Featherlegs and humility

When I re-blogged GMB Akash’s post yesterday it clearly struck a chord. One thing you can do if you are interested is to see if you would like to buy his book. I have done so today and paid by PayPal.

There is more about it here:

I have also exchanged some e mails with him to see if I can help in other ways. He makes me feel very humble. Life goes on however and I had a short excursion again today. I came back with one half-decent shot and another that might have been but wasn’t quite.

First, the shot I was happy with:

Copera ciliata

Copera ciliata

Taken in the shade but I have tried to remove the colour cast (the benefits of shooting in RAW). I have posted images of Black-kneed Featherlegs before but it is always a nice one to find and very easy too.

The second almost but not quite shot is this one:

Lyriothemis elegantissima

Lyriothemis elegantissima

The Forest Chaser has also appeared before. This image needs a bit more DoF.

I took both of these at my usual pool that others seem to ignore. The Tiger Hawker was there again today and I took a couple of frames but nothing special. Oh alright, I’ll post one of them.


This is spoiled for me by the background which is ugly and cluttered. However this side shot shows nicely the blue mark, which is usually hard to see. Oh and the tail-tip isn’t sharp either – couldn’t get the shutter speed. Even at 1/200s there was movement.

And that is it for the day. TTFN.



Pond life and photography

Now I am not going to write about politicians so please don’t get too excited. I know its been a bad day for some. The Empress Lottie has bent a contact (she’s not saying which one), Sandra has been radar zapped by the Swissies and Yvonne has been let down by an IT “helpline” – who would have thought it. Only Steve and Murphy seem to be happy as The Wanderer has returned. The Murph is doing canine cartwheels.

No, today I ventured out to the local lotus pond and cast my photographic net around for things to keep me occupied. Luckily the rain held off. The frogs were at it like knives and I may post some croakers later but let’s kick off with a damselfly. Copera ciliata, the vernacular name for which was given by Graham Reels. He dubbed it the Black-kneed featherlegs.


The art of camouflage is pretty highly developed in nature and this spider was first rate:


I was playing with my new extension tube today (as boys do) and here is a lichen courtesy of the Canon 180mm F3.5 macro lens with a 36mm Kenko extension tube, mounted on a 5D3.


And finally two shots converted to B&W, just for the hell of it.

Foliage around tree trunk

Rotting Wood

Foliage around tree trunk

Foliage around tree trunk

You want frogs? Alright then, close ups from the SX50 super-zoom.

Chinese Bullfrog

Chinese Bullfrog

Günther's Frog

Günther’s Frog

I hope the spider didn’t put too many of you off.  Constructive feedback always appreciated.

Insecta Clouseau

Yes, it is time to be a detective……. do you have a favourite sleuth? I am on a re-read of the Lord Peter Wimsey series at the moment. A complete anachronism but delightfully written. This follows fast on my Ngaio Marsh phase. However what I need is not some fictional bod to track down who killed Colonel Mustard but someone who can tell me what these little chaps are:

To give you a sense of scale, I would imagine each of these is no more than 1cm long, maybe a tad more, maybe a tad less. They were almost too far away to get a decent record shot but with the joy of Photoshop I salvaged a reasonable picture. Clearly they are some species of Orthoptera – grasshopper, katydid, that sort of thing. They do not appear in any of my books. I have posted the image in all the usual places and drawn a blank. I tried an image search on Google too.

What colour are they? Chocolate brown and blue? Lavender? Violet? My wife says blue so as far as I am concerned that’s the answer. The leggings are white with some rather natty black socks and white boots. They cut a very distinctive dash. But nobody can tell me what they are. I found them at my usual pond so I can’t believe they are rare. Perhaps this is a stage in the life cycle rarely seen. So, if anybody wishes to be a budding Insecta Clouseau, please see if you can beat me to the ID.

UPDATE MARCH 2018 – the species has been identfied as Gesonula punctifrons on iNaturalist. I have subsequently found another matching image so all my research was wrong!!

Now there are some more images to show from yesterday. Here are two damselflies:

Copera ciliata – teneral


Ceriagrion auranticum ryukyuanum


Neither is common. Indeed they probably fall (again) into the widespread and / or abundant category. The idea however is to present them in a decent light, no more, no less.

And as I am showing odonata, here is a dragonfly from yesterday to go with them:

Brachydiplax chalybea flavovittata


Tomorrow I was going out again but alas the car man cometh. Not Carmen, car man. We traded in our 8-year-old jalopy a few months ago for a brand spanking new one. It scares me. It has lots of screens and buttons, no ignition key, just a press-button starter. I need to read the manual simply to work the aircon. It has gear changers on the steering wheel. I haven’t dared to try to find out how to put a CD or six in yet. It has two handbrakes. Yes…. two. And of course because everything is electronic it can all go wrong just like my laptop. The problem is that the brakes judder when the car stops. It is very disconcerting. And quite worrying. It doesn’t feel safe. I have found a way round it – pumping the brake slightly before I finally pull up – a bit like double de-clutching 50 years ago. Aha! said the car man. I think I know what’s wrong. Its the software. So I can throw away my crank handle and feeler gauges and hope that plugging it in to Google will fix it? Or something like that. Mr. Car Man will arrive at 10.30 tomorrow and check whether his suspicion is right. If so it is only an hour’s job.

I suppose after 2.5 months I should have been expecting it to go wrong. Well it is a Teutonic contraption. Or as the spellchecker insists, a tectonic one. An Audi Q5 to be precise.  Rücksprung Durch Technik as we used to say. I knew we should have bought another Japanese car but I suppose it was a good job we didn’t as the locals may have torched it if we had. The Japs aren’t very popular in China right now. Something to so with Treasure Island. Bit odd how all these people go rioting with a Canon or Nikon round their neck. Probably made in China.

And on that controversial note, here endeth the lesson.