NEWS FROM THE MEADOWS - 26. April 2021

in Amazing Naturelast year (edited)

I was walking around the meadows by the sea, not far from the port of my hometown, and after half an hour of aimless rambling I stopped by a dandelion that you can see on the following photograph ...

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... the shooting for this series usually starts like this, when I feel inspired by some plant, spider or insect I come closer with the macro lens ...

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... and start exploring the details ... usually I try a few angles and camera setting combination, in search for a picture that will convey the elegance, the complexity of the shapes in nature ... and the overall atmosphere ...

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... the main reason why I stopped by this particular dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is because I saw the seeds and the yellow flower on the same plant, and the surrounding grass wasn't too tall, some pine trees were in the background ... and that arrangement looked like a pretty cool and iconic representation of that coastal area. While photographing the dandelion ...

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... I noticed an inchworm, seemingly floating in the air, like some larval guru with the superpower of levitation.

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... from another angle, and with the flash on, the trick was revealed :D the minuscule caterpillar was hanging by a silky thread ...

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... at some point, while hanging from the leaf of grass, the larva started to whirl pretty fast ... and here you can see three frozen fragments of that movement, in shots taken with 1/1600 shutter speed. After these shots ...

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... I noticed a visitor on the dandelion flower ... the Tufted Skipper (Carcharodus flocciferus) ... when the butterfly flew away ...

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... I noticed that the inchworm has climbed on the blade of grass ...

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... some seconds later the caterpillar assumed this pose and stay like that ... I don't know - maybe forever. I can't tell you what species exactly is this, but there is a good probability that it is a larva of some Geometer moth.

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Back on dandelion, the Bombus terrestris bumblebee was feeding on the flower now. After this shot I continued walking ...

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... and about a hundred meters further, in the area shown on this photograph ...

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... I shot the Pyrausta despicata moth ...

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... this small, red - eyed fly ...

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... the Anthomyia procellaris ...

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... and a mating pair of Cercopis vulnerata froghoppers.

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A bit further, under some trees at the edge of the meadow ...

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... I found these small flowers ...

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... of the Fumaria officinalis plant. After taking this shot, when I enlarged the picture on the display, I noticed the unexpected presence of some small bug on the photograph ...

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... so I got closer ... to take a better look ...

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... and I saw that this is a minuscule, recently hatched nymph of the Apolygus lucorum bug.

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When seen from very up close, through the macro lens ...

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... the Fumaria officinalis flowers look like some strange alien animals :) or something like that ... this is some very SF - evoking stuff ...

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... and I like these flowers very much.

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I found also minuscule green fruits ...

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... under the flowers, on some of these plants.

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After this last today's Fumaria officinalis portrait ...

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... I noticed a very small grasshopper nymph. I don't know the exact species here.

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Nearby, on the wild asparagus (Asparagus acutifolius) plant ... I came upon a strange situation involving some ants ...

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... some small ant has bitten the antennae of the much bigger Formica fusca ant ... during a fight, I suppose ... and then it looks that the small ant somehow died ... and now, the big ant is in trouble with that corpse attached to its antennae ...

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... when the ant climbed the top of the plant, I continued my walk.

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Several meters further, in tall grass, I found a mating pair of Nephrotoma appendiculata flies ...

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... commonly known as Spotted crane flies.

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I found a few more of these extremely long - legged insects nearby ...

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... took a few more shots ... including this enlargeable, up close portrait ... and continued walking.

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A bit further, in an area with considerably shorter grass, I photographed this Senecio vulgaris plant ...

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... and a colony of Aphis fabae aphids on the Verbascum virgatum plant ...

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... Formica fusca workers were shepherding the colony ...

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... protecting the aphids and collecting the honeydew.

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On some small leaf under the Verbascum plant I photographed this larva of some leaf beetle, I don't know the exact species.

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A few steps further I found this dandelion with interestingly arranged seeds ...

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... here you can take a better, more up close look ...

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... and here, with this double - portrait of a dandelion seed, with and without the flash, is time to end this news report that started with another dandelion - THE END.
As always in these posts on HIVE, the photographs are my work ... and as always in this NEWS FROM THE MEADOWS series, they were all taken today.

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@tipu curate :)

The shots are all wonderful. Spring is life! But the inch worm holding onto the plant takes top billing for me.

A curious suburban custom where I live. Dandelions are forbidden. When I first moved into my home more than 40 years ago, I didn't know that. Soon, dandelions covered my lawn and neighbors were horrified. A plague that would spread to their lawns! What to do? Most people put down weed killer. That wasn't an option. So every year we go through the same back-challenging exercise. We break the tops off dandelions, or pull them up by the roots, until their season has passed. I am still amused by the need to do this. Do you have a similar custom in your community?

:D Strange suburban psychosis indeed ! I think that some folks here are also at one step from that strange state of mind, slightly disturbingly obsessed with the " only grass carpet on their lawn" :D but fortunately they are still a minority. I don't judge them - but I find them strange and funny, and I do think that a talk with the doc, the appropriate specialist could help them ... and have a positive impact on the biodiversity and more relaxed look of their immediate surroundings ... and life in general.

:)))

Love the Macro-shots @borjan. The photographs are very beautiful indeed. Photography is also an expression of man and its natural environment. That is, the natural environment and the amazing creature can be captured via photography. Well-appreciated!

Which type of Camera 📷📸 did you use to take all these shots??

Thanks :) glad you like these scenes from the nature in my area. I use the camera Canon PowerShot SX60 HS ... and the macro lens adapter Raynox DCR-250 Super Macro Snap-On Lens ... for the macro I often use the built - in flash of the camera, but I cover it with a piece of toilet paper.

So sorry for the late message, was tied up with some things. I love coming here to read amazing works.

I love your work really @borjan

Yeah, that's really nice,and I thought that as much, I knew that can't be a phone's shots.
You use a piece of toilet paper? That's really creative of you — really cool. I guess you did that because the light coming out of the Camera is kind of harsh, right?

I gotta try this toilet paper trick sometime, love your macrophotography.

:) It's an easy and versatile trick ... sometimes I use just one, and sometimes more layers of the paper ... it depends mostly on how close I am to the insect ... and a bit also on how bright is the ambient light and on the camera settings for the particular shot, there is a lot of space for experiment... the shape of the built - in flash on many cameras makes it easy to envelop the flash without having to stick or glue anything

Brilliant post, those macro shots are brilliant! Very crisp and nice to see the species identified.

Thanks :)

What a productive day in sightings on the meadows, making the dandelion most frown upon as another weed is actually a clever plant with a wonderful way completing it's cycle of life.

Inching worm I saw similar the other day in the garden, not able to get the superb photography you have managed here.

Clarity on Aphids with honey dew another very small one to capture. All in all a brilliant variety showcasing life in the valley today @borjan

@tipu curate

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Great macro, as always! Thanks for the next report from the meadows!

Thanks :) Hope I will deliver these news till the end of summer.

Hi @borjan , You started with a dandelion and ended up with another, I like the photographs, especially those of the worm that seems to levitate, when I read this I thought, there must be a spider web and Borjan didn't see it, then I continued reading and you say it doesn't have the super power, it is hanging as we see it in the photo, very good post.
A hug

Thanks :) there is a lot of action among plant and animals in spring.

Hi @borjan, your photos are wonderful.
It's a new way to observe nature and enjoy every detail, I enjoy your photos.
Congratulations my friend, thanks for sharing.
Cheers

Thank you :)