Colour shift and crisis, what chrysis?

A funny thing happened to me on the way to the dragonfly pond this morning.

In musical terms, courtesy of Paul Simon (amended):

They give us those nice bright colors
Give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, oh yeah
I got a Canon camera
I love to take a photograph
So mama don’t take my Kodachrome away”

But that is exactly what happened. I looked at something and all I could see was black and white. I think it was because I have seen a number of plant images recently that were particularly effective in monochrome. My mind by-passed the greens and I felt I was looking at the structure and textures rather than the colours. If this sounds bizarre, pretentious, crackpot…. well maybe it is. It is however true. And so here is one image processed first as was and then as I saw it.

Arum Lily

First concern is that it is an Arum Lily. I hope so!!

But then I struggle with which I prefer. You can also see that I got so excited that I shot wide open and lost sharpness at the bottom of the leaf. I do think black & white shows off the structure better but you know what, I do like the greens. I think I’ll have to go back again and reshoot this if it hasn’t deteriorated too much but on balance, I like both. Just to be clear, I am making no claims about the artistic merit of these (indeed they wouldn’t be keepers in my view), I am simply explaining how I saw them in a way that for me was totally different. I invariably shoot ‘street’ in B&W but rarely my natural history shots.

These were not however my favourite shots of the day. The range of dragonflies at “my” little reserve is not huge but you can, if patient and willing to contort the body a little, find some nice photo opportunities.

Here is an unusual shot of a common dragonfly – sort of “bum on” shot:

Trithemis aurora

Isn’t that pretty?

And here is the other ode of the day:

Orthetrum chrysis

Much more conventional angle but a luscious background bokeh. This is I think a Red-faced skimmer. I base this mainly on another image and I only hope it is the same dragonfly!

Red-faced skimmer

I still have a few to go through but that’s your lot for today, folks. Thank you again for dropping by.

Orgy time?

Well Orgyia Postica perhaps. I had a bad morning today and was out barely 30 minutes. I felt a little light-headed before I left home and the heat, humidity and perhaps the heavy pack conspired to leave me feeling breathless and woozy in short order.  My wife drove out to check on me and drove behind me the short distance back to the house. A couple of hours later I feel fine again. Strange. Maybe some dehydration had set in.

So there was not a great deal of time to take pictures but I found this larva at the dragonfly pond.

Orgyia postica

The trick here was to focus through a metal fence – not easy. I had to get down low and try to position the lens to exclude all the wire mesh.

My good friend Trithemis festiva was out again:

Trithemis festiva

And these were two shots I took whilst waiting for the St. Shirley’s Ambulance to arrive so they are a bit shaky on focus 😦

Ariadne ariadne

Hopefully better luck next time.