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.
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…..it 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!
Spotted on my early morning garden walk….silent and still, snoozing on the fuzzy new leaf of a Medlar tree and covered with raindrops.
Macro lens – Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM and tripod.