Insects

Pollination in Kreuzberg

Last summer when I was in Berlin I visited the Kreuzberg district several times to enjoy the street art, graffiti and just the vibrant atmosphere in general.  At one point, I stopped to look at these wonderful flowers that smelled amazing.  This little bee thought they tasted just as good!


A little dragonfly

A dragonfly - 2014 © Christopher Martin

This dragonfly flew by me when we were at a friend’s wedding near Osoyoos.  I took that to be a good sign and was not surprised in the least that it turned out to be a great day.


Bees busy at work

A balancing act - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 70-200mm lens at 200mm: 1/1000th of a second at f/4 on ISO 400

I walked along the Bow River at the west end of Baker Park.  The pathway was quiet and I was happy to see a deer bedded down for an afternoon’s rest staring at me passively as I stopped for a second and then carried on.  Always a good indication that things are pretty calm.

Resting in Baker Park's woods - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 70-200mm lens at 140mm: 1/320th of a second at f/10 on ISO 1600

When I turned around and walked back upstream, I took an interest in a group of soft purple wildflowers.  The wind was pushing them gently and I was thinking about a long exposure blur.  Watching them more closely, they were hosting a steady line of pollen collectors.  These bees and wasps were buzzing from one blossom to the other.

Bee's work - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 70-200mm lens at 200mm: 1/1000th of a second at f/4 on ISO 400

Flight of the bumblebee - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 70-200mm lens at 200mm: 1/1000th of a second at f/4 on ISO 400

I wished for my macro lens but the 70-200mm I had with me coupled with some decent cropping resulted in something close to what I was envisioning.

Honey: Step One - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 70-200mm lens at 200mm: 1/1600th of a second at f/4 on ISO 400

The flowers knitted in tight clusters along the path occupied my attention for the rest of the walk.  Even when the creatures had been left behind, my eyes stayed with them.

A busy neighbourhood - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 70-200mm lens at 75mm: 1/125th of a second at f/16 on ISO 400


Butterflies on the West Fork Trail


Hiking along the West Fork Trail in the Coconino National Forest in June was a nice break from the heat of Sedona’s red rock landscape.  This trail winds up Oak Creek which streams down a long canyon which is both deep and narrow allowing it to provide shade through much of the day and creates a cool oasis to enjoy.  I had some great landscape image opportunities during my walk which made it a great outing for me.

At one turn in the path, I came across a large flight of butterflies feeding at a large patch of wildflowers.  The orange and black wings stood in sharp contrast to the flowers and the dark foliage.

My daughter loves butterflies and moths so I was happy to spend a few minutes to capture a few images she might like.  One of many nice surprises along this casual path through the rocks.


Flights of the dragonflies

(please click on an image for a sharper, higher resolution version)

While waiting on the lake at Wild Rose for a heron to drop out of the trees and do something (ideally fly towards me and then start fishing closely 🙂 I enjoyed watching the dragonflies that were buzzing in and out of the grasses along the shore around me.  The courting seems to be in full swing so there are wild chases along the water, hovering showdowns and kamikaze dives.

I end up turning my lens away from the bird and towards these far more cooperative fliers.  Here are a few images of some of the dragonflies that I was able to photograph and keep in focus.  It was very tricky using a long telephoto (500mm with a 1.4x extender) to get them sharp but the ones that turned out made me pretty happy.