Land of the dragonflies

Today, I visited Back Bay Wildlife Refuge… or as I now think of it, Land of the Dragonflies! Hoping to get some actual macro shots when I go back later this week, but for now– these are my favorites.


it’s been awhile…

Awhile….?  Wow, like 8 months… Where has the time gone? What have I been doing?  I’m not sure.  Let’s see– I’ve started quilting again and made a few of those, that’s probably one of my main time-sucks.  And work has gotten more intense, so I’m kinda exhausted. And there’s been some home improvement projects going on…  I also adopted a dog in February and she’s great! She really isn’t the best togging buddy, though– but i just can’t bring myself to leave her home while i go out and spend time with my camera.  She’s just too much fun to be with 🙂

This weekend, however, I had to run some errands and I also wanted to take some photos. I haven’t had my camera out since June!!  In August, a new botanical garden opened in the Pittsburgh area– and while I did go out and take some photos on the opening weekend– I never got around to posting them.  When we were there, wandering through the meadow area, I was upset that I hadn’t brought my macro lens and swore that we would go back in the next week or two with it… that ended up being like 7 weeks.  I can’t wait for spring and hope to find lots of bees and beetles and shield bugs and lady bugs and maybe even a preying mantis! but for now, I found a ton of grasshoppers!  See…


caterpillar attack!

I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed… I just got back from 10days in Puerto Rico and have nearly 4000 photos to work my way through. Where to start?! What to show first?! Well, as I’ve begun the arduous task of tagging the photos, I noticed that I had a nice, manageable set caterpillar pictures. These gigantic critters were on a gorgeous pink flowering bush next to where I parked to check into our beach condo… they’d pretty much ravaged the plant. There were about 5-6 inches long, wider than my thumb, and quite hungry. There were about 20 of them on this poor bush, which now has no leaves. They’ve been pretty easy to identify since it’s the first thing that pops up in google when you search “puerto rico caterpillar”… a Tetrio Sphinx moth– not very exciting at all. Just a big brown moth. Kind of the ugly duckling in reverse…

the land of the eight-legged monsters

I went hiking in the “wildflower reserve” at Raccoon Creek State Park this weekend… I think it’s the third time I’ve been there and there is an astonishing lack of anything floral, which is quite shocking since you can drive anywhere and seen zillions of wildflowers along the side of the road in Pennsylvania. Either way, it is quite a lovely area and the hiking is nice because unlike some regions of the state “moderate hiking” really means “moderate”! On this little trek through the woods, I spotted an abundance of eight legged critters… so I had to shoot them all! Here’s just a few of my favorites– the ones that were kind enough to sit still for a moment and smile for the camera.

some surprise company

I love when I’m taking macro shots of flowers and get startled by some teeny tiny bug crawling around… of course, then it becomes a huge challenge to get a shot with the little buggers in focus! And I’m pretty sure that the smaller the bug, the faster they crawl. To be honest, the ants weren’t surprise guests as I knew it was that time for them to crawling around my peony buds– but this has shocked me in the past so it sort of counts 😉 But I certainly didn’t see the orange spidery things or the red bug until I was looking through the macro lens– they are so small you may need to click the pic to get a better view, and maybe find your reading glasses.


I may have told you this before, but my camera gives me superpowers…  See, I have always been quite scared of bugs.  Terrified, really.  But if I’m behind the camera, especially with a macro lens, an invincible force field surrounds me.   So now,  I tend to get very excited when my husband spots some cool bug (like the blue beast from this past spring).  However, while hiking on vacation, my husband spotted something that my camera can’t protect me from– A SNAKE! It was a big black snake, about 4ft long, stretched across the path as he yelled for me to come check “it” out.  Naturally, I assumed he found another cool centipede so bounding along I come.  and then i see it.  i scream. run the other direction about 10 feet and start calling him a few not-so-loving names.  Apparently, after knowing me for over 1/3 of my life– he never realized I was scared of snakes.  Eventually, after it started off, I was able to come a bit closer and get a few snaps- though only one turned out since I was still shaking.  Anyway, here’s a pic of the snake and a few other less scary creepy crawlies that I saw on vacation.