Bayscaping (Butterfly Garden) Redux

To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place…. I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.  — Elliott Erwitt

I first talked about Bayscaping — landscaping for habitat using native species — in April 2013, with an update in August of that year.  Well the garden has come along with fairly robust stands of Joe Pye Weed, Swamp Milkweed and butterfly weed and others which should attract numerous insects.  [Last year I mostly got a huge crop of aphids.]

Two years ago I saw 8 monarch caterpillars, but last year — nothing; very disappointing, but there was national concern about a huge kill of monarchs due to bad weather at the wrong time.  Hopefully this year will be better.  So far just some red and black milkweed bugs, that were not photographed.

Because I enjoy macro photography, my original intent in starting the garden was two-fold:  Provide a convenient (right outside my backdoor) location for macro photography of flowers and bugs and eventually to teach a macro class out of my home studio. So to start using it productively, I plan to update this blog post approximately weekly with at least 1 image per week (yeah, I know, not terribly ambitious, but hey, its summer and I’m retired).

May 29, 2015, mid-afternoon

ButterflyWeed_DSC4817

D200, 55 mm micro-Nikkor with 1.4x Tamron Teleconverter, f/5.6, 1/640 sec, ISO400. Butterfly weed.

MilkweedLeafBeetle_DSC4824

Milkweed Leaf Beetle, D200, 55 micro-Nikkor w/1.4X Tamron telextender, f/8, 1/125, ISO 400

Pretty warm, didn’t see too much, mostly those gold-bodied flies, so I shot some butterfly weed buds. Went back out an hour later and found this gaudy milkweed leaf beetle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 1, 2015, mid-afternoon

Experimented with a used 55 mm micro-Nikkor I bought earlier this year with a 52.5 mm Nikon extension tube (PN-11) that may have been made specifically to achieve 1:1 with this lens.  The tubes have their own foot, increasing the stability of the camera/lens on the tripod.

June 10, 2015D800E, ISO 400, f/16, 55 mm micro with 52.5 extension tubes.

Butterflyweed has opened.

ButterflyWeed_D8E1343

55 mm micro-Nikkor with 14 mm extension tube on D800E