I’ve taken almost all the pictures on this blog myself. It’s probably worth sharing a couple of tips for catching bugs and critters.
The first trick is to use the correct lens, assuming you have a camera that can take lenses (The digital SLR’s are now, and have been for several years, more than good enough to be worth it for serious photography.) I use a moderate telephoto (200mm) for insects. It can focus close enough to bring the insect into focus, but lets you stay far enough away to not disturb the critter. I could use a longer lens, but the depth of field is too shallow – which makes it difficult to keep the creature in focus.
The depth of field can be used to artistic effect, but I’ve found much longer lenses problematic.
I use a “skylight” filter to keep the lens clean, but don’t bother with a polarizer for these (I do when taking scenery – with a wide angle lens, but that’s a different post.)
My dress is silent when I tread the ground
Or stay at home or stir upon the waters.
Sometimes my trappings and the lofty air
Raise me above the dwelling-place of men,
And then the power of clouds carries me far
Above the people; and my ornaments
Loudly resound, send forth a melody
And clearly sing, when I am not in touch
With earth or water, but a flying spirit.
Henry Coe State Park,
how it would be here with you,
where the wind
that has shaken off its dust in low valleys
touches one cleanly,
as with a new-washed hand,
is as the remote hunger of droning things,
but a little silence
sinking into the great silence.
Sunset from the Tooth of Time
(c) 2009 R. Harrison
Jorge Cham nails it. Except my chair is blue and doesn’t come above my shoulders, this could be me with a student. I even look like the professor, except I don’t wear vests. (But I do wear shorts until it snows.)
"Piled Higher and Deeper"
by Jorge Cham
It’s been raining, constantly. Time for a poem about spirits.
Garden Under Lightning
Out of the storm that muffles shining night
Flash roses ghastly-sweet,
And lilies far too pale.
There is a pang of livid light,
A terror of familiarity,
I see a dripping swirl of leaves and petals
That I once tended happily,
Borders of flattened, frightened little things,
And writhing paths I surely walked in that other life—
My specter-garden beckons to me,
Be still,—be still!
Midnight’s arch is broken
In thy ceaseless ripples.
Dark and cold below them
Runs the troubled water,—
Only on its bosom,
Shimmering and trembling,
Doth the glinted star-shine
Sparkle and cease.
Be still,—be still!
Boundless truth is shattered
On thy hurrying current.
Rest, with face uplifted,
Calm, serenely quiet;
Drink the deathless beauty—
Thrills of love and wonder
Sinking, shining, star-like;
Till the mirrored heaven
Hollow down within thee
Holy deeps unfathomed,
Where far thoughts go floating,
And low voices wander
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,–
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft,
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
The leaves haven’t really started to change color, yet. Some of the hickory’s are yellow, the sweet gum purple, and the oaks a tad brown. but the fall flowers, butterfly’s and mushrooms are out. There was even a bee gather some last minute supplies for her hive.