Sunday, September 16, 2007

Finds in Dalles-- some recent highlights

Sometimes you must get up early or not sleep at all to find the best shots. I just happened to look outside and thought I see the sunrise. Very quickly I came back in and got my 400D and it's 300mm lens. I quickly was able to get about ten shots like this that were not so similar that they are useless. Right on time, these kinds of sights usually last less then a half hour and sometimes can be gone or changed in less then 10 min. I did not edit this image at all.

I have in nearly two years never seen a moth like this. I have thousands of shots of moths that are local, this one is rare to find at least where I am. Not just it's colors and hairs amazed me, it's size was a whopping inch and a half long. It is not a hawk moth. I need to look this one up. This is the mail, there are other smaller white moths here somewhat like this, possibly they are the females but in nearly all species the females are larger.

This incredible moth showed up a couple months ago. It's fine hairs are really weird. You can bet it's a male because it has those extensions on it's antennas. Click on picture to see better.
This moth was not just awesome--it was twice the size of nearly all others. Not a hawk moth. It's one of the biggest months I have ever photographed. It's over an inch and a half long. When they come to my light like this I usually turn them off and then carefully pick moths like this up releasing them in the darkness. There is another white moth here--is it the female?
I do not know--that's for when I go look it up.

If I were afraid of insects, I would be terrified of this seeming harmless wasp more then any else. It is a parasitic wasp. Some of them lay eggs in trees causing those bubbles (gals) to grow as a nest. But often other species of this wasp swoop down and infect a caterpillar, or nearly any other easy Target insect and spiders.

When the eggs hatch, the larva begin to feed. Eating the host alive. The host will eat and eat to keep itself fed and keep the larva from taking all it's energy. Eventually, the pray item--will almost literaly explode with the fat and ready to fly months. (I told you even I'm afraid of this)

The needle they use if often as long as there body. It's a modified stinger that injects eggs. Thankfully, there are no species of this kind of wasp that will and could not lay eggs in people or pets. Each wasp has a special species it targets usually. So there is nothing to be afraid of. Unless your a caterpillar. Notice those three huge eyes on the head. They are simple eyes, not compound, probably for nightime direction finding as that is when they are out flying around. Honey bees have them too but they are so small you need nearly a good lens just to see them and we know they are used for navigation.

If you are going to Start a digital bug collection as I will be working on as much as I can right now and more later-- think of things like a glass vile that has very clear glass. This makes it easy to get anatomy shots in extreme macro. I just read an article in Popular Photography about the cost of macro lenses. So much in fact, macro gear can often be rented for a day or two. Even that is expensive. I am very glad I've figured out the truth behind this stuff before I let these camera companies make me think photography is an impossible dream for me due to costs.

This is another image of the same sunrise this morning here in The Dallies Oregon. Those are power lines, very large ones. They come from the Dam and go all over the place. I was stuck without words as I watched this incredible sunrise get better and better.

Initially I zoomed back and did a perceptive. I cannot believe how this looks like a storm with one edge of it on fire. Photography requires patients, and a willingness to experience pain to get the shot. I got a few more like this I may process later and add.

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