Monday, January 9, 2017

My insect (and arachnid) photography


Note:  The Ultimate Blogging Challenge is in its ninth day. In my email today, I got this message: "Let people in on your life with some photographs." I thought, that sounds good and I chose to share a bunch of pictures of insects and spiders with you. You're probably asking, "Why are insects and spiders the thing that you would choose as a way to let people in on your life?" That's a fair enough question.

I love to be outdoors as much as possible. When I am in the natural world, I feel that I am in my element. So I was grateful to get opportunities to learn more about that world that I love so much, via a Master Gardener class and a horticulture class. When I was in the Master Gardener class, I learned about many aspects of gardening, horticulture, botany, and entomology. We studied soil ecology and how to choose plants that grow in the soil type that we have in our gardens without having to amend the soil dramatically. I found everything about gardening to be fascinating. But the thing that I was most intrigued by was entomology. In the class, we had several sessions devoted to insects. One was a general discussion of entomology, one focused on garden pests, and the other one centered on bees. I learned that insects are numerous: 75 percent of the species in the animal kingdom are insects.

I love insects and spiders because they have many great qualities that I wish that I had.
  • they are strong. Ants, for example, can carry many times their own weight.
  • they know where to go. Monarch butterflies are the only butterflies to make a two way migration, traveling up to 3,000 miles. They travel between 50 and 100 miles per day.
  • they produce good stuff. Honeybees, of course, produce honey. Shellac is a resin produced by the female lac bug, in the forests of India and Thailand. Silk is produced by various types of silkworm, such as the mulberry silkworm, a caterpillar.
  • they provide us with food by pollinating many of our fruits and vegetables, such as apple and pear trees. 
  • They take good care of the soil. Some insects act as decomposers, turning dead organic matter into soil. That effectively creates compost. It makes the soil better.
  • spiderwebs are amazing! They are brilliant feats of engineering. Their construction is absolutely amazing.
I love entomology and I love art, too, so I have spent quite a bit of time photographing insects and spiders in gardens and on driveways or where ever else I could find them. Some of these photographs could end up by being reference shots for future paintings.

Below are the portraits of insects and spiders.

Spiders



This is a garden spider. A garden spider is an orb weaver and is a very common spider in suburban and urban areas. It produces a symmetrical type of orb web.

This one could be either a marbled orb weaver or a shamrock spider. Both have round abdomens. They make spiraling webs.
Insects
This is a box elder bug, a North American species of true bug.
Bumblebees have round bodies covered with soft hair. They are related to honeybees. They feed on nectar and they are pollinators. They are very photogenic bees, as you will see below.





My question to you: What type of group of animals that live in your area do you like the best and why?

2 comments:

cleansedpalate said...

Love your photos! When we first moved to TX I learned about fire ants...sheesh can they bite! I grew up in the Northeast and we did not have them. Imagine my surprise the first time I accidentally stepped on a small mound and found myself swarmed - then bitten - by them!! I also spent the past three years in St. Thomas...tons of [huge] bugs there, too!! As a kid bugs kinda freaked me out. I have been acclimated to them by now, though. :-)

Alana said...

I love birds-I always have. Even if they didn't sing, chirp, or eat insects, I would still love them. I even grow sunflowers for beauty and so they can eat the seeds. My thank you to them.

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