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.
Green Darner: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Two more shots of the Green Darner pair that I found at the Southern Maine Health Care drainage ponds here in Kennebunk. They were very busy ovipositing on a floating reed, and I was able to extend the zoom on my Nikon B700 to the full reach of its enhanced digital zoom at 2880mm equivalent, for these telephoto macro shots of the two heads. Shutter preferred program mode at 1/400th. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Large Lace Border Moth: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — When I got back from my trike ride the other day, this lovely little moth was waiting for me in the ground cover along the foundation of our home. It was settled there, and I was able to put the camera in Macro mode and take this full frame close up at about 108mm equivalent. I did not know what the moth was, so I used the AI identification feature of my FieldGuides Leps app. I was not at all surprised at the name…it is what I would called this moth if I had the naming to do 🙂 Though it is the “large” lace border moth, it is only about an inch wing tip to wing tip. Nikon B700 as above. Shutter program with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Four-spotted Skimmer: Kennebunk Bridle Path, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — As I said yesterday, it was definitely a skimmer day, with Painted, Twelve-spotted, and Four-spotted all in flight over the little pools in the marsh along the lower Mousam River here in Kennebunk. This is two shots of the same 4-spot. Nikon B700 at 2880 (2x enhanced digital zoom) and 1440mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Canada Mayflower (sometimes called False Lily of the Valley): Mousam River Wildlife Preserve, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I have never seem much in the way of wildlife at the Mousam River Wildlife Preserve, one of the Kennebunk Land Trust properties here in Kennebunk, but it is a nice walk a mile down along the ridge above the Mousam River as it broadens out into the tidal basin. This time of year the woods are full of Star Flower and Mayflower, and I did find one lonely Lady Slipper Orchid. It is not easy to find a Canada Mayflower in full bloom as the individual flowers on the single flower spike do not open all at the same time. This is the best one I have ever found. Nikon B700 at 24mm and macro. Program mode with Vivid Picture Control and Active D-Lighting set to low. -.3EV. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. I enjoy the more than life size macro on the Nikon B700. It works great for wildflowers even at its 24mm equivalent.
Boreal or Northern ?? Bluets: Day Brook Pond, Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area, Maine, USA — There were a lot of Bluets at Day Brook Pond on the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area this week. I can’t say that I examined every one, but they all seemed to be Boreal/Northern by the largish eyespots and general pattern of the abdomen. I am not honestly sure how to distinguish Boreal and Northern from any distance and I am open to correction even there. 🙂 Many were already paired up adn ready to drop eggs. Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. It is nice to have a camera in hand again with that kind of reach again so I am not always cropping the center out of my Sony Rx10iv 600mm shots. 🙂 Program mode with auto everything. -.3EV Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
I am falling behind…not because I am not posting every day, but because I am taking too many photos 🙂 Not a bad problem to have. Of course a string of rainy days might cure that, but for now, I am going to group this set taken at the same location on the same outing: I rode my trike out to Day Brook Pond on the Kennebunk Plains near home here in Maine, to see how spring was coming along. We have the Plains landscape on the way into the pond at 24mm equivalent (all with the Sony Rx10iv, this one with HDR, and the rest with my birds and wildlife modifications to Program), a Northern Water Snake (one of the largest I have ever seen) at 465mm, Dogwood in bloom against a stand of white birch at 24mm, two Painted Turtles sharing what appears to be a tender moment (but probably was not really) at 600mm, and Eastern Pine Elfin at 600mm and about 3 feet (this is a tiny butterfly, about 1/2 inch across). In leaner times I might have stretched this out over 5 posts, as each shot has an interest of its own. (I did already post the Elfin to some of the Butterfly groups on Facebook, but it belongs here too, in the context of the the visit to Day Brook Pond.)
Emmon’s Preserve, Kennebunkport, Maine. This shot is actually form last week, but I want to post it before Trout Lily season passes us by altogether. You really have to get down low to fully appreciate the blossoms of the Lily, or Adder’s Tongue as it is also called. Someone posted a photo recently of a pure white Trout Lily…something I have never seen. According to Google the white flowering Trout Lily is actually a different species, but I do appreciate our little yellow troops on the floor of the Maine forest when they arrive in early spring. Sony Rx10iv at 78mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f5 @ 1/1000th.
Trout Lily (aka Adder’s Tongue): Emmon’s Preserve, Kennebunkport, Maine, USA — I rode my eTrike out to Emmon’s Preserve on Monday, in part to see if the Trout Lily was in bloom. I have always called this early spring flower of the Maine woods Trout Lily, but a few years ago, I found that it has another, maybe more common name…Adder’s Tongue. By whatever name, the drooping yellow and orange blossoms above the dark spotted green leaves are one of the first delights of spring in Southern Maine…but, you have to be on your toes to catch them. Two weeks ago, the leaves were not even showing above ground. 5 days ago, I only found a few unopened buds. Yesterday, two favored patches in sunny spots in the forest were in full bloom. Some of the more shaded clusters are just poking up, but as the weather is staying above 50 degrees for a few days, they will quickly develop flowers and bloom…and then there well only be the clusters of patterned leaves close to the ground (marked like a trout) for the rest of the summer. Sony Rx10iv at 78mm equivalent. Full time macro on the ZEISS lens got me to within inches, and the flip out LCD allowed me to shoot from ground level looking up at the drooping flower. For a shot like this the movable spot focus is ideal as I can just tap the touch LCD over the flower and get precise focus. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. As you see, this shot was taken in the natural dappled shade of the forest floor. ISO 100 @ f3.5 @ 1/250th.
I took a short ride on my trike yesterday, and an even shorter walk out into the forest along the way to see what I could see and to play with the Sirui lens set on my iPhone SE 2020. I have the Moment thin case, so mounting the lenses is just a twist. I got out the 10x Macro lens for its first real world test. I was surprised at the depth of field…much greater than I expected, but still shallow enough to isolate a subject against its background. You need to be able to get really close to your subject. This not a “telephoto macro.” The main trick is to keep out of your own, and the phone’s shadow. Overall I am impressed. This lens is going to be a lot of fun, if I can remember to use it. 🙂 A bit of moss with a pine cone embedded from beside the trail made a vivid macro still life. iPhone SE 2020 with Sirui 10x macro on the Moment thin case. Stock Camera App on Auto. Processed in Apple Photos.