I have written before about finding Ladybirds ( Coccinellidae ) inside my home, having been unwittingly carried inside on firewood, where they have gathered to begin their winter hibernation.  The warmth inside wakes them up, and I find them clustered on the widows, probably drawn to the light.  Yesterday when a carpenter removed some rotting timbers from near the roof, this is what I found when I went to clear the rubbish away.  There were hundreds of the little beetles hiding away inside a groove in the timber that gave them a snug dry and dark place to sleep until Spring.


Being very fond of these helpful insects, today I collected a few that were wandering away from the cluster and moved them to my pot of moss for a photo session.  They are not easy subjects to photograph – tiny, round and shiny,  plus they do not stay still!  The piece of timber will be moved to a sheltered spot, and the remaining Ladybirds left undisturbed.  I hope they survive till warmer weather.


Praying mantis

Found this fellow on my window this morning  …… was about 35 mm long.

As usual, you can click on any photo for a larger image, and you will get a slideshow.

WordPress Weekly Challenge – Lost in the Detail

This week we are asked to see details in a larger scene – once we have chosen a subject to shoot, then work a little further into the scene.  The example was a landscape – read here – but I have another example which meets the brief.  This year I planted some sunflowers specifically with the intention to photograph them when in flower.  This was the first one which bloomed, and I was very pleased with this shot.  Nice blurred background of a fresh unblemished flower that had not been attacked by bugs etc etc…


Then I looked a little closer…..


And what did I see?


A couple of little Ladybirds and some larvae hiding in the flower’s bracts.  In my opinion, a good example of getting lost in the detail!


Recently I read a lovely story of the rescue of a Blue Banded Bee, with great photographs by Mark Berkley, an Australian photographer who loves macro as much as I do, so I thought to share my own experience in rescuing tiny creatures.  About two weeks ago I lit my slow combustion heater as it was really cold that night, and added several red gum logs to the wood basket for the purpose.  I did not burn it all, so one log has been sitting on the hearth ever since… must have been full of ladybirds as I have been finding them huddled in corners on my windows ever since.  I do not know the life cycle of these insects beyond knowing that they go through several stages before they become adult, or whether these insects had hatched in a crevice of the wood (doubtful), or the cold had made them decided it was time to shelter for the winter.  Some appeared alive and moving, others were quite stationary and looked dead, but they had obviously been able to fly towards the light and settle once they had emerged from the wood.  I have been collecting them and taking them outside, releasing them onto a pot of moss where a light sprinkle of water revived most of them so they could fly away.  I must have saved at least 30 of them, and of course, there were photographs too!

Some recent macros…..bees and other insects.

Please click on any of these for a large image…….

Wasp Waist!

Couldn’t help myself could I?  Should be packing….went outside to get something from the washing line and spotted this big native wasp intent on feeding on an Allium flower.  I think it is a Potter’s Wasp, a large solitary wasp that builds a mud nest, installs a caterpillar or spider in each cell for the lavae to feed on when the egg hatches.  I didn’t get too close, even though I believe they do not sting…..anyway here are some shots of this luridly coloured wasp.  Now I really am off to pack……

A Mixed Bag

Some recent shots – probably the last for a little while as I’m off on holiday to Singapore.   Hopefully I shall have a selection of different-type shots when I return.  These as usual are from around the garden, and all macros…enjoy!  Click on any photo in the gallery for a larger image.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge – Surprise

Like many I was not surprised to wake and find we had survived the supposed apocalypse that was predicted because the ancient Mayan calendar had simply run out of time……I can confirm that the day passed peacefully, as usual in this little corner of the world.  What did surprise me was the very weird eyes on this strange fly I captured through my macro lens recently when seeking insects to photograph.  I have no idea what it is, it was tiny and was feeding on nectar in the centre of a rose.



Ladybird, Ladybird……..

There seem to be a great number of these lovely little insects around the garden at the moment, which is a good thing as there is a plague of tiny greenfly on everything.  They can be found feeding on these tiny pests which damage roses and many other plants too.   May they grow fat and multiply!  It is also interesting to see the variety in size, number of spots and colour……I guess it might mean something if you were a ladybird?  Click on any image for a larger view.

Macro magic…..

Spotted this rather  beautiful moth near the lake this morning…….it looks like a malevolent fairy!




And a hard working, heavily laden bee…..