Little & Large

I had a dreadful night – barely two hours sleep. How I dragged myself out of bed this morning I don’t know. I headed North West to Mai Po. Not for birds today but to see what the dragonfly situation was like. I was underwhelmed. One species guaranteed at MPNR at this time of year is the rather flashy Variegated Flutterer or Rhyothemis variegata arria. The trouble is they rarely settle. At  one point I had a cloud of them above my head. The macro lens wasn’t much use I’m afraid. Eventually I found a spot where 2 or 3 were settling, just not close to where I wanted them to be. As regular readers know my approach is to take an insurance shot first. Once I know I have a half-decent shot that is in focus I will try to get closer and in some  instances I may even try to do something other than a plain portrait. It depends what the environment is like.

After half an hour of faffing about this was about the best I could manage – small in frame but with a nice background. Little it may be but I quite like this.Variegated Flutterer SIFAnd then Large came along. The problem with Large VF is that it is a decidedly scruffy specimen. But arguably it has a nicer background. So you pays your money and you takes your pick. Little or Large. Eddie or Sid.Variegated-FluttererI did take a few other photos and one is another blue sky day record shot, showing part of the Mai Po reserve in the foreground and the Glorious People’s Republic of Shenzhen in the background.MPNR ShenzhenAnd although the odes didn’t do much today there were plenty of butterflies. The skippers were somewhat preoccupied and didn’t budge at all when I set the camera up.Chinese Dart TBCI think they are Chinese Dart in cop. Potanthus confucius. But Confucius say, I’m not sure. One of his more popular sayings, I believe. The next chappy is the Great Egg-fly, Hypolimnas bolina.Great-Egg-flyAnd finally, Common Jay, Graphium doson. I’m not sure why I had to go to Mai Po to take this as I have found their larvae in our garden as well as those of the Tailed Jay. But here it is.Graphium-dosonThe drive home was horrendous. Long static tailbacks of traffic. Thank heavens for AC in the jalopy. I’m getting too old for this lark.







26 thoughts on “Little & Large

  1. Simply mind blowing awesome shots. Thanks Andrew. You must have a lot of camera equipment but even more, a real passion for going out and doing this work. Well done.

    • You are very kind Gerard. It does need a degree of passion and the kit helps but I do think I shall need to ‘de-clutter’ soon!

  2. Good heavens, is that really how moths ‘do’ it?? How fascinating 😉

    The little AV looks exactly like a fairy to me but then I still believe in Father Christmas and the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. My absolute favourite is Hypolimnas bolina – the sheen on those glorious chocolate coloured wings and the pattern on the tips is perfection. So sorry to hear about your bad night, it was a bit like that chez le Nevs, a lot of tossing and turning. At least you’ve had some sun today and blue skies, it’s been pouring here for most of the day.

    Great work for just 2 hours sleep Andrew, you’ve done us proud!

    • Thanks Lottie. It didn’t feel very productive but when you scan the final images sometimes one or two offer up a pleasant surprise. I put one more up on G+ but I thought I had used my quota for one day. Please don’t tell me the Easter Bunny isn’t real. We chat regularly. I got to know him through the film Harvey. I did consider changing my name to Elwood P Dowd but decided against it in the end. His best line was:

      “Well, I’ve wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I’m happy to state I finally won out over it.”

  3. All in all I’d this looks like a good day’s work, Andrew.
    I very much like the VF in it’s nicely blurred environs and already mentioned the skippers en-cop. Yes Lottie. No eye contact and no need to blurt out less then heartfelt sentiments in the heat of the moment. 🙂
    Is it the heat, Andrew? Sleep is hard to maintain here in the H&H. You are probably still too young for Mr. Prostate to wake you but once he comes calling I can rarely get back to Nod.

    • The heat is a contributor, Steve but I always struggle when I know I have an early start planned. It seems to be my punishment for voluntary sleep deprivation. I just lie awake in case the alarm doesn’t go off. Mr. P has not yet bothered me and is well monitored by my doctor. 😦

  4. Brilliant photographs as usual. Even with just two hours sleep.
    We woke up to fish fly season today. A strange aquatic species that flock ashore for a couple of weeks and shed their skins on our window screens and walls. Totally harmless, but scary to the uninitiated. The heaped up old bodies can leave a very fishy smell on the beach for a while.

    • The fish flies sound horrid, Rod. We get a problem with flying ants or termites. They swarm on hot, wet nights and if you leave a window open and a light on it causes a dreadful mess. At least they don’t smell fishy!

  5. “Large” Variegated Flutterer – looks like a WWI aeroplane more than most dragon flies…
    You’ll have to drop me a line if you’re going to Mai Po…. I spent the morning thrashing weeds in the yard !

    • Might do an earlyish run to LV tomorrow if you are interested. But the traffic was horrendous yesterday so I’m not sure whether that is now normal or I was just unlucky.

  6. Small for me Andrew, I much prefer the composition and the background is more subtle. I can see this printed on the wall. You had any more thoughts about selling prints? I think you are missing a trick there?

    • No Mark, I have not tried selling prints. I feel I would have to set up a proper website and take it ‘seriously’. Currently it is serious but with no pressure to sell. I post on G+ and here – far less on FB these days – but that’s it. I also prefer the small version. The more I see of nature photography the more I feel the close up portrait is a) a saturated market and b) lacking in creativity. That’s a bit rich coming from me I guess but I do like experimenting.

  7. The last one is outstanding and so beautiful! How lucky you are to have so many different species on your doorstep (more or less…)
    The first shot is my favourite, I just like wildlife photos that is showing lots of habitat with a nice background – well done!!!

    I hope you had a good sleep after returning home 😉

    • Thanks Sandra. I slept like a log last night but another early start tomorrow. Mr Holmes and I are doing Long Valley 🙂

  8. You have a lot of aliens over there. Little and Large look like aliens with wings.

    Blue sky? Looks like lots of cloud with a bit of blue sky. Blue sky is all mine, all mine. Haven’t seen a cloud for ages.

    I’m wondering how the Chinese Darts do that. I’m trying to get my head around it and can’t. Mr Chinese Dart must be extremely flexible, or something.

    The last two are pretty. Not so much of the alien look about them.

    • I think L&L would be in a huff if they knew they were being described as aliens. I find them rather splendid. The CDs have probably decided this way works best. They both look rather bored anyway. And there was another couple right next door in the same position so it must be the butterfly mating season.

      Clouds go well with blue skies, as long as they are white and fluffy. Grey or black we can do without. You are fortunate to be in a CFZ. (Cloud free zone).

      • I’m wondering if I should suggest the CD position to Mr Welsh? (who was delighted to tell me of the rugby result). I can imagine collapsing with laughter – no not about the rugby.

        Blue skies, nothing but blue skies should probably be my theme tune at the moment.

  9. I agree about the top one. The pose, though static, appears incredibly dynamic, as if she were windswept. A little “breathing room” around the subject is no problem at all.

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