While walking at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farms the other day, I spotted what I thought might gleam off the shell of a very small insect on the dried flowers of a plant along the trail. I took a few tel-macro shots at 600mm equivalent, but I was not sure, through the viewfinder, if I was really even seeing a bug at all. In processing on my iPad Pro, I discovered this elegant little beetle. The Fieldguides AI app says it is a Cryptocephalus (Leaf Beetle) of some kind. The closest match on Google Lens, and the only one from North America, is 14 Spotted Leaf Beetle. The photo has received the super-crop treatment: processed as most of my photos are in Polarr, then opened in Pixelmator Photo Pro for enlargement using the Machine Learning Super Resolution tool, then recropped for what amounts to maybe the equivalent 2500mm of magnification from 5 feet, and possibly a 4x macro. This is a tiny bug, less than 1/8th inch long. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed as above. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/800th.
Of all the insects in the world, I like the green, shiny ones the best! There, I have said it. It makes no sense, but I can not deny it. I like green shiny insects! I found these Six-spotted Tiger Beetles hunting on the rocks along the trail at the Forever Wild Preserve in Kennebunk, Maine, while I was out hunting for dragonflies myself. (We shared a hunter’s moment. 🙂 ) From an insect’s point of view, these are indeed tigers, with fearsome jaws. They prey on any other insect they can catch. I read on wiki that even their larva pop up out of the ground like jack-in-the-boxes to capture passing prey. Fierce indeed. And so pretty, so shiny, so green! Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. (Note that one of these has only 4 spots…but that is, again, according to wiki, not all that uncommon.)
The wild roses are in bloom at Laudholm Farms (Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve) just down the road from us…well, actually, they are in bloom all though southern Maine right now…but I photographed this one at Laudholm Farms. It has some pesky visitors, known to gardeners (and everyone else) as the Red-snout Beatles. They are not welcome in most people’s gardens, as they damage the plants, but I guess, out here in nature, they are to be expected where the flowers are in bloom. Sony Rx10iv at 512mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
I actually did not see the third bug in this Black-eyed Susan shot until I got it home and was processing it on the computer. The bee is obvious, as is the beetle. I am not certain what beetle it is, though it appears to be in the same family as Milkweed and Asparagus beetles. The spider is a Yellow Orb Weaver. Emmon’s Preserve, in Kennebunkport. The mosquitoes were so bad that my natural repellent was useless against them, and it was all I could do to stand still long enough to get a few shots here. I am very surprised there are not any mosquitoes in the image!
Sony RX10iii at 554mm equivalent field of view. 1/250th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed in Lightroom.
While looking for River Jewelwings the other day, I happened to look down at the moss beneath me, and saw this bright metallic green beetle. A closer look showed the six white spots on the black margins of the elytra (hard shell). It was easy to google this morning: “metallic green beetle with white spots” brought up lots of pages about the Six-spotted Tiger Beetle…evidently a common forest beetle across much of the north eastern part of the continent. I don’t remember ever seeing one before. It was small, about 1/2 inch, but the bright green is hard to miss. 🙂
Sony RX10iii at 1200mm (Smart Digital Tel-converter in-camera crop to 5mp). I used Direct Manual Focus to fine tune the auto focus to separate the bug from the moss. 1/800th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed in Lightroom;