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Category Archives: Woolly Bear Caterpillar

Lots of insects around the farm in late summer. It won’t be long and they will all be gone. The Wooly Bear Caterpillars are all over the place now. I thought I had seen the last of the Monarch Caterpillars several weeks ago but this one turned up a couple of days ago. I doubt he will make it.

Red-legged Grasshopper

Red-legged Grasshopper

Wooly Bear Caterpillar

Wooly Bear Caterpillar

Monarch Caterpillar

Monarch Caterpillar

Common Green Bottle Fly

Common Green Bottle Fly

 

Stink Bug

Stink Bug

The Woolly Bear Caterpillars have been out in large numbers the past month. I frequently see them while walking through the woods and prairie. There were so many of them a few weeks ago that I decided not to mow the lawn because they were crawling all over the place.

Woolly Bear Caterpillar

Woolly Bear Caterpillar

Woolly Bear Caterpillar

Woolly Bear Caterpillar

 

I was going to call this blog slim pickings because most of the summer birds are gone, there are only a few stray butterflies around  and most of the fall flowers are done blooming. I’ve been out in the woods this past week cutting firewood and as I looked around it appeared that there was not much worth photographing. This past weekend I finally decided to break out the camera and see if I could find anything to photograph. Turns out I wasn’t looking close enough when I was cutting wood. Once I had the camera out I started finding quite a few things to photograph.

 

Milkweed Beetles

The milkweed bugs are out in full force this time of year. I’m a little surprised to still find some baby milkweed bugs around with the adults. In some places the milkweed is all dried up but around the house it is still green and it is the green plants where I’m finding the bugs.

 

Woolly Bear

The woolly bear Caterpillar are also out in large numbers. I started to do some mowing in the prairie areas but decided to hold off because there are so many woolly bears around. I’ve tried to photograph them early in the morning but it is hard because they are usually spending the night under a leaf or a flower.

 

Wild Mint

I found a patch of what I think is Wild Mint. It has gone to seed but the seed head is interesting and I have been trying to get a photo of it covered with a heavy dew or frost.

 

The grasshoppers are out in large numbers but they don’t seem to be willing to  pose for photos most of the time. I have managed to photograph a few of them..

 

Honey Bee

There are still bees around. I like to try and find them early in the morning when they are on a flower and not moving. Unfortunately they are usually hanging under the flower so it is sometimes difficult to photograph them.

 

Dragonfly

I have been see quite a few large dragonflies flitting about the prairie area but they don’t seem to be landing. I think they are migrating through. I happen to find this small one on some grass just before dusk one night.

 

As noted in an earlier post the Sumac is in full color now. Sumac is the first to turn and a sure sign of fall.

 

Photography Studio

As those of you who follow this blog know I spend most of my time outside doing nature photography. Occasionally during bad weather I will bring flowers or objects into the house to photograph them. I really don’t have a studio I just setup out in my sun porch. As the photo on the right shows it is a fairly simple studio consisting of a picnic table, a box, tag board, a black cloth and a clamp to hold the object. Because the studio is on my sun porch and I don’t have any control of the light I typically only setup the studio on a cloudy or overcast day. Since this is also a dining location during the summer and fall my wife insists that it be taken down at the end of the day so my window of opportunity for photography is rather limited.

Sunflower

All of my photography is done with natural light and I never use a flash. I typically use my Nikon 300s camera, Sigma 150mm macro lens, Manfrotto 055CXPro03 tripod and Markins Q20 ballhead. Sometimes I will use my Kenko Extension Tubes if the item is really small. I have a McClamp that I can clamp to the table and use to hold the object. I use Helicon Focus and Photoshop CS5 to process the images.

Woolly Bear Caterpillar

Tag board is cheap so I can have a variety of different colored backgrounds. I typically prefer black but I occasionally use white or some other color that works with the subject. In this case I found a Woolly Bear out in the prairie on a Canadian Goldenrod stalk and brought them both into the house. He wasn’t the most cooperative subject but I did manage to get some photos of him against a white background.

Calla Lily

Someone gave us some Calla Lily  bulbs this spring so I planted them in the garden. They were beautiful when they bloomed but I had a difficult time getting any good photographs of them in the garden. I noticed that someone else had gotten some beautiful shots of them in their studio so I decided to pick one and bring it into my studio. The photos turned out much better than anything I had gotten in the garden.

Foxtail Millet

This past week we had a nice drizzle overnight and into the morning. As I walked around the farm I noticed that everything was covered with water droplets. I thought they would make some great shots but it was drizzling too hard to photograph outside. I decided to pick some clover and foxtail that were covered with droplets but I wasn’t sure I could make it to the house with the water droplets still attached. In fact, I wandered around the prairie with them in my hands for quite a while before making it to the house. Surprisingly the water droplets were still on the plants when I set up in my studio.

I also did some experimenting with creating water droplets on the flowers using a combination of water and glycerin in a spray bottle. It worked but I needed a different spray bottle that produced a finer spray. It is something I’ll try again the next time I decide to setup my studio.

Tiger Moth Caterpillar

As long as I had my studio setup I decided to make a second trip out to look for some more flowers. I happened to see this fellow on the road so I picked him up and brought him along. Once I had the clover ready to shoot I put him on the clover and let him climb around. When his photo session was done I took him back outside and let him go.