Mayfly and Friends

I have looked for mayflies in the past, but never found them. Then, on Saturday afternoon, one just plopped down in the grass in front of me. I might not have even seen it…for one thing I hadn’t realised how small they are…and it was almost hidden in the long grass. I took a few reference shots but they were much too messy to use…then I watched as the little fly battled the stiff breeze and alighted on another stem a few feet away. I took some more photos…they were not sharp enough and the background was still too messy. Next, I took the risk to remove some of the grasses from behind the mayfly, chancing that it might fly off…but luckily it stayed put, so I took a couple more shots as the breeze died down…but they were still too messy in the background!! I now opened up my aperture some more, made sure my lens was held in the plane of the insect…held my breath and shot as I breathed out. From about 15 shots I had taken altogether, I have only two or three that are sharp enough….but then you only need one! So, here is one, a “green drake mayfly” (Ephemera danica)…it isn’t perfect, but I’m still quite pleased.

Green Drake Mayfly (Ephemera danica)

Within a few minutes I found another of my “target” insects…a female “beautiful demoiselle”, who also just plopped down beside me and stayed for a few seconds. Here she is…I’ve just darkened the background a bit and taken the contrast down.

Beautiful Demoiselle Female

This beautiful “forest shield bug” nymph was just basking on a leaf by a local pond a few days ago. Its markings and colours are amazing.

Forest Shield Bug Nymph

I am not too keen on wasps on the whole, but what nature photographer can resist photographing a wasp having its dinner?

Wasp with Prey

Next, a gallery of few “head-on shots”…

Friends might notice that I am now referring to myself as a nature photographer! For the last couple of years I have labelled myself “aspiring” or “budding” or “would be” nature photographer. It’s not that I think I have made it…I will never be a specialist, as I like photographing anything and everything…but I now have enough experience with nature, and especially macro photography, to know what I am doing with my equipment. I have been photographing insects for four years. Although my knowledge of some of the creatures that I have photographed is not well developed…I still have a lot to learn…I am slowly getting there.

Lastly, a gallery of some fairly common but still interesting wee beasties taken in the last couple of weeks around Saddleworth. I hope that you will enjoy looking at them.

error: © Christine Widdall - Kirklees Cousins