Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Latest full moon

The latest full moon was showing itself through scattered cloud.
This presents an interesting photographic to get details on the moon, and still show the cloud forms.
Each has a different exposure, and to get the correct one for each requires one of two methods.

You can go all modern and create a HDR, though matching the photos can be a problem due to the relatively fast motion of the moon...or you can use a little photoshop magic...I opted for the second option with the following results...

The top photo looking the most natural, with a little cloud over the top of the moons disk.
The photo below being the correct exposure for the moon no evidence of the cloud surrounding it.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Orchard Butterfly

Citrus trees, due the chemistry of the plant, often have some strange creatures inhabiting them.The orchard Butterfly is no exception.
The picture, below, is that of the immature caterpillar of the species.
Looking like a bird dropping, it consumes quite a number of fresh leaves to reach maximum size before its transformation ...

As it grows, the caterpillar undergoes some changes, and looks like the next photo as it approaches its transformation.....

Below are a couple of photos of the chrysalis that it formed...

I have been awaiting the emergence of the butterfly, though it seems a little overdue.
Usually taking about 10 days, this specimen has not shown itself yet
and has been in its chrysalis state for 14 days now.
Weather and temperature play a large part in the process and, as we have had a few cold days, things may be a little delayed.
I will be keeping an eye on it and hope to have photos of the adult on this site soon.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Hunters, Prey and Untouchables

Below are a couple of very efficient hunters - the Praying Mantis and the Damsel Fly.

Both are abundant in my garden at the moment due to the amount of prey available.

A good source of food for the preying mantis is the aphid, pictured below.

Mating out in the open is an ultimate sign confidence for these large stink beetles.

Appropriately named, they would not provide a tasty treat for any creature that decided to put them on the menu.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Arachnids Galore

The height of summer is a great time for spiders, and many a scene can be played out in front of your eyes if you look carefully enough.

The demise of a black house spider to a white tail is just such a scene...

Then you have those spiders that are hard to see, and those not so hard...

..and if walking on land, and flying through the air wasn't enough....there are those that walk on water as well....

Yes, spiders are a successful species that has taken advantage of nearly every environment....even under water (still hunting for them :) ), and its unnerving to know that the average person their sleep.... at least two in their lifetime.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Big Seas

A sub cyclonic system off Queensland provided a large swell at Kiama last week.
Good to see the guys in the pool keeping the tradition alive.

Cathedral Rocks (the old quarry) was a good spot to be with excellent lighting conditions for some moody landscapes.

Thanks to Denis for suggesting the trip to the coast that day.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Summer Break

I thought that I should take advantage of the inclement weather of recent days to get into posting a blog or two. The break over Xmas/new year (hope you all had fun) was quite productive photographically and, with photographer Petra Sing on visit from Europe (pictured below), I was able to snap many Gigs of material.

The following shots are a collection on insects, arachnids, reptiles, and fungal forms.

These were taken at a number of areas over the holiday break.

I hope you enjoy this eclectic mix of summer pics, with more to come as I get to process them.