Smile! The world is a beautiful place (^_^)

Raynox DCR-150


This seven-spot ladybug (Coccinella septempunctata) has found the best spot in the park to enjoy the spring! Beautiful blossom and plenty to eat 🙂

The name “ladybug” was coined by European farmers who prayed to the Virgin Mary when pests began eating their crops. After ladybugs came and wiped out the invading insects, the farmers named them “beetle of Our Lady”. This was later shortened to “lady beetle” and “ladybug”.


The yellow dung fly (Scathophaga stercoraria) spend their lives on dung, or looking for it. They are predators and the dung supplies their breeding and hunting ground. They hunt by ambushing insects visiting the dung. Here’s a male dung fly having dinner, its prey so big that I first thought I was interrupting an intimate moment with a lady dung fly 😉


Tiny patterns in nature, only a few centimeters tall. Nothing special, but nice to look at I think 🙂


Yesterday I saw my first bee of the year, and not just any bee – I think she’s unusually beautiful, and look how happy she is! 🙂 Covered in fresh pollen from a crocus, just what she needed after the winter.

European honey bee (Apis mellifera) on a Spring crocus (Crocus vernus)


This is not just a ladybug like all others.. She has a cat tattoo on her left shoulder! 🙂

I always thought all ladybugs looked the same, but that’s not the case. According to Wikipedia, the spot size and coloration can provide some indication of how toxic the individual bug is to potential predators. It synthesizes the toxic alkaloids, N-oxide coccinelline and its free base precoccinelline; depending on sex and diet.

Seven-spotted ladybug or

Seven-spotted ladybug or “C-7” (Coccinella septempunctata)

Picture rotated and zoomed in:


Hello Kitty


Some pictures I took in Sweden last weekend:

(1) A little Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) peeking out from behind a tree


(2) Small mushrooms growing on a fallen tree trunk


(3) Clematis seed heads up close


(4) The autumn colours were wonderful. I was lucky; the day after I left it started to snow 🙂



Week 42! Apologies for the slow update.. I haven’t used my regular cameras at all in the past months, but instead I’ve been shooting analogue with Diana Mini and an old Konica – first film rolls are developed and the results are Terrible but Fun 🙂  Anyway, today I went to the forest and I brought my PS as well:

(1) Grey heron (Ardea cinerea)


(2) Mushroom family


(3) Sporophyte of the moss



Week 34 already! Here’s a Speckled Wood butterfly (Pararge aegeria) basking in the sun, we’re enjoying sunny summer days here in Amsterdam this week 🙂


Its face look a bit comical seen from the front.. Little Muppet!



This fly has a second face in its face! 😀 It kind of looks like a cartoon character wearing huge headphones.



Anthrax anthrax, is a species of fly in the family Bombyliidae. It’s a fairly large fly, the body length is 10 mm. The body is black with four white markings at tergum 2 and 3 and two white markings at the end of the abdomen. Tergum 1 is black with tufts of white hairs at the side (visible when hovering, thus not in this picture). The wings are mostly black, only the tops are transparant, and the veins are dark brown. It kind of looks like the wings have been painted with watercolour, I think the pattern is quite nice. 🙂



I’m just back from a short visit to Taipei, Taiwan. Here are some butterfly shots I took there, using Fujifilm X100S & Raynox DCR-150.

(1) Mangrove Tree Nymph (Idea leuconoe chersonesia), a.k.a. Paper Kite, Rice Paper, or Large Tree Nymph


(2) Blue Glassy Tiger (Ideopsis vulgaris)


(3) Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus), a.k.a. African or Asian Monarch



Week 41-

(1) Flesh Fly (Sarcophaga)


(2) Red Admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta)



First week of October, but I still found some small bugs to photograph- A crane fly, a dragonfly, a butterfly 🙂





I found a pretty little Geranium Argus (Eumedonia eumedon) in a park here in Amsterdam. Here are two pictures taken from different angles:





Geranium Bronze (Cacyreus marshalli) is native of South Africa but it has introduced (deliberately or accidentally) to Mediterranean Europe where it has spread as a pest of cultivated Pelargonium geraniums (which also originate in South Africa).

Anyway, a pretty little butterfly that I photographed in Sardinia.



A Hummingbird Hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum), photographed in Sardinia.

Its long proboscis and its hovering behaviour, accompanied by an audible humming noise, make it look remarkably like a hummingbird while feeding on flowers.

Note that this is a species of Sphingidae, and shouldn’t be confused with the moths called hummingbird moths in North America, genus Hemaris.



Three butterflies – beautiful and fun to photograph 🙂

(1) European Peacock butterfly (Aglais io), completely dark seen from the side but with a fantastic pattern and fake eyes its dosal side. It’s often mentioned in research where the role of eye-spots as an anti-predator mechanism has been investigated. I wanted to get a shot from above, to show the whole pattern, but he didn’t want to cooperate so a shot from the side it is then. Note: This one shouldn’t be confused with the American Peacock (Anartia), they’re not closely related.


(2)  Small White butterfly (Pieris rapae), a.k.a. Small Cabbage White because the caterpillar is a serious pest to cabbage and other mustard family crops. Of all the butterflies I’ve photographed so far, this is the most difficult one because it kept on moving around all the time. In the end I focused on an empty spot and just hoped it would land there; it did, I got one quick click and then it was gone again.


(3) Speckled Wood butterfly (Pararge aegeria), same species as in my previous post. It’s often seen perched on a leaf in pools of sunlight, as they feed on aphid honeydew they’re rarely seen on flowers. Perhaps not the most spectacular looking of butterflies, but easy to find and often cooperative with the photographer (plus points for that!).


PS. I’ll be traveling in Corsica (France) and Sardinia (Italy) the next coming weeks, so no posts here in a while. Arrivederci!


Some close up shots taken with a Raynox conversion lens attached to the SX60


A very cooperative Grasshopper

Speckled Wood butterfly (Pararge aegeria)

Speckled Wood butterfly (Pararge aegeria)

Teeny tiny jumping spider

Teeny tiny jumping spider, so small I didn’t even see what it was with my naked eye