Bob Belas Photography Blog

Denizens of the meadow

I am never in greater peace of mind than when I hike along a stream. In part, this brings back memories of my childhood and my grandfather who took me on many hikes along a nearby brook. I learned where trout were in the stream and that black birch (I think it was black birch) bark has a wintergreen taste to it. I don't think he ever said it overtly but he taught me to respect nature and protect it when I could. Beyond these memories, hiking by myself and in places not heavily populated by other hikers is, for me, a zen-like experience. Of course, as followers of my blog may have noticed, I am completely captivated by nature and all of its flora and fauna. Photography and especially macrophotography gives me a chance to capture some of these moments of zen forthose times when I can't be on a hike. I hope my photographs do something similar for you.

Crossline skipper (Polites origenes)

Skippers are such neat butterflies and not easily identified to the species level. I'm guessing that this guy is a crossline skipper, but I may be wrong. They're everywhere in the meadows I walk through. This fellow (and I think he is a male of the species) was extraordinarily cooperative and just stayed still despite be repeated and rudely 'attacked' by my ever approaching macro lens and flash gun.

Hornet on golden rod

I haven't seen very many wasps this year, and in particular few yellow jackets. However, on this hike and in this meadow wasps were everywhere, to the point of being nuisances. I stumbled over two different, large yellow jacket holes in the ground and happily avoid stings. The hornet in this photo was very calm, enjoying the nectar from severa different flower species.

Sweat bee on final approach

Of course, sweat bees of multiple species were everywhere on this trip. They're extraordinarily industrious (as their common name implies) and rarely stay still for long. While this photograph isn't my best by a long shot, I like the sense of motion it imparts.

Hover fly on a daisy

There were several different species of daisy (daisy-like plants) in full bloom in this meadow, and their pollen and nectar attracted all sorts of insects. I watched this hover fly for 20 or 30 minutes prior to taking this photograph. Its behavior in selecting the next flower to land on was captivating. I also find the metallic quality to its wings very interesting.

I hope you also enjoy hiking and watching insects and other fauna. Please feel free to comment or send me an email with your thoughts.

Until next post, best wishes,