence, but I think it does add something positive to the image.



Posted in Amherst, Landscape, Nature Photography, Sunrise, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

07.21.2015 Post D

I had a very slow start in my blogging with just the occasional post and sometimes went a few weeks or more without one.  Obviously I haven’t had a problem posting lately.  Quite a flurry from me.  I have made it to #500 and we’ll see where it goes from here.

This is a series of Canada Lily ( Lilium canadense ) shots from Sunday morning.

Canada-Lily-1-071915-700Web Canada-Lily-2-071915-700Web Canada-Lily-interior-071915-700WebThese plants can grow to 6 or 8 feet tall, making it much easier to see inside the flowers which are always in a droop it seems.  I am not sure if I will get a chance to shoot a wood lily this year which blooms in an opposite position…facing straight up toward the sun.

Posted in Closeup Photography, Flora, macro photography, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

07.20.2015-2 Just a little something to make you smile

A few of you have already seen this, but for everyone else….


Posted in Closeup Photography, Insect Behavior, macro photography, Nature Photography | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

07.20.2015 Northeast Street Dawn

The morning was very ground foggy in most places and the sun was blocked.  But the air cleared in this one stretch of Northeast Street yielding an interesting sky.  Not a lot of color, but I like the general atmosphere here of peace and quiet.

Northeast-Street-Dawn-072015-700WebIt’s going to be another hot one today, but the morning is starting comfortable.  Heading out to stack some more firewood before we hit 90°.

Posted in Amherst, Landscape, Nature Photography, Sunrise, Western Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

07.19.2015 ‘nother frog

I like frogs and really like the color on this dude.


Posted in Closeup Photography, Fauna, Nature Photography | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments