Tag Archives: Photography

Gonepteryx rhamni

(known as the common brimstone) is a butterfly of the Pieridae family. It lives in Europe, North Africa and Asia. Across much of its range, it is the only species of its genus, and is therefore simply known locally as the brimstone. The name “butterfly” is believed to have originated from the brimstone — which was called the butter-coloured fly by early British naturalists. (Source: Wikipedia)

Common Brimstone

The Laptop

…stayed closed yesterday, in a move that is completely unprecedented but absolutely necessary,  considering that my house was in dire need of straightening up and cleaning and my overstrained eyes needed a rest.

I found a dead spider in the basement and took it upstairs with me because I was so impressed with its size (about the circumference of a half dollar) and I wanted to try and get a good photo of it:


Here’s a closeup of all of those spider eyes:


Ain’t that cool?

Red Kite (Milvus Milvus)

Red kites are 24 to 28 in long with a 69–70 in wingspan; males weigh 28–42 oz, and females 35–46 oz. It is an elegant bird, soaring on long wings held at a dihedral, and long forked tail, twisting as it changes direction.

From Wikipedia: The red kite (Milvus milvus) is a medium-large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae, which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as eagles, buzzards, and harriers. The species is currently endemic to the Western Palearctic region in Europe and northwest Africa, though formerly also occurred just outside in northern Iran. It is resident in the milder parts of its range in western Europe and northwest Africa, but birds from northeastern and central Europe winter further south and west, reaching south to Turkey. Vagrants have reached north to Finland and south to Israel, Libya and Gambia.

According to Wikipedia, the population is still categorized as “near threatened”.

Here in Bavaria, we’d be lucky to see one per year about eight years or so ago. I’m happy to report that their numbers have been steadily increasing and I now see them quite often.

Bad Moon Rising

I was in the kitchen yesterday evening getting things ready for dinner when I looked out the kitchen window to see three of our crows sitting on the television antenna (they sit there often) on the roof of the house across the street while below them, the moon was rising into what was almost a nighttime sky:


My kitchen window was wide open and I was being observed. I’ll have to get in touch with the elderly couple that lives on the top floor of that house, as they noticed me setting up the tripod on the kitchen counter and that I was pointing my rather large  400 mm lens in their general direction; they may have thought I was spying on them. They’re nice people, I’ll have to let them know what I was really doing just to avoid any misunderstanding. The moon was behind them and they had no way of seeing it.

About 15 minutes later, the moon app on my iPhone let me know that the moon was now officially “full”, so I took another one just of the moon, it was fully dark by then anyhow.


Hummingbird Hawk-Moth

From Wikipedia: “The hummingbird hawk-moth is distributed throughout the northern Old World from Portugal to Japan, but is resident only in warmer climates (southern Europe, North Africa, and points east).”

I have been photographing insects, bugs and butterflies for nine years now, with modest success, but I’ve been continually challenged to be able to take a decent (not completely blurred by motion) photograph of the Hummingbird Hawk-Moth (Macroglossum stellatarum). This is mainly due to the fact that they fly from blossom to blossom, never settling, always remaining airborne, while beating their wings at a rate of 70-90 beats per second.

Monday evening, I finally succeeded in getting a half-way decent picture of one:

Hummingbird Hawk-Moth approaching a summer lilac blossom
Hummingbird Hawk-Moth approaching a summer lilac blossom

We have had a summer lilac (Buddleja davidii) next to the motorcycle garage in the garden for many years now and it has grown to considerable height, despite the fact that it has been cut back a number of times. (If you’re interested in summer lilacs, go to this link for a very informative article about them.)

Late yesterday afternoon, I noticed that at least five hummingbird hawk-moths were active on the top most blossoms, 2.5 meters above the ground.

I retrieved a ladder and climbed onto the roof of the motorcycle garage, where I sat still and waited patiently for a moth to appear at a blossom near me. It was sweltering up there, but the sweat and patience paid off. Finally.