A while back I spent some time photographing a series of images that reflected the creatures in my garden. Entitled “Garden Portraits” here are three of my favourites.
The first is a female rain spider on her egg sack. A very caring mum looking after her babies. Canon MPE65 and MT24EX flash system
The next is a Lynx spider, the first spider that I found in my garden. Similar gear was used to the above.
The last one is a little Salticid spider, again the gear used was similar to the above.
This last weekend has been wet and I have needed to get some work done on my butterfly talk. It is scheduled for next Saturday and I wanted to get some wing scale shots to include in the talk. I shot Junonia oryhthia madagascariensis, the Eyed Pansy, Junonia oenone oenone, the Blue Pansy and the Ioulaus sidas, the Saphire. The images were hard to get with the lighting being very tricky but I shot these few photos at between 3 and 5 x with the MPE 65.
The first photograph is of the wing of the Blue Pansy, J oenone oenone. Part of the blue flash is visible.
This next one is a wing eye spot of the Eyed Pansy, J orythia madagascariensis. Again the scales are fascinating.
Thid is the anal fold on the hind wing of Iolaus sidas, not the long hairlike scales near the fold.
And to add a something a little different, a Salticid
And a first instar (a few hours old) larva of Dannaus chryssippus, the Monarch. Notice the lumps on the first and fourth segments that will eventually become very elongated.
I have, for a while now, been photographing butterfly eggs with my MPE 65. The most recent egg that I have done is that of the Banana nightfighter, Moltena fiara. This egg was found on the leaf of the host plant, Striletzia nicholai, here in my Wembley garden. It never ceases to amaze me how beautifully structural these eggs are with the ribbing to add support and allow a thinner wall.
These next two portraits of a fly and an antlion were great fund to do, just battled with the DOF.
Finally, a while back I noticed this mint Colotes annae annae (Scarlet Tip) male in the garden. I never thought that I would see one here as this is a bushveld bug but here it is feeding on my Pentis!
This last Friday I visited Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal to attend a Christmas lunch. While on the way up I stopped off at The Aloes Nursery and brought a few plants. I loaded them up, had lunch and then drove home. When I was offloading the plants I found that I has an unexpected visitor, a female rain spider complete with a large egg sac. I was able to keep her still and fire off a few photographs before putting here in a safe place to wait for the little ones to hatch.
Here are a few photos of her (portraits) all taken with the MPE 65 and MT24EX twin light set up on the Canon.
Yesterday I was wondering through the flowers at home and found a mating pair of weevils, the in copula shots were rather dissapointing however here are two, one taken with the 100mm f2.8 USM and the other with the MPE 65 at approximately 3x. Both shots are lit with the MT24EX twin light.