Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
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Monday, 25 May 2009

Macro Monday

A Bank Holiday, a day off, and the sun don’t shine. Well it didn’t this morning when I set off to the local. It’s shining now, while I do this. Oh well, at least it didn’t rain.

So the local was calling this morning, and six o’clock saw me stepping out the car in the car park. Today I thought I’d try something a little different; two cameras. My usual one, the good ol’ 50D, with the zoom stuck on the front, and the old camera, my 400D, with the dusted down macro lens on.
I’ve not used the macro for over a year, so I needed some practice. Yesterday I poked it at everything in the garden, and deleted most of the results. I need a lot of practice! It aint easy, and I really admire the results Matt gets on his blog.

But back to today. I set off with a camera over each shoulder, the idea being one for the birds, and the other for any Dragons or Damsels that came my way. These are a few of the better ones.

Plenty of Cow Parsley about, so they got the treatment first,

then a Geranium of some sort, I think, but not sure.

The next one I’ve completely forgotten what it was, (yea, useless, I know), but I was pleased with the result.

There were birds a plenty while I wandered around the lake; but another time with those. I made my way down towards the river that runs by the lake, hoping for some Butterflies, Dragons or Damsels, but the sun wasn’t shining, and it was a bit dull. A Sedge Warbler was giving me the run around, and I couldn’t get a close enough view for a picture, so I gave up on him, and crept my way through the long grass by the river.
A few Damsels were taking to the air as I brushed past, and then I saw a real beauty take off and land just ahead.
I crawled towards it, unsure what it was.

Judging by the rear end, I’m guessing some sort of Scorpion Fly? It was a stunner what ever it was, and after seeing the first, they seemed to be everywhere.
Another flying thing, (I must get a book), flew close by. A Mayfly? No idea, but after the oooo ooooo moment passed, I took a few pictures.

They seemed to be everywhere, the dark markings on the wings really making them stand out. If anyone can ID this I’d be most grateful.

As I crawled my way through the grass, getting some strange looks from the passing dog walkers, and joggers, there were long legged spiders everywhere, with their webs cast across the grass, hoping to catch some lunch.

Banded Demoiselles were flapping all around, and proving difficult to capture with the camera. A female settled long enough for a shot,

and a male was determined to remain hidden in the grass.

More flowers were beginning to grow along this stretch, and would soon be playing host to a good variety of Butterflies; but not today. The Ragged Robin still looked inviting though.

A pinkish Damsel settled in front for a picture.

These are a nightmare to ID!
Further along a pair of metallic green beetles caught my eye.
What a stunning colour.
And then these two settled,

I’m thinking the first is a Common Blue, and the second a Blue-tailed Damselfly?
I carried on, so busy watching the ground, I almost missed a Kestrel as he circled overhead, probably wondering what that hairy thing was crawling through the grass.
Finally a male Banded Demoiselle gave his best view so far,
and the chance to get in closer, before he took off.

I’d reached the ‘horror tree’ of a previous post, and most of the caterpillars had departed, save for a few still wriggling their way amongst the cling film covered branches.

And the final shot for now, Common Bird’s-foot-trefoil.

Far too beautiful to be called common.


  1. think you're right on the damsels.

    is it frustrating. was bright sun very early then went dull!!

  2. WOW - fantastic shots Keith. I'm pretty sure you're right with the Mayfly but no idea what the other beauty is though.

    Did the metallic green beetles have bulges on their legs? If so they could be the "thick legged flower beetle" that John (Midmarsh) identified for me the other day.

    See here:

  3. Superb pictures Keith - especially like the scorpion fly and that little metallic leaf beetle.

  4. yuck, i hate spiders.

    but I loved the dragonfly photos! very nice. beautiful shots, all - even the dreaded spider...


  5. Great pictures Keith. Getting in close to things really brings out the detail.

  6. That was a very good day with the trusty (not so rusty) macro Keith. Definitely Mayfly but no idea on the 'pink' damselfly. Like you I need to get an up to date ID guide.

  7. That one looks for all the world like a Japanese Beetle -- like those who plagued us two years ago. They began eating the grass roots and then changed from grub to flying and eating machines that ate everything on top of the ground growing. We all had a mess trying to cope with them. The photos are all beautiful though.

  8. I certainly enjoyed that show Keith! Love these little critters!..Awesome work with the marco!

  9. Beautiful composition and light for the female Banded Demoiselle, Keith.

  10. Pete, thanks. We certainly get variety in our weather. Too much, sometimes, it's pouring with rain now!

    Tricia, thank you. I think they were Mayfly, beautiful markings on the wings.
    I checked that link, but it’s not the thick legged beetle. These were more like smallish ladybirds, rounded shape.
    I’m hopeless at insect ID. :(

    Greenfingers, thank you. I googled ‘leaf beetle’, and there’s hundreds. The one that mostly fits the bill is Green Dock Leaf Beetle. Found a page with pictures of the eggs, which matched the ones I saw. Little yellow oblong things. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. :)

    Jen, thanks. Perhaps I should have put as ‘spider alert’ first. lol
    Glad you enjoyed the rest of them.

    John, thank you. Often miss how intricate some insects are, until you see them in close-up. It was a good exercise.

    Frank, thanks for the confirmation on Mayfly. Never realised how lovely they looked.

    Abe, thanks for your comment, and idea about the beetle. I’m pretty sure it’s the Green Dock Leaf Beetle, after a bit of googling.
    The ones that plagued you sound like a real nightmare.

    Dixxie, thank you. I think I’ll have to take it out more when I go out. I took around 200 shots with just that set up, and kept just under 50 that resembled anything. Could do with a tripod maybe ;)

    Thanks Rob, appreciate your comment. They were pretty difficult to shoot; they didn’t keep still for long.

  11. ...these are all gorgeous. I am starting to study macro images. I love the sharpness and the blur... The first blue dragonfly is stunning, as the first flower (reminds me of our Queen Ann's Lace a touch).

  12. Really liked your Macro monday shots!!!Specially the Scorpion Fly and the spider.Bet very soon all the caterpillars will turn into those beutiful butterflies that you will capture with your Macro.We are still experimenting with ours:)

  13. Kelly, thank you for your comment. The Cow Parsley is also known as Queen Ann's Lace here too, I beleive.

    NatureStop, thanks. It's quite challenging, macro, but rewarding when they turn out. Good luck. :)

  14. Lovely photos Keith, and I just called HLH from his work to look at them as he has an interest in macro shots, although he only uses a compact due to the fact he always has the dog with him so a DSLR would be too awkward! He does get some good results though and was very impressed with your photos!

    I agree with you about the last flower, far too beautiful to be called common! :)

    A lovely post Keith.

  15. Thanks ShySongbird. Before I got my DSLR, I used a compact, and got some excellent results with it. Glad HLH enjoyed them too.

  16. Thanks for stopping by Jun, and your comment.

  17. I think I shall call you the macro king! These were fabulous!!!

  18. Thanks Shelley for your kind comment.
    Glad you enjoyed them. :)

  19. God job, my english isn't very good, soo I can't to tell U how much Your photos are good;)