Emerge II

Watch a Monarch butterfly leave the chrysalis

For Father’s Day 2021 I received cages for raising Monarch butterflies. A large zippered door is a great feature, one side of the cage drops away for easier access and photography. Here are some photographs of the developing chrysalis and emergence.

In the first step of chrysalis development, the caterpillar climbs to a chosen location and weaves a silk pad from the abdomen. We are looking down on the caterpillar through the top of the woven material that forms our cage. The silk pad is a small white dot to the right.

Click photograph for a larger view and use Ctrl-+ (press down Ctrl, hold, then click plus sign repeatedly) to zoom in closer.

After the silk attachment pad is complete, the caterpillar releases itself to hang in a shape of the letter “J.”

The caterpillar sheds the outer skin as the chrysalis forms around it.

Just prior to emergence the chrysalis turns from opaque green to translucent Iappears dark). Here the wing pattern and body markings (white dots) are visible.

I used a Manfrotto tripod, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV dslr (high resolution video capability) and Canon’s EF 100mm f/2.8 USB macro lens for the following up close coverage of a Monarch emerging followed by wing expansion.

Click me for better experience viewing the following video. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page. Note the replay icon (an arrow circling counter-clockwise.

Thank You for visiting. 

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Woody Peony Series

Effect of f-stop

May 2019 Pam and I visited the New York State historical site of Olana, the former home of Fredrick Church of the Hudson River School of painting. Off the walk was a small planting of flowers, among them a type of “woody” peony in full bloom on Memorial Day weekend, well before the “herbaceous” type that is setting flower buds at that time. These were a striking reddish hue.

On returning home we were pleased to find our own “woody” peonies of the same hue in full bloom as well. On Memorial Day I used the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USB lens and a tripod to capture the following two macros of the flower center with the lens aperture fully open (f 2.8) and at its smallest (f 32).

Question for readers: Which do you prefer, and why?

Click either photograph for a larger version.
f 32
f 2.8
Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Wildflowers Late Winter / Early Spring 3

With the thermometer in the 40’s on March 12 these crocus were open, under the same magnolia tree as the buttercups from the 10th. The blooms close during cold snaps much as you see in the first post.

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A tripod held the composition steady and the timer was set to 2 seconds for extra stability. With the leaf body worn away by time, the remaining veining turns the form lacy.

Here is a slideshow today’s and previous wildflowers.

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Wildflowers Late Winter / Early Spring 2

With the thermometer in the 60’s on March 10 the “buttercups” of yesterday are open. We we first moved here, the plants were much thinner. I used fertilizer spikes on the Magnolia tree around which they grow. Each early the flowers pollinate, forming seeds and spreading.

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A tripod held the composition steady and the timer was set to 2 seconds for extra stability at the f25 setting.

Here is a slideshow of yesterday and today’s shots.

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

A fellow blogger, Audrey Driscoll’s Blog, provided the correct and exact species name Eranthis hyemalis. The latin name proclaims the early nature of its flowering both in the genus, “Eranthis” – “spring flower”, and species, “hyemalis” – winter flowering. The genus encompasses eight species, all early flowering winter aconite.

Reference: Wikipedia “Eranthis hyemalis” and “Eranthis.”

Wildflowers Late Winter / Early Spring 1

February 2020 I upgraded to the Canon 5D Mark IV dslr. These are the first images. These flowers are the first to bloom on our property, around a magnolia tree. Each year these “buttercups” grow thicker and spread. A fellow blogger, Audrey Driscoll’s Blog, provided the correct and exact species name Eranthis hyemalis. The latin name proclaims the early nature of its flowering both in the genus, “Eranthis” – “spring flower”, and species, “hyemalis” – winter flowering. The genus encompasses eight species, all early flowering winter aconite.

Click photograph for a larger view. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.

A macro lens was mounted, Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 Macro USB. A characteristic of this lens is to underexpose, so I set two stops higher. All these are f25.

With the thermometer hovering above freezing, these blooms did not open today. The calendar says “late winter”, these buttercups are singing “early spring.”

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills
Reference: Wikipedia “Eranthis hyemalis” and “Eranthis.”

Turtle Socks

Flowers from Mars

Two kettles of the preserve represent a pond and, below, a bog. Here is a photograph from the observation platform using the IPhone 7. I brought along the Canon dslr and 100 mm “macro” lens for the stars of this show…..

….purple pitcher plants (scientific name: Sarracenia purpurea). In past years, the central observation deck cut-out, hosted healthy pitchers. Today, invading high bush blueberries from the bog margin, crowded out the pitchers and the only flowering plant were among the grasses 8 to 10 feet away. My goal was photographing the extraordinary flowers.

Each flower rises from the base on a strong stalk. Here are the pitchers, also called “turtle socks”, flooded with sunlight.

A flower unlike any I have experienced, like the carapace of an insect, the reproductive element underneath a hood.

The posterior, there are only bracts.

I have, somewhere, macro images of the pitcher, with the downward facing hairs. Brought the wrong lens to capture this at a distance.

Click Me for the first post of this series.

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Correction

Eranthis hyemalis

A fellow blogger, Audrey Driscoll’s Blog, provided the correct and exact species name for the post “Wildflowers Late Winter / Early Spring.” The posts are updated. Thank You, Audrey.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Happy March Wedding Anniversary

Unexpected Beauty

Coronavirus is raging this March 20th (I schedule posts several weeks ahead now), on this day of our anniversary, easy for me to remember falling close to or on the Spring equinox. Earliest spring flowers were up for a week when I spied this group of crocus blooms on a hill. We do not remember them being there, so I called Pam to enjoy them.

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These are extra special, Pam’s parents planted them years ago. The above images are the same photograph. On the left, white balance is set to “cloudy.” At the time, late afternoon, the sun was behind low clouds, providing back light. Perfect lighting for flowers, which is why I interrupted springtime yard cleanup to run inside for the camera.

My intent was to increase the f-stop to over 20 for the following photograph. Metadata on the photograph shows I was only successful in increasing it from 5 to 5.7. ISO was increased from 100 to 400. There was an intermittent breeze and my intent was to avoid blur.

In retrospect, I neglected to change to Aperture mode so any change to F-stop I made was reset. This is a beginners mistake, so photograph turned out well. The colors are richer in the f/5.7 shot.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills