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John Hadden Photography

Photography of the Natural World

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insects

Preying Mantis

preying-mantis
A well camouflaged preying mantis in the sand

While walking a trail behind the dunes on Montauk Point State Park, I almost stepped on this critter. She was the perfect coloring to match the dried grasses and sand that we were walking on. If she hadn’t have moved I would crushed her. She was quite big too—easily 5″-6″ long. I’m glad she stuck around so I could get a good shot!

Panasonic GX8, Lumix 14-140mm lens @  50mm, ISO 800, f/8, 1/300″ exposure

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False blister beetles on a trout lily

trout-lily-blister-beetles
False blister beetles eating pollen and mating on a trout lily

While bushwacking up above the Camel’s Hump Nordic trails today, I came across several trout lilies in full bloom. Kneeling down to get a good shot, I noticed this congregation of false blister beetles feeding on the pollen and mating. According to Mary Holland’s excellent “Naturally Curious Day By Day”, these beetles are commonly found on trout lilies (the lilies being one of the early spring ephemerals) where they eat and do their business pretty much at the same time.

Panasonic GX8, Olympus 60mm macro, ISO 800, f/11, 1/160″ exposure.

Pearls

dew-web
Tiny dew droplets on a spider’s web

Morning dew drops suspended in a spider’s web seem to float above the grass in this close up image. The drops are maybe 0.5mm in diameter and look like a fizz in the grass when you stand over them. When you get in close, their structure—and beauty—is revealed.

Panasonic GX8, Olympus 60mm macro lens, ISO 800, f/10, 1/125″ exposure.

Waiting for breakfast

garden-spider
A banded garden spider (?) waits for breakfast in her dew dappled web

Yesterday morning offered a good time to shoots some dew soaked spider webs. A quick cruise of our yards and fields with my macro lens offered up plenty to focus on. This small spider (maybe a banded garden spider?) posed patiently for me in her web.

Panasonic GX8, Olympus 60mm macro lens, ISO 800, f/5, 1/400″ exposure.

Consequences

consequences
The crab spider makes a catch!

Following up on yesterday’s “Dubious welcome” post, the little crab spider’s patience paid off as it managed to grab this honey bee as it visited the coneflower. I can only imagine the struggle as it’s hard to believe such a diminutive a spider could capture such a big bee. Quite the prize!

Panasonic GX8, Olympus 60mm macro lens, ISO 1600, f/13, 1/1000″ exposure.

Dubious welcome…

crab-spider-coneflower
A crab spider casually waiting for prey on a coneflower

I spotted this crab spider hanging out with open arms from our back deck. It was most happy to pose for me as I rattled off shots. Woe betide the unsuspecting insect who comes to feed on the coneflower!

Panasonic GX8, Olympus 60mm macro lens, ISO 800, f/8, 1/200″ exposure.

Blue Damselfly

blue-damselfly
A blue damselfly rests briefly on some bracken fern

This little blue damselfly was zipping about in the bracken ferns along Delfrate Road as I walked the other day. The shade of blue is quite striking to my eye!

Panasonic GX8, Olympus 60mm macro lens, ISO 1600, f/10, 1/250″ exposure

Dusted

cinquefoil-bee
A solitary bee dusted with cinquefoil pollen

This little solitary bee was diligently gathering pollen on a rough-fruited cinquefoil blossom in our front field. I love the detail revealed at the center of the flower.

Panasonic GX8, Olympus 60mm macro lens, ISO 800, f/8, 1/800″ exposure.

Lurking

crab-spider-susan
A crab spider awaits its prey on a black-eyed Susan

On a walk this afternoon, I saw several black-eyed Susans with a crab spiders lurking amongst their petals. When I got in close, however, the wily spiders would duck under the petals. This spider, however, was more than happy to pose for me as I rattled off many frames.

This is the first time out for a new lens—an Olympus 60mm, f/2.8 macro. I think it’s a keeper!

Panasonic GX8, Olympus 60mm macro lens, ISO 800, f/8, 1/800″ exposure.

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