When I visit the Wells Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farms in Wells, Maine, I park my trike on the grass beside the bike rack beyond the Handicapped Parking signs. As I passed carefully between the signs yesterday there was a nice fresh Monarch chrysalis hanging, right at my eye level on the trike, from the underside of one of the signs. Too good an opportunity to miss, and before I road away after my hike, I set my iPhone up with the Sirui 10x Macor lens and took a number of shots. It is a fascinating structure, and there were still water drops on it from the rain overnight. Altogether a thing of beauty. It is a rather exposed spot and I can only hope it survives to be a butterfly. iPhone SE with Moment thin case and Sirui 10x Macro lens. Standard Apple Camera app with Smart HDR engaged. Processed Apple Photos.
Sundew, Hidden Valley Nature Center, Jefferson, Maine, USA — As promised, we are here today to celebrate Sundew! Sundew is another carnivorous bog plant. Instead of drowning its prey, as the Pitcher Plant from yesterday does, the Sundew has little sticky spikes on open pads that attract insects. The insects get stuck and the nutrients are absorbed. You can see a couple in the shots here. A tiny back beetle, and small green caterpillar of some sort. Sundew is hard to see, even in a bog full of it. The little sticky, spiky, pads are often all that rises above the level of sphagnum moss, though the first shot above shows more of the plant, and those pads are less than 1/4 inch across. In good light you look for the glitter of the crown of tiny sticky beads of gue on the tips of the spine. And then you get in really close for a photo. The shot that shows more of the plant was taken at 600mm with my Sony Rx10iv from about 3 feet (and that was an exceptionally large plant), but the other two are from my iPhone SE with the Sirui 10x macro lens attached. I had to get down on my knees and elbows and bend over the edge of the floating platform, to get the phone within about 1/4 inch of the plants for those shots. Then I had to get back up…not easy at my age. The things we do. 🙂 Still, I would do it again, just for the privilege of seeing and celebrating the strange and wonderful carnivorous, bog dwelling, Sundew plant!