Week one in the new year! It’s been raining and storming here in Amsterdam this week, not the best conditions for my new (not weather-sealed) lens but here are some shots taken from under my umbrella-
Week 50, and I got a new lens! Unfortunately not the one I’ve waited a year for Fujifilm to release (80 mm, 1:1), but I got a 60 mm (1:2) macro instead. A bit disappointing, but one of the main reasons why I switched from Canon to Fuji was because of the lightweight camera and lenses, and the new 80 mm is a brick – big and bulky 750 g compared to the small and compact 60 mm weighting only 215 g. And € 1,300 vs € 500. But there’s no doubt at all that the 80 mm is the superior lens of the two, and I look forward to see more pictures from those who got it!
So, I ended up with a lens I could’ve gotten a year ago… But no reason to cry over spilled milk! Here are the first test shots I’ve taken, I haven’t had time to walk in the forest this week so it’s one picture of planted heather outside my house and another one of my cat Tonje ❤
Week 42! Autumn is definitely here… 5 pics:
(i) Composition by mother nature
(ii) Soaking up as much light as possible
(iii) Last bee of this year?
(iv) Unedited flower shot
(v) Same shot – Heavily edited version; fun, but not my style
Week 41! Today I photographed some mushrooms (no idea what kind!), and a small fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster?) who was sitting on one of the “rooftops” 🙂
Week 40 – Autumn is here but we still have some flowers 🙂
I visited Hortus Botanicus the other day, it’s a botanic garden in Amsterdam and one of the oldest in the world (founded 1638). There are more than 4,000 plant species to see, but I spent most of my time there in a small butterfly greenhouse 🙂
(1) The Julia butterfly (Dryas iulia) originates from South and Central America but because of the bright orange color it’s often called “The flying Dutchman” as orange is the national color of the Netherlands.
(2) The Zebra longwing (Heliconius charithonia) can make a creaking sound by wiggling its body. They do this when disturbed but even though I would’ve liked to hear it, I didn’t want to alarm him so I still don’t know what it sounds like.
This little Oak bush-cricket (Meconema thalassinum) has been sitting on my bicycle for over a week, clinging to the basket as I’ve been biking around town almost every day 🙂 It’s a small cricket, about 1.5 cm long with very long antennae, usually not found on bicycles but in he foliage of trees (including oaks, where the female lays eggs under the bark).
In America, it’s known as the Drumming katydid, probably because the male drums on leaves with his back legs. (Click here to listen!)
Never really noticed it before… Bumblebees have very long tongues! But a study (Science 349, 1541–1544) has shown that bee tongues also tell a tale of climate change; warmer temperatures lead to fewer flowers which in turn yield shorter bee tongues. et al.
When we think about iconic climate change images, we usually picture a polar bear clinging to a melting piece of ice. We (most of us, anyway) don’t think about a bumblebee, flitting about an alpine meadow with a shorter-than-average tongue. Still, it’s a very interesting study, I recommend reading it.
One of the best things about photographing bugs is that you can be lazy and lie down in the middle of a meadow and just point your camera to all the little critters around you! 🙂 Here are some shots of the guys that kept me company in the meadow-
(1) Small copper butterfly (Lycaena phlaeas), which in Dutch is called “Little fire butterfly”. The name phlaeas is said to be derived either from the Greek phlego, “to burn up” or from the Latin floreo, “to flourish”. (I shot this picture through the grass and didn’t get a chance to take another one.)
(2) Lesser marsh grasshopper (Chorthippus albomarginatus), with a sound like the winding of a mechanical clock.
(3) Speckled wood butterfly (Pararge aegeria), always cooperative and sit still long enough to have their portrait taken.
(4) Scorpion fly (Panorpa communis), this is a male as evidenced by the scorpion-like tail (females don’t have it). It’s in fact its genitalia, and it doesn’t sting! See close-up below.