Ju Dee, Ju Dee, Ju Dee, or, lost in my own little great big world
Okay, so I do a terrible Cary Grant impersonation.
The reason for even trying is that a local reader of my blog had decided that they would like to accompany me when I went on one of my of my hikes. I’m not sure why she wanted to go along, I think that she thought that I was some kind of critter whisperer or something, and that when I step into the woods, the critters come running to me like in a Disney cartoon.
But, before I go any further along that line, I have to apologize to Judy for asking her to lug my tripod, and then not using it, even though there were times when I should have. I have a one track mind, and the reason that I wanted the tripod along was to shoot a specific species of flower, spotted bee balm. However, the spotted bee balm was a long way from reaching its peak.
I had great plans to always use my tripod for macro photography, but those plans sort of went by the wayside. I found that there were many times I simply could not set the tripod up in such a way as to be able to shoot the subject that I wanted to shoot. I started using the macro lens handheld, with disastrous results. Okay, I needed practice using it handheld, so for most of the last month, that’s what I’ve been doing. When I see a specific species of flower that I know that I should use the tripod for, then, I bring it with me and use it the next time I know I’ll see that species of plant, otherwise it remains at home to reduce the weight that I have to carry. I get into routines for no real reason, and then it becomes hard for me to break those routines. Right now, one of those routines is getting better using the macro lens handheld, so I forget the tripod entirely, even when I should or could use it.
So once again, I’m sorry that you carried the tripod with us for nothing, Judy!
One the great side of the ledger, I actually enjoyed having some one to talk to while I was hiking! After what had happened over the last few years, I had forgotten that there was such a thing as pleasant company on a nature walk.
It’s been several years since any one went along with me on any of my hikes, and I would say that I’m used to getting lost in my own little world, except, nature isn’t a little world, it’s a great big wonderful world, that never ceases to amaze me! The little world that I get lost in is that of my own thoughts, since I’m so used to be alone.
That brings me to something about myself that is very hard to explain, getting completely immersed in nature.
But, since the time that I have begun this post, I have decided that I should devote an entire post to the subject of how deeply immersed in nature I become at times, so I’ll focus the rest of this post on that day.
It was an enlightening day for me in a way, I knew in the back of my mind that I have been so intent on photographing insects and flowers that I haven’t been paying much attention to other subjects, and that hit home almost as soon as we started walking on the boardwalk that takes you across a corner of Pickerel Lake. I was so intent on finding water flowers or dragonflies to shoot that Judy had to point this turtle out to me.
I did see a water strider, and one of these days, I’ll get a good photo of one, until then, this will have to do.
I tried the new 10-18 mm lens out on this dead tree that’s very close to the boardwalk, to see if I could get the entire tree in the frame, I did.
But, that shot isn’t really all that great, I should have gotten down lower. The problem is the fence along the boardwalk to prevent people from falling into the lake. The next time I’m there, I’m going to see if I can shoot through one of the openings in the fence, or maybe from under the fence to get a better angle on the tree.
Here’s a few more photos that really don’t need any explanation.
It’s kind of funny, Judy was wondering why I wasn’t photographing more of the things that we were seeing along the trail, but, that’s from my new attitude towards photography. Many of the things that she asked if I was going to shoot were in poor light, or not very good examples of what ever species they were. It’s kind of nice not coming home with 400 images to sort through, most of them not very good, to come up with a few for a post. I’ve learned to go for good shots to begin with, since I’m outside every day, I have no trouble getting enough photos for my blog.
We did see a few birds, or I should say that I saw a few birds. Judy was afraid of spooking them, so she stayed well back, and I doubt that she saw very many. They were all the more common species of birds, and few of them were willing to pose for me on this day.
So, we walked along, with me occasionally shooting some of the other subjects to be found.
The butterfly was actually hanging upside down on a drooping milkweed flower, but looking at the image as I shot it, it just didn’t look right, so I rotated it. It still doesn’t look quite right, but at least it doesn’t give me vertigo looking at it. 😉
We reached the spot where the spotted bee balm grows.
The flowers weren’t much farther along than last week, but I did capture this wasp or bee feeding on either the nectar or pollen.
And, I tried for a good photo of the actual flowers.
The tripod wasn’t a complete waste of energy for Judy to have carried it, I used the case as a background for this shot to help make this grass stand out from a boring background.
Continuing on, Judy pointed these tiny mushrooms out to me, the heads of them were only about a half an inch (12 mm) in diameter.
I cropped this next one down, and I can see a tiny insect on the mushroom.
You may not have been able to see the insect with the smaller size of the photos here, but it’s on the left third of the head of the mushroom. I’m not sure, but I think that what look to be crystals or spots of lighter color in the mushroom are grains of sand. I’m loving the Tokina macro lens!
I also used it for these two photos.
But, I should have switched to the new 10-18 mm lens for that last one. I wasn’t trying to get super close, I was going for the vibrant colors, which I almost got, but the short depth of field of the macro lens means some of what’s in the photo is out of focus, detracting from the quality of the image. With the close focusing ability of the wide-angle lens, it would have been a better choice of lenses. I almost went back to re-shoot that, but didn’t want to take the time, silly me.
Here’s a few more photos that need no explanation.
Here’s an image where my one track mind took over again. I saw this bee balm and knew how I could capture it almost instantly.
I love the lighting in that shot.
Judy was looking at the way that the tendrils of a vine were wrapped around the stem of the bee balm, I tried lowering the camera slightly as well as stepping back, but then I lost the lighting that I wanted for the flower itself. You can see that I was getting a few of the petals of the flower over-exposed in this next photo.
It was one of many times that I should have done two things. One, take more time explaining to Judy what I was doing and why so that I wouldn’t seem like such a jerk. Two, I should have taken more time looking the lighting over, I may have been able to get a good photo of both the flower and the vine, which would have been even better than the flower alone. But, I didn’t do either.
I did shoot a couple of dragonflies.
I found another of the orange butterflies on swamp milkweed.
This butterfly was being dive-bombed by bees or wasps, and would flinch whenever the smaller insects got close.
I tried to time a photo to see if the smaller insects were stinging the butterfly or not, but even I’m not that good. 😉 So, another shot of the butterfly will have to do.
I was able to get a couple of photos of pickerel-weed that are better than before.
Judy pointed these out to me.
While I was sizing up this fungi for this photo.
And finally, as far as photos, this cardinal in jail.
It makes one wonder how birds are able to fly through the tangle of branches.
It was a very good day, and if Judy ever wants to come along again, I’d say yes in a heartbeat, as she is the first true nature lover that I’ve met in at least the last five years, other than a few of the people from the Muskegon County Nature Club. They tend to be serious birders who use spotting scopes and/or high-powered binoculars and bird from a distance, which doesn’t work out well for my efforts to photograph birds.
If you would like to read Judy’s take on the day, see photos of me crawling on my belly while shooting some of the photos in this post, or for just a good laugh, you can find a post that she did here.
That’s it for this one, except for this quote I found….
Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
…thanks for stopping by!