Monday in Nature Weekly Photo July 7, 2014

Discussion in 'Nature' started by lgw, Jul 7, 2014.

  1. Basic Guidelines: Nature based subject matter. Please, declare captive subjects. Keep your image at/under 700 pixels on the long axis for in-line viewing and try to keep file size under 300kb. Note that this includes photos hosted off-site at Flicker, Photobucket, your own site, etc. Feel free to link your image to a larger version.
    In the strictest sense, nature photography should not include hand of man elements. Please refrain from images with obvious buildings or large structures. A bird on the fence or bug on your finger is fine. Try to minimize man made features, keep the focus on nature, and let common sense be your guide. Let's post 1 image per week.
    Good Morning,
    "The Complete History of Guam" was first published in 1964. Animals of the island are covered in 3 pages. Birds are not mentioned. While the Norway Brown Rat and African Snails are mentioned, there is a statement that hints at the calamity already under way. "To prevent the introduction of dangerous reptiles to the island, special care is taken in the unloading of cargo from visiting vessels." Brown Tree Snakes made their way to the island in the '40s. With no natural enemies they eliminated most of the forest bird population. 7 of the islands native bird species are extinct. 2 are extirpated in the wild. 6 species are rare and 3 are uncommon. On the sidelines lizard species have been decimated. In the absence of birds, spiders have flourished.
    Kudzu was introduced to parts of southeastern United States to help control soil erosion. It took to the climate and the fast growing vine became a bigger problem than erosion. Bushtail Possums were introduced to New Zealand from Australia to establish a fur trade. Burmese Pythons are a menace in the Everglades and south Florida. For varying reasons plants and animals leave the limits of predation, diet, and climate and make homes in new environments to the detriment of native species. Now what? There's no easy answer. Toxic mice for the snakes on Guam and gloves made in New Zealand from a Merino/Possum wool mix. Norway Maples are among the prettiest of autumn trees, but they are an invasive species in many places. Garlic Mustard, Multiflora Rose, Japanese Barberry and Stiltgrass are common in our woods, yet are all invasives. What does it all mean for us as photographers? We're out there and we see the changes in nature. Many embrace the problems and try to document the effects as well as potential solutions. Education is visual. Photos show the difference between the similar Stiltgrass, Smartweed, and a native Virginia grass. Photography helps us see and photos help us understand what we're looking at.
    The opener this week is of a small botanic battle between native and invasive species. Japanese Stiltgrass and Impatiens Capensis vie for position and dominance in a wet area where both can thrive. As a side note, I had planned this topic for awhile as I've been watching some efforts to deal with invasive plants at a nearby sanctuary. Last week's comments about noxious weeds were quite timely!
    Welcome to another Monday in Nature. What's happening in your end of the natural world?
  2. Well, ragwort is a spreading invasive unpleasant for stock in the UK - and here it is being heavily grazed by larvae of the cinnabar moth. Here it's in the middle of a nature reserve of fixed dunes which are just splendid for orchids around now.
  3. Was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of this rare creature at a recent Celtic festival. Was wondering if anyone could identify it. (Ok, I know I'm not technically within the guidelines of the forum, but it's kinda funny eh?)
  4. Some say our honeybees are decreasing in numbers. Are pathogens responsible? Weather? Invasive species? I don't know, but I was glad to see an abundance yesterday during my outing.
  5. A hen and her ducklings going for an early morning swim.
  6. A view from my patio in Austin.
  7. John - Nice
    Bill - While I do have a sense of humor, I think No Words is for that type of image, not Monday in Nature
    Two slime molds from me. The white is Stemonitis forming its sporangia. The yellow is a color morph of Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa.
  8. A rather strange gummy film from the Icelandic tundra that covers grass and moss that had emerged from deep snow within the past few days. Danish sugar cube for scale.
  9. Nuts - Dislike glitches
  10. Rick,
    No intent to offend anyone, and Laura can feel free to remove the image, but the humor for me at least was in including the image in the Nature forum given the individual pictured is apparently trying to portray some sort of animal. But I understand we don't all share the same tastes.
  11. Waiting for the bees. Canon VI-T and 3.5cm f3.5 Summaron; Kodak "Gold" C-41@EI 400, incident-metered.
  12. European Skippers taking a drink from the moss at the edge of the pond. The European Skipper was accidentally introduced through contaminated timothy seed in 1910. For about a week each year, the ground around here is orange with them.
  13. Mother Swan over looking her young
  14. kts


    typical kid having it's picture taken
  15. Ring-neck snake

  17. Great shots everyone.
    Especially liked Thom's Fawn
    Gordon's Snake shot
    David's Rabbits
  18. An image from my week in Monterey.
  19. Shy squirrel oberrving:
  20. A rain dropped daisy
  21. Great shots everyone and a second thumbs up for Thom's fawn!
    Laura- great topic and highly controversial. Indeed many species now considered "invasive" were introduced and encouraged by humans and their activities. You mentioned multi-flower rose - many times introduced for food and cover crops by wildlife agencies years ago and spread by the seeds passing thru birds.
    Bill, Your previous mention of Austin Tx. being over run with deer prompted a web search and found that Austin city council passed a "no feed ordinance" in 2009 and some areas ( Lakewood) are employing "trap and transfer". Other areas are considering controversial lethal means of using "sharp shooters" as has been done by National Park Service in Gettysburg Pa. in order to control over population in small areas. The local SUNY @ Binghamton proposed similar control measures for their adjoining wildlife preserve and met strong resistance and at this point is "under further review".
    Cayuga Lake- battling invasive aquatic plant, the Great Lakes and zebra mussels and Asian carp -the lists goes on and on ...
  22. Laura wrote:"Kudzu was introduced to parts of southeastern United States to help control soil erosion."
    The Brahma was introduced to the same area for two reasons. First its thick hide which resists stinging and biting insects, and secondly because the Brahma's rumen is smaller and thus produces less heat making the animal more comfortable in higher heat. That last is why you see Brahma cattle eating at all times when the European is lying in the shade.
    A Brahma cow in her natur(e)al setting? ;)
  23. Bill, I appreciate the humor, but this isn't the place. I do not have the ability to delete an image from the thread, but we all have the sense to know what is and isn't appropriate. I recently posted guidelines for this thread. The discussion about these guidelines will go to another thread in the nature forum. It can be discussed there.
  24. one day on your walk you photo a turkey vulture with a 2 meter wingspan, next day on the same walk the flyer you see is a wee tad smaller than that, i think they both belong here. Near as i can tell, the folks who've been here the longest feel the most damaging invasive species to hit this island was european man, so, who knows, as much as I thought images like the people-photo weren't allowed, maybe it fits after all
  25. I believe this is an Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis Simpilcicillis).
  26. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    As Laura points out, to make a long story short, nature photography means no human-made objects in the images. Obviously there is a lot of gray areas. For example, we are not going to be very picky if there is a distant powerline in the background in your New England foliage image or a fence shows up in the corner of you picture, but please keep even those situations to a minimum and do not show non-nature content in the main part, foreground of the image.
    The Nikon weekly image tradition started in 2008. In almost 6 years, I have deleted a grand total of 2 images over some 300 threads. In both cases some sort of pornographic image was involved. Therefore, unless it is an extreme case, I very much prefer some self regulation. However, please keep in mind that the fact we don't delete those images that are far off the guidelines does not mean we encourage them.
    Thanks in advance for your cooperation.
  27. Folks,
    No need to post guidelines on my account. I know what they are, and have posted here often well within those guidelines. I mistakenly thought that a little leeway might be granted in the name of humor, but as my wife often tells me, just because you think it's funny doesn't mean other people will. But it was particularly funny at the festival when one of the band members remarked in his natural Scottish accent 'we really appreciate all of the people up here dancing, but what the hell are you' as he looked directly at the 'horned leopardchaun.' Nature of another sort I suppose.
    Please, no more lashings. 'Sanctuary!'
  28. A flower with a visitor from my balcony.
    Sown various seeds to see what will come up;
  29. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Bill, since over a month ago, back in May, Laura and I have seen talking about posting some official guidelines as we have been a number of images that are quite far off the guidelines. Laura was nice enough to draft it a while back. We simply haven't had a chance to post it because Laura has difficulty bringing in the sample images. This is not merely the result of posts from this particular thread.
    Again, we are also trying to promote a friendly atmosphere. I have no interest to heavily police the posts here every week and delete images. With Laura's official guildeines, hopefully we have better self regulation.
  30. Bill,
    You are a valued contributor here. It must have been a fun festival. For the benefit of all, the guidelines were written months ago and there were discussions about posting them quite awhile back. Nikon and Canon have guidelines that are referenced in the weekly thread opener. This will serve as a back up to the general thread guidelines posted at the opening here each week. This weeks experience serves as a catalyst to do that which probably should have been before.
    Nick Hayton, speaking of guidelines, we only post 1 image in this thread. Other weekly threads do have multiple posts. The swans are pretty.
  31. Have seen many bees and even turkey vultures when I escaped recently for a few days to San Juan Islands. Here is one from my mini vacation.
  32. Here's an example from southern california of a native that I'm told gets often mistaken for an invasive - Bigelow's thistle (providing a sip of authentic home brew to an equally local silver-spot skipper)
  33. Laura/Shun, appreciate your efforts, and keep up the good work.
    And Thom P., love your shot of authentic humor in nature.
  34. I'm back to dragonflies again for this week - a Checkered Setwing whose facial markings in this case give him the smile of a hockey player... This was from a recent outing to test out the Tamron 150-600, which really alters the way I was out shooting dragonflies and other members of Class Insecta with my previous lenses. Still a lot to learn to effectively use the affectionately dubbed "HBL" (honkin' big lens). But back to the setwing, this is a characteristic pose for all of the setwing dragonflies, with the wings angled forward. Setwings are fun and easy to photograph, because they like to keep coming back to the same perch, giving you plenty of time to adjust the camera.
  35. Great stuff again this week. Here is a gillemot taking off.
  36. My shot this week is different, no flowers, or wildlife, just the bark on a tree. I find it wonderful that in nature especially, an object can be beautiful as a realist object and as an abstract. Sometimes in the same frame.
  37. Silver-washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia) on an Echinops yesterday:
  38. Went out after the rain and found this. I rather liked the patterns nature is is good at creating.
  39. This bee is suffering a natural fate.
  40. it will be very interesting to see the "official" guidelines for this forum. If birds sitting on posts, or wires in
    the background are ruled out, then you'll be ruling out ninety nine percent of the natural animals I am in
    contact with and photograph every day. Here on Vancouver Island I live on what was an active Winery,
    which is no longer active. In its wake, are left 12 acres of imported/invasive species of vines now being
    overgrown by invasive broom ,and european a thousand abandoned fence
    posts, several miles of stringing-wire, each of the fence posts topped in fact with a now-abandoned
    plastic pop bottle half nailed to its top to keep the netting, which was there to keep the native birds out,
    from snagging on the posts. addition to all that now abandoned man-made crap, there
    are hundreds of birds nesting in that former vineyard....there are California Quail, Nighthawks, a variety
    of sparrows, Flickers, dozens of Robins......etc etc etc. It is almost impossible for me to photograph any
    of those birds without getting one of the posts, and the running wires, in the photo, because those are
    now "an integral part of" those birds "natural" surroundings. It is where they are raising their young.
    Hundreds of them at the moment. (the bee photo I posted today is on a flower which is no more than a
    foot away from one of the vineyard posts in fact)

    That's here on the Island. Back on my farm in Ab, there are 300 acres of open cropland, interspersed
    with standing areas of woodland, and through it all, intertwined and "part of it all", are fence posts and
    lean-to's the Martens and Swallows nest in and the squirrels nest in and teach their young how to run
    on and around, a massive big old Barn no longer used commercially, and in which I was fortunate enough to photograph a pair of Mating Great Horned Owl as well as Swallows in the act of feeding fleges. The farm is also awash on a constant basis with Skunk, Coyote, Red Fox, Weasel, Gopher, Badger, etc, all of whom run in and around and between the graineries...and give birth to, and raise their young in-and-among-and-between the graineries and the fence posts and the cattle lean-to's.

    I'm a commercial photographer by profession. Heavy Industrial on location, Commercial Farming Ops,
    Aircraft, Seaccraft, etc. The "money photos" I produce which pay the bills and buy the toys aren't for
    forums such as this, they are images of heavy, dangerous, fast-moving active and aggressive
    equipment..............and I don't post them here.

    But if you rule out "birds on posts" and things like birds or coyotes or fox with "wires in the
    background", you are ruling out the "natural surroundings" in which I photograph hundreds of birds and
    animals. The hundreds and birds and animals which are........."Nature"........on well over a thousand
    acres of the two areas I work in and call home.

    No sweat folks, it strikes me you're gonna go a little overboard, but posting here has been a hobby sideline, not something that pays my bills, not something I have to keep doing.

    Enjoy your days, enjoy every moment of every one of em. It's why we're on the planet.
  41. Robert, maybe you should read the guidelines again, at the head of the thread. They're not nearly so restrictive as you seem to imagine.
  42. I am obsessed with Globe Thistle! This is from my neighbor's yard.
  43. David, I am a true admirer of your images, and your attitude toward nature. I was particularly enthused
    about a comment you made concerning the Owls you photographed, when you stated you were not
    going to reveal their location in order to let them retain most of their privacy. However, you may need
    reading glasses this time around. Forget what it says at the opening, Laura made some comments after
    that. And then had "the heavy artillery" chime in to support her. in which there were specific comments
    made about birds- on-posts and birds-on-wires were "pretty well "outside" of what should be here"...and
    posted a second time in which he wrote, here on this thread, the following:

    As Laura points out, to make a long story short, nature photography means no human-made objects in
    the images. Obviously there is a lot of gray areas. For example, we are not going to be very picky if
    there is a distant powerline in the background in your New England foliage image or a fence shows up in
    the corner of you picture, but please keep even those situations to a minimum and do not show non-
    nature content in the main part, foreground of the image.

    got that, David ? No human made objects in the image......and specifically not in the foreground.

    David, they can retitle this thing The Fungi Forum, narrow it down to that as a topic, leave it at that, and they'll all be happy.And that\s what this is all about. Every one needs a place to be happy, and this is Laura's place she needs to be happy. She spends a lot of time on it, she earns the space and the enjoyment it brings her.

    My cameras earn me a very good living. But none of it, on this forum. So to's irrelevant. I started
    posting here a couple of months back because frankly, thinking about it on Sunday nights re what I may
    post, gave me a relaxing sideline to play with over a coffee. It doesn't pay my bills, these aren't "money
    images", and I really, really, don't care what they do with it.
  44. July 4th weekend, the prairie's in bloom. Good as fireworks.
  45. Thank you Robert. I appreciate you viewing my images and interpreting my "attitude" from my images and descriptions.
    I go by the guidelines in the thread heading. Fence posts are allowed, as are minor, incidental manmade elements. If that changes, I'll probably ignore it. The worst that can happen is that an image is removed from the thread. I'd suggest relaxing and enjoying the weekly treats that we see here.
    As a photographer, I'm not big into fungi, but I enjoy seeing it up close. Count me out if there's a fungi forum, but many others may greatly enjoy it. That's one of the beauties of, we can satisfy many fetishes.
  46. No sweat David, and don't mistake anything i've said on here as "angst", I'm totally relaxed about all of
    it, I live every day of my life totally immersed in the real stuff and love every minute of it. The real
    "nature", complete with its scattering of man-made objects the animals live in and around. In the parking
    area by my studio trailer.

    The attitudes voiced here about "what nature is" don't cause me to "not be relaxed", I grew up in a
    canoe and a tent and still live surrounded by animals of the wilderness 24/7/365. In addition to two cars
    in the parking lot there's a small skid-steer, a backhoe, and a small excavator. I've watched two families
    of robins use those heavy metal man made objects as perches all spring and summer, there's s pair of
    California Quail with about two dozen little ones who've been running all over around and under the
    treads on the excavator for a week, the deer who stroll the yard use them as scratching posts, and five
    minutes before I began typing this I was watching one of the wild hare who come out of hiding at this
    time of the evening, eating grass growing a foot from the man made tires on my car. In spring, the Red
    Breasted Sapsuckers who were mating used the metal cladding on the old winery building, and the
    upside down half pop bottles abandoned on the posts in the vineyard, as very loud, sounding boards on
    which to do their rat-a-tat-tat drumming part of the mating challenge. There are weekly sightings of bear
    and Cougar in the area, and it's not unusual to find bear scat alongside the blackberry and grape vines,
    or to see the turkey vultures taking advantage of a Cougar kill, and if you intend to photograph a Turkey
    Vulture sitting on something, you'll find more of them perched on the massive high-power electrical
    towers on this mountain than you will on tree branches. They've become quite accustomed to making
    those metal man-made things their new-age "tree perch".

    When you live it 24.7, as I do, and get to live it by choice, nothing can "un" relax you. That doesn't
    prevent me from simply stating facts, and the fact in this case is, that anyone who thinks fence posts
    somehow don't exist around wild animals needs to get their head out of......the sand, and take a look
    around. Back at the farm in Alberta for example, if you intend to photograph a barn swallow, the odds
    are pretty much you're gonna be standing somewhere near an old barn.

    I frankly have just been a bit surprised, in that I guess I anticipated a nature "photography" forum to
    probably be a bit more inclined to talk (if at all) about things like camera angles and lighting angles as it
    relates to photographing plants and animals, more so than a recap of the history of invasive plants on
    Guam followed by a critique of someone posting a people photo. I thought they kind of offset each other
    in terms of irrelevance.

    The nice part of it all, is that tomorrow, you'll get up and grab a camera and go look for an owl, I'll get up,
    grab a camera, and as I do every day, head off for a three mile hike along the mountain during which I
    will photograph Vultures or Eagles or Deer or Cougar or whichever pops up, along with quite likely a
    robin or family of quail or crowned sparrow perched on one of the non-natural pop bottles upturned on
    one of the non-natural posts, or a pile of non-natural vineyard netting, and...the birds won't care that it's
    man-made, and neither will I, we'll just enjoy being out there seeing each other. While on the other
    hand, there will be people who will be "un" relaxed, because "they" will be the ones who won't be able to
    forget this and move on, they now "need" to formalize it. (what's funny, is that apparently it's more
    "nature" to photo a hummingbird sucking at a flower on a patio in the city as long as you don't show the
    patio furniture, than a wolf peeing on a fence post in a farm field it you show the fence
    that, is hilarious)

    Anyway, it's their right to formalize "rules", and it's what they enjoy doing, so we just laugh and stay out
    of it.

    You and I, David, we are the lucky ones, because we'll be doing what we came for....the photography.

    Incidentally, the only place I have images now is at my actual Imagepro website maintained
    through photo,,com if you're interested in a look-see.

    Keep up the good work.
  47. There is more than a bit of the irony in the fact that Bill's rule violating photo is of one of the most prolific invasive species on the planet - mankind.
  48. I feel I should chime in here since my photo was the motivation for posting the guidelines, even if it was something the moderators were planning on doing anyway.
    First, the photo I posted this week was an obviously failed attempt at humor. I'm well aware that 'people' aren't considered nature for the purposes of this forum, but I thought the photo might generate some conversation on what to call the 'creature of the Celtic fair.' It went better in my head than it did here.
    Second, the guidelines have been posted in a separate thread, and that might be the place to offer some discussion on them. I don't think Laura and Shun are closed-minded folk who are trying to create their own playground, and some input from those who enjoy photographing the natural world might produce some changes to the guidelines. But even if they don't, other than my own photo, I've never seen anything posted here that generated a warning (well, other than a photo in a past thread from Laura's own husband) for not being within the guidelines. Guidelines are usually not steadfast rules, but are necessary to keep things from veering too far off course. Much like the baseline in baseball - you get a bit of leeway on either side.
  49. kts


    thanks John, Bob and Bill.....glad you got a smile from that one
  50. David, they can retitle this thing The Fungi Forum, narrow it down to that as a topic, leave it at that, and they'll all be happy.And that\s what this is all about. Every one needs a place to be happy, and this is Laura's place she needs to be happy. She spends a lot of time on it, she earns the space and the enjoyment it brings her.​
    Robert, MiN does not belong to me. I open the door and the space belongs to whoever wants to be here. I've always considered opening this door a pleasure and a privilege. I do garner enjoyment from being here and others claim to do the same. On any given week it can be the bird forum or the flower or insect forum. I don't have to defend my interests in nature, or the real world places where I find happiness. "This" isn't about my happiness. It seems that you're trying to give me some sort of credit here, and I appreciate that, but frankly, much of your comment is wacked. However, Fungi Forum is a good title for a NW thread.

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