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

Posts tagged “photography

w46

Things you need to take good mushroom pictures: A tripod, flash + reflector, a macro lens, and post-processing skills. Dutch photographer Daniel Laan is very good at all of this, check out his portfolio on 500px!

Unfortunately, I have none of this but that doesn’t stop me from photographing anyway 😉 Here are some pictures from today’s walk-

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w45

Small Mycena mushrooms on a sunny autumn day 🙂

Mycenas are hard to identify to species and some are distinguishable only by microscopic features such as the shape of the cystidia. Over 33 species are known to be bioluminescent, creating a glow known as foxfire (sometimes called “fairy fire”). I’ve never seen it in real life but you can read more about it in this article published by University of Chicago.


w44

A Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) sitting on a waste basket. Isn’t he beautiful! Look at those coloured feathers and intelligent eyes.

Magpies are often maligned as pests, but they’re actually very interesting birds that are usually overlooked for both their beauty and their intelligence. They are closely related to crows, jays, and ravens; thus among the most intelligent family of birds (Corvidae). And after studying them, I’m convinced that magpies have a great sense of humour too! 🙂

Because magpies are often misunderstood, here are 3 interesting facts about them:

(i) Magpies don’t steal shiny objects. This has been established in several experiments, for example research published by Science Focus and the BBC.

(ii) Magpies recognize themselves in mirrors. European magpies have demonstrated the remarkable ability to recognize their own reflections in mirrors, something that was once thought to be a defining characteristic belonging only to humans. This might not sound that amazing, but out of countless species tested, only four ape species, bottlenose dolphins and Asian elephants have demonstrated this ability.

(iii) A group of magpies is called “a parliament”. They earned this title from often appearing in large groups, looking stately and cawing at each other.

And a little flower…


w43

Week 43! Two photographs of Grey heron (Ardea cinerea), the first one shows a juvenile individual and the second one an adult.

The grey heron is very common here in The Netherlands, also in urban environments. Here in Amsterdam, they are ever present and well adapted to modern city life. They hunt as usual, but also visit street markets and snackbars.


w42

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


w41

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” 🙂


w40

Week 40 – Autumn is here but we still have some flowers 🙂


hortus

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.


cricket

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!)


tongue

Never really noticed it before… Bumblebees have very long tongues! But a study (Miller-Struttmann, N. E. et al. Science 349, 15411544) 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.

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.