Oh Baby its Hot Outside

Its been so hot that the bees are spending much of their time hanging around on the outside of the hive.  Especially at night.  Even though the temperature drops down into the 70’s they will still be found bearding on the front of the hive.  The sound of thousands of little wings fanning away the heat is mesmerizing and will go on for hours after the sun sets.

1:30 PM:  They were very busy flying to and fro, in and out of the hive all day today.  Their mission in life, in spite of the heat, is to find nectar and keep the hive going and growing.

10:30 PM:   It is amazing to see everyone sitting on the front stoop and fanning to draw off the heat.  I switch off the light.   I love standing there in the dark to listen to the hum of all those little wings.

And tomorrow they will go out and do it all over again.

A Garden Sprite

Out in the garden this afternoon I survey my little bit of earth and it is hot.  Parched really.  What’s new, huh?

But the heat is always made bearable when I find something so lovely as this.

This little Garden Sprite is known as a Clearwing Hummingbird Moth and with good reason!  It can hover, sip nectar, and then reverse direction just like a hummingbird.  Very clever moth don’t you agree?

Keep your eyes open the next time you go out into the garden, and who knows, you may discover a little hummingbird about two inches long.   But look closely… for you may have found a little Garden Sprite on your own bit of earth.

You can read up on her here:  http://www.birdsandblooms.com/Butterflies/Summer/Hummingbird-Clearwing

Working in Macro: Trying to master a new skill.

After seeing the work of Rick Lieder on Andrew Tyzack’s site:  Bees in Art, I have been fascinated with perfecting my technical skill with my camera and also in capturing the subject to best effect.  The following photos are some taken around the Farmlet yesterday. The first three are a Carpenter Bee on Lavender, the fourth is pumpkin blossoms.

1)  Shot looks a bit fuzzy to me.

2) Seems a bit more focused, but…

3) Is same shot as 2 with some brightness reduction, increased contrast, which seemed to allow a closer sharper view.  To much?

4) These are pumpkin blossoms after the rain.  It is about 7:00 AM with overcast conditions and flash.

I hope you will leave some comments and suggestions (technical if you can) to help me with my quest towards the perfect shot of my subjects.

Thanks!

Shot 1

Shot 2

Shot 3:  Its number 2with sharpness and contrast work.

Shot 4:  Pumpkin Blossoms