Critters Big and Small Vol. 12

Grand-Falls, NB(Zone 4a)

No matter what kind of wildlife you are seeing, they are all welcome here. So please join us.

You can check out the wonderful pictures others have contributed, on the previous thread at this link. http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1224954/

Thumbnail by burn_2007 Thumbnail by burn_2007 Thumbnail by burn_2007
Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Thanks for the new thread, burn. Wonderful set of pics to start things off!

Columbus, GA(Zone 8a)

Thanks for taking the time to start the new thread, burn. NIce pics,too What kind of bird is that?

I've been seeing dragonflies in the evening around my house - so, I took a few pics.

#1 is a Brown Spotted Yellow Winged Skimmer

#2 is a Widow Skimmer

#3 is a Slaty Skimmer

Taken with a Canon 40D and 70-300 non-L lens.

Hack

Thumbnail by TheHackster Thumbnail by TheHackster Thumbnail by TheHackster
Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Ooh...nice, Hack, I'm jealous!
Most of the Dragonflies I see rarely land and when they do, it's only for an instant. I saw a beautiful one this afternoon just as I was stepping out my patio door, but before I realized it was there, I scared it off. I know absolutely nothing about Dragonflies but it was huge and the whole length of the body (or the top of the body) looked white with possibly black wings. I need to check out Bug Files.

Columbus, GA(Zone 8a)

nutsaboutnature, I have a trick that often works for me with dragonflies. Ever go fishing with a cane pole and have dragonflies land on the tip, as if they are drawn to it.

Well, I'm often outside enjoying my birds and will see dragonflies flying to and fro. I have a 3-foot 1/4 inch dowel with a slender twig taped to the tip. I go and stick it in the ground, and before long a dragonfly will land on the tip. The first of my three d-flies has landed on top of a white-painted wire coat hanger (I cut a 9-10 inch piece out of it and bent the tip over a tad) that I had taped to the end of the dowel rod. After a while d-flies would land, but take off before I got set up - I think the wire got too hot - it was in full sunlight.

So, I replaced the wire coat hanger with a slender leafless tea olive twig (though I think any plant would do) and the d-flies landed and stayed. On the widow skimmer, I even had time to go to the house, get the camera and come back, it was still there.

But, still, don't move too rapidly, else they'll take off. I'm in a wheelchair and I don't think they know I'm a human. The birds let me get pretty close sometimes, but then again, by now, they probably know I'm harmless - and also, I have the food, lol.

Hack

This message was edited Jul 24, 2012 5:33 PM

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Wow...fascinating stuff. Love the idea of your "Dragonfly Rod". I'll have to experiment a little. Since I don't go fishing I've never seen them land on thin poles.

Columbus, GA(Zone 8a)

"Dragonfly Rod", good description - that is just what it is.

Grand-Falls, NB(Zone 4a)

Those are lovely shots of the dragonflies, Hack!
The bird in the pic above is a juvenile Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. I have 2 juveniles and one adult male, that really loves the pond. It's the first Summer, that I get them everyday, in the yard. The other years, I'd see them mostly in the Spring as a couple.

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Burn and Hackster, beautiful shots. And thanks for the tips on how to capture a dragonfly Hack. Any tips on a hummingbird? I have so many but can never catch them still enough for a great photo.

I did get this dragonfly, only because he landed right in front of me and I happened to have my camera on. Also a baby wren in a nest...not the best shot, but ma-ma was really scolding me in the background. There is actually three in there but you could only see one. They are all now happily living in my garden hopping around.

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Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Cool pics, sunkissed! Nice to hear the baby wrens have made it out of the nest.

These little guys are so hard catch a decent pic of. They're so friendly, but they rarely sit still. Anyway, not the greatest shots, but I thought they were still kind of cute.

Edited to say, "Oops, I posted these pics in the wrong thread!" Headed over to the Bird Piccies to post again.

This message was edited Jul 25, 2012 11:14 AM

Thumbnail by nutsaboutnature Thumbnail by nutsaboutnature
Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

These little guys love my Gaillardia.

Thumbnail by nutsaboutnature Thumbnail by nutsaboutnature
Columbus, GA(Zone 8a)

Nope, sunkissed, no hummer tips, except, that I have my feeder on the porch and I back up into the laundry room with the door to the outside opened. With the laundry room light off, that kinda' puts me in the shadow inside the room. The I just have to wait and be ready. The hummer takes many sips for me. I also were a dark colored shirt, not a white t-shirt.

nuts... that's a sweet capture of the chickadee. Oh, I love the color of those flowers. Nice shots of the honey bee, too

Hack.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Thank you Bernadette for the new thread, love the opening of the thread photos. Whoa! I saw several adult yellow-bellied sapsuckers in early spring, but haven't seen any more, either adult or juvie. Glad you've shared the pics. Nutsaboutnature, love the bee on your beautiful flower pics. Nice catch! Aww, the "dees" are one of my fav. birds in the garden. Sherri, glad the wren juvie did ok, I like dragon fly but rarely catch them standing still for pics. Gotta try Hack's Dragonfly- rod some time. Thanks Hack for sharing idea. It's nice having joining us here.

1 & 2; Robber fly. 3. Longtailed skipper. 4. Carolina Praying Mantis nymph.

Thumbnail by Lily_love Thumbnail by Lily_love Thumbnail by Lily_love Thumbnail by Lily_love
Columbus, GA(Zone 8a)

Hey Lily, nice pic of the Robber Fly, especially #1.

The Dragonfly rod works fairly well for me. Just got to be patient, the d-flies will fly all around it and you can almost tell when one spots it.

Hack

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Nice pics, Lily! Boy, I could swear I just read something recently about "Longtailed Skippers" being kind of rare...but I could be wrong since my butterfly knowledge could fit on the end of a pin head!

Columbus, GA(Zone 8a)

Got a couple more dragonflies

#1 a pretty green Eastern Pondhawk. Blends in nicely with the grass, don't you think?

#2 is another Slaty Skimmer. If you look at the insert you can see the "boot" in the lower wing the helps ID it.

#3 is the Saty without the insert.

Hack

Thumbnail by TheHackster Thumbnail by TheHackster
Columbus, GA(Zone 8a)

#3, forgot to click on it.

It is sitting on the tip of my car's antenna, that's how I got under it.

This message was edited Jul 28, 2012 8:39 AM

Thumbnail by TheHackster
Willis, TX(Zone 8b)

Wow. I have looked back at the last few "issues" of the Wildlife threads and have seen some stunning images. I think it is so cool to have deer come up in your yard. There are none in my suburban neighborhood. I took up photography as a hobby a few years ago and have enjoyed nature/outdoor photography the most, so these wildlife images are so wonderful to see.

Also enjoyed the tips like Hack's bamboo perch for the dragons. That's a great idea. Lots of dragons in my backyard today and I have some bamboo gardening stakes, so I'm set!

Sunkissed, you asked for tips on hummingbirds. I went to a photography workshop in the Texas Hill Country area a while back and the landowners had a lot of hummingbirds at the feeders on their porch. The photography instructor (photo lead) took all but one feeder down and let the birds get used to that idea. They were not too terribly happy, but they got over it.

Then, she put a table under the one feeder and put a potted cactus plant on the table. The plant was about four feet off of the ground and the feeder was about six feet off the ground. Then we got our cameras set up for the composition we wanted and set up some flashes.

1. I took a few photos of her hand until we got the flash power correct for all three flashes. You can do this with just one flash though. Really no need to get this fancy. The important thing is how you get a nice photo without a feeder in the image.

2. Once we got the flashes set, the photo lead started lowering the feeder so that it was getting closer and closer to the cactus flower. The birds didn't care that she was standing right by the feeder. They just kept coming in.

3. Then she got a dropper bottle with some of the same sugar water nectar that was in the feeder and added a few drops to the flower on the left side of the cactus. The birds pretty much ignored it. But, then she took the feeder down - oh, my! - that got their attention and they flew around fussing for a bit. After just a minute or so, the first bird went to check out the flowers.

It didn't take long until they were all hovering near the flowers waiting their turn. They would all hover for a bit at almost the same place. I caught them there several times. Then, they would all feed at the same spot because that was the only spot with nectar. We would add a few more drops from time to time and all four of the students had a chance to sit on the porch (one at a time) and photograph the hummers. Unfortunately, I never did catch a male. But, a couple of the students did.

Of course, it is best to use some type of flower that is sturdy enough to hold some nectar.

I was using a Canon camera with a 400mm lens. I used ISO 320, f/9 and 1/250 sec shutter speed.
But, if your hummers are really hungry and accustomed to people being around, you can do this with a point and shoot, sitting three or four feet from the plant. One of the students used a much shorter lens and sat quite close. She got one of the males with the beautiful ruby colored gorget lit up by the flashes.



Thumbnail by P_Edens Thumbnail by P_Edens Thumbnail by P_Edens Thumbnail by P_Edens Thumbnail by P_Edens
Columbus, GA(Zone 8a)

Magnificent pics Patti. I never that about "seeding" a flower with sweet nectar.

Hack

Grand-Falls, NB(Zone 4a)

Great tips you have giving us, Hack and Patti!
Kim that Robber fly look tiny, good job!
Aww sweet on the baby Wren!
Great little pollinators, Nuts. They are hard workers. I've set up a mason bee house last year, and I got a few takers. Hoping with every year, there will be an increase of these magnificent pollinators.

Hack, do you know, what bug this is? It jumps when you touch it.

Goldfishes, when the pond was set up in Spring.

Thumbnail by burn_2007 Thumbnail by burn_2007
Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Hack, I'm amazed at all the Dragonflies you get. Great shots! I tried setting up a Dragonfly Rod, but the problem is we don't seem to have many dragonflies. I rarely even see one flying around.

Patti, that's a fascinating story. I'll have to try "flavoring" some flowers with sugar water. Your Hummer pics are just stunning! That last one made me laugh.

Burn, nice that you got a Mason Bee house. It will be interesting to find out if you get more bees next year. Strange little bug you've got there in the first pic. Love your Goldfish photo!

Columbus, GA(Zone 8a)

burn, that is a treehopper, there are a gazillion species of them. Just goggle "treehopper images" and you'll see what I mean.

They survive predators by pretending to be a thorn or some kind of plant growth. Pic #2 shows that they are not very big. And as you can see in pic #3, some are quite lovely.

Hack

This message was edited Jul 28, 2012 11:45 PM

Thumbnail by TheHackster Thumbnail by TheHackster Thumbnail by TheHackster
Columbus, GA(Zone 8a)

I don't think they'll bite, don't really know.

Hack

This message was edited Jul 28, 2012 11:52 PM

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Hack, I saw what I think was a bright blue Damselfly a couple of days ago. It was beautiful! I ran in to get my camera, but of course, by the time I returned it was no where to be found. Oh well, I'll keep trying...and looking at the ones you and others post.

Columbus, GA(Zone 8a)

Quote from nutsaboutnature :
Hack, I saw what I think was a bright blue Damselfly a couple of days ago. It was beautiful! I ran in to get my camera, but of course, by the time I returned it was no where to be found. Oh well, I'll keep trying...and looking at the ones you and others post.


I bet it was pretty, too. I haven't come across a Damselfly around here. They fly like dragonflies, but, of course, when they land they fold their wings back over their abdomen, unlike a dragonfly.

Ain't that just the way it always happens - no camera, something beautiful presents itself. Now, when I'm tooling around the yard on the 4-wheeler, I keep my camera around my neck. Been burned too many times.

Hack

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Same here Hack, many missed ops. I saw a Robber fly flew off carrying a wasp and I couldn't catch a good pic. I wished I had a set up ready and waiting for that scene, lol.

Had a Tersa sphinx caterpillar just before it wander off to pupate under the soil.

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Columbus, GA(Zone 8a)

Nice catch on the Sphinx caterpillar, Lily.

Hack

Willis, TX(Zone 8b)

Ditto on the Sphinx cat, Lily! That is one of the most interesting types of caterpillars and moths I can imagine. Hope you get some shots of the moth!

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Patti, just now reading your post about the hummingbird photography. Thanks so much. That is quite interesting. The only good shots I've taken are with a feeder in the photo, so that is great information. I only have a point and shoot camera, but do find with hummers it is best to use the flash.
The photos you posted are awesome. Thanks again.
Sherri

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Nice pic of the Sphinx, Lily! Fascinating that they pupate underground.

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Really nice photos, I especially like the bee on the blanket flower by Nuts, the nice sharp green dragonfly by Hack, and Lily that cat is a great photo.Burn the goldfish is a great shot also.

I have a fire bush with lots of aphids and the ladybugs are happily taking care of them for me. Great photo opportunity. ☺

Thumbnail by sunkissed Thumbnail by sunkissed Thumbnail by sunkissed
Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Thanks, sunkissed!

Really great close-ups of the aphid-eating ladybugs!

Willis, TX(Zone 8b)

Wow! Sunkissed, the ladybug close-ups are excellent! I've seen ladybugs, but never when they were chowing down on aphids. Very cool!

I was out at a nearby park trying to shoot some video of tadpoles and this butterfly wouldn't leave me alone. Good problem to have, huh? I don't know why it liked the camo on my lens so much, but it kept flying up and sitting on it. I just ignored it after a while, but I did have to pull out my cell phone and take a few shots.

The second two are cropped so you can see the little guy. He sort of blends in with the camo.

I wonder if he was puddling? It was horribly hot that day and the camo lens cover is probably covered with salty sweat from my hands. I'll have to look up what kind of butterfly this is and see if they puddle.

Thumbnail by P_Edens Thumbnail by P_Edens Thumbnail by P_Edens
Columbus, GA(Zone 8a)

As for puddling, did you happen to see it sitting around the water's edge, in the mud? I read that they like to congregate in unpleasant places. Tawny Emperors rarely visit flowers, but they do like tree sap, rotting fruit, dung and carrion - ugh.

Hack

This message was edited Aug 4, 2012 12:34 AM

Willis, TX(Zone 8b)

Hack, Thanks for the ID! I couldn't figure out what it was. I never did notice where it went when it wasn't on my lens. But, that is quite possible since I was right on the water's edge. It was one of the few butterflies out there.

Columbus, GA(Zone 8a)

Quote from P_Edens :
Hack, Thanks for the ID! I couldn't figure out what it was. I never did notice where it went when it wasn't on my lens. But, that is quite possible since I was right on the water's edge. It was one of the few butterflies out there.


You're welcome.

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

That is pretty neat Patti. ☺

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Very cool pictures, Patti!

Hack, it's great that you knew what type of BF that was.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Patti, how did the video on the tadpoles work out? Here comes a male Eastern Tigerswallowtail, I think. Yesterday I had a female, this must be the subsequent brood since spring. Hack, have I got the gender on these butterfly down? Needed your help.

Thumbnail by Lily_love

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