Sunday, September 25, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday - A Cool Rock Pattern

Shadow Shot Sunday is hosted by Hey Harriet. If you love shadows, stop by and check it out. Better yet, submit a shot of your own!

I captured this delicate shadow while exploring in Hyalite Canyon. This particular trail cuts through a forest that grows near the reservior. The trees let in just enough light to make for great shadow play. One of the more interesting shadows I found that day was left by the leaves near this rock.

Sundays in My City - Intense Gaze

Sundays in My City is hosted by Unknown Mami. Each week she is kind enough to let us share a slice of our city with the world. Check it out. Better yet, join in the fun and share a bit of your city with us!

This week is a bit slow, so I decided to post a candid shot of our cat. He was as ever, very curious as to what I was doing. However, he got bored and decided it was more fun to roll around in the sun on our porch. I was on the ground which gave me the perfect eye level shot of his intense gaze.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Around the House

Just a few insects I found hanging around the house literally. Well, hanging on the outside of the house anyway. Apparently they're just as excited as we are to have the siding on the house replaced.

Crane Fly


Unidentified Spider
Hoping he ate the mosquito!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Skywatch Friday - East Fork Hyalite Trail

This week's Skywatch Friday comes from one of my many wanderings into Hyalite Canyon this past summer.

I had often wondered where the road led that forked off from the road that goes to Palisade Falls. I was finally able to manuver all the way up that particular passage and it brought me to the trailhead for East Fork Hyalite Trail. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this is the trail that goes to Emerald and Heather Lakes. Emerald is closer at 4.5 miles. I didn't even come close. Not being in top shape it takes me awhile to hike that much less come back, so I set out to see as much as I could. It's a very nice trail. And even in summer still has snow on it. That also slowed me up a bit. I would love to have the time to make it all the way to both lakes. That might require some camping equipment at my pace. In the meantime, you can get an idea of how beautiful the area is from the photo below which was taken from the parking area.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Identification Can Be a Bear

One of the frustrations of being a mere photographer of insects is that it can be a bit difficult to tell what you've got a picture of. The first shot below looks like a wasp or hornet if one takes a quick glance. However, it's a hover fly mimic. Identifying this insect is a bit easier as flies eyes are up front as opposed to being on the sides of the head. Also their wings sit out away from the body. Wasps wings lay a little closer to the body and are thinner. Bees wings tend to fold over the body.

The next photo is a bit tougher. Mainly because I can't tell if it's a small bee or a small wasp. I'm leaning towards bee. However, it's difficult to tell from wing shape, head size or what the eyes look like.

I supppose I could get an etomology text book and start an insect collection. Maybe even take some classes. I haven't yet because, for the most part, I'm OK with a general idea of what I have a photographed. If I can get it down to the species level, that's great. If not, I know it's a fly. Also, I don't have the heart to gas insects then pin them to a board.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrel

Looks like a chipmunk, acts like a chipmunk, however, not a chipmunk. The cute little guy below is a Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrel. A rather tame one at that. Or perhaps he had poor eye sight. When I first met his acquaintance, I was coming back down the trail from Palisade Falls. He came so close to me so quickly, I was taken aback. At one point, he was about four inches from my feet. I thought, if he bites me, he's getting kicked into the next state. Luckily, it didn't come to that.

Still not entirely sure he was not infected with rabies, I began to look for signs of the disease. Foaming of the mouth being about the only one that came to mind. Of course the problem there is that is one of the last signs of the disease. He could still have rabies and look perfectly fine thus my hesitation to let him too close to me.

At some point, he stopped scampering so close to me, hesitated a moment, and came to the realization that I was there. He took off like a shot. Thus the action capture. So I'm back to he doesn't see too well or he's too focused on gathering his food. Either way, I'm glad he didn't have rabies.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Butterflies and Moths at Buffalo Jump

Last time I visited one of my favorite haunts, Madison Buffalo Jump State Park, the moths and butterflies were out in full force. Not always the easiest creatures to photograph since they aren't very good at sitting still. Even so, I found a few willing subjects which always makes my day.

Plume Moth

Melissa Blue

Common Checkered Butterfly

I think this is another blue,
but I can't positively identify which kind.

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sundays in My City - A Buzzing World

Sunday's in My City is hosted by Unknown Mami. Here we all have a chance to show off the wonderful cities we live in. Drop by and check it out or perhaps take a moment and post a few shots of your hometown.

My life has kicked into hyperdrive lately and as a result, I have not had many opportunities to get out and about. Today however, I decided to at least get in my daily walk. Excellent decsion. When I got near the dandelion like weeds near the golf course, I found them abuzz with activity. The bees were out and about gathering the last remaining bits of pollen.

Writing of remains, when I got home my son and his friend informed me of an old bees' nest that had been found during some work we were having done on the house. I took a moment to snap some shots. I can't really tell what happened to the bee lying on top of it. If it never quite fully formed or if it got squashed somehow.

If creepy crawlies aren't your thing, drop by Sunday's in My City for more shots of various cities.

Shadow Shot Sunday - Beautiful Wedding

We had the pleasure of attending a beautiful wedding set in a very gorgeous spot by the river. Below is the gazeebo post ceremony. I just loved the way the subtle shadows softened the structure. Very picturesque.

For more shadows of all varieties stop by Shadow Shot Sunday at Hey Harriet's.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Skywatch Friday - Path to Palisade

Earlier this summer I had the chance to go on one of my favorite hikes - Palisade Falls in Hyalite Canyon. The hike is pretty easy and the falls are definitely spectacular. However, the scenery along the way is nothing to sneeze at either. On that day, I stopped to snap a quick shot of a rock outcropping that stands over a landslide near the falls. A beautiful view in its own right.

For more spectacular skies drop by Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Predator and Prey

During the summer I ventured out to one of my favorite spots, Madison Buffalo Jump State Park. The desert environment provides plenty of opportunities to photograph many varieties of insects and spiders. Also, the critters I find out there are unique to that environment and a break from the usual batch of insects that I find closer to my house.

That particular day I lucked out in that the circle of life was in full swing. I was able to capture a robber fly and a crab spider both with prey. Some days I'm so glad I'm not an insect.

Crab Spider with Queen Ant

Bearded Robber Fly with Prey

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Monday, September 5, 2011

Cottonwoods and Insects

On our way to Iowa, we pass through Broadus, Montana. This town meets up perfectly with our need to stop and take a break. We ususally do this at Cottonwood Park. A charming place with huge cottonwood trees, playground equipment and lots of flowers. Perfect for shade, relaxation or, if you're me, photo ops.

Last time I went through, I noticed that the cottonwoods had attracted a large aphid population. While cool to photograph, they were wrecking havoc on the tree leaves. I'm hoping some lady bugs will relocate and take care of the pesky critters.

Bonus Shot of a Beetle on a Flower
If it were a ladybug, it could eat the aphids

Life in an Iowa Meadow

While visiting my dad in Iowa, I always make a point of going out into the meadow behind his house searching for subjects to photograph. In my case, it would be anything small with many legs. The meadow never disappoints me. In fact, I never cease to be amazed at how much life lives in a couple of acres of flowers.

The plume moth, however, was not one of those specimens. I found him when I arrived back at the house. He was clinging to the front screen door. It seems that I can't go wrong visiting Iowa in the summer. No matter where I look, I always find some interesting bug or spider to photograph.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sundays in My City - Bozeman Sculpture Park

Sundays in My City is hosted by Unknown Mami. Each Sunday she gives us all a chance to show off our hometowns. Stop by and check out all the cities from around the world.

For this week's post, I took my inspiration from our weekly visit to the Bozeman Public Library. This week the Bozeman Sculpture Park opened near the library and I couldn't resist taking a few moments to get some quick shots. I'm sure I will be a regular visitor in this section of the park as I didn't have nearly enough time to explore all the fascinating angles of these scultpures. I'm like Penny Marshall only no one will lend me a film camera:)

Enjoy and drop by Sundays in My City to visit other fascinating places.

Shadow Shot Sunday - Leaves and Seeds

Hosted by Hey Harriet, Shadow Shot Sunday gives us all a chance play with light and shadow.

This week I was sticking pretty close to home, so I kept my eyes open for the little things that capture my attention. It keeps me entertained in so many ways. As luck would have it, when I went out the door to run errands, I saw a milkweed seed caught in a spider web. While photographing it, I noticed the long delicate threads of the seed made a very cool shadow.

My second capture caught my eye as I was flying down the trail on my daily walk. The shades of green and gray mesmerized me, so I made a quick stop to capture the moment.

Enjoy and have a lovely Shadow Shot Sunday.