How long have you been taking pictures? When I was 12, my grandfather gave me an old 126 film camera.
I thought I had the world. Compared to today’s cameras, the 126 is a dinosaur. But I still remember the feeling of setting up displays or photographing nature. Over the years, my photo skills have drastically improved. Bu my love for nature is still as strong as ever.
I wish he could see how my photography has changed over the years.
And, how a simple camera was the start of a lifetime adventure in photography.
Every year, a pair of Swans return to our area. For me, their return means warmer weather is just around the corner. Even though we had lots of snow, freezing rain, and other fun slushy mixture on Sunday, I still believe spring is officially on the way.
Last week was freezing here in mid-Michigan. The Polar Vortex gave us unbelievably frigid temperatures. Along with biting cold, the bone-chilling wind chills made me want to stay indoors. Then, we had a brief warm up to almost fifty degrees. And, now…well…we have ice everywhere. I am afraid to ask what Mother Nature has in store for us next.
I took extra care on keeping my feeders full. I had numerous winged visitors and a few furry ones.
Even though, I generally do not mind winter. I mean, the changing seasons is why I enjoy Michigan. But, I must admit, I am looking forward to Spring.
The Praying Mantis fascinates me (yes, I know all creatures fascinate me). But there’s just something about the oddly shaped head, I cannot help but love.
I took this photo a couple of years ago. Resting on the grapevine in the mid-day sun, the Praying Mantis was actually licking his leg. I had never seen this type of behavior prior to this occasion. I must have taken over 1000 photos of him (or her) that day.
During my research, I have discovered there are thousands of species of the Praying Mantis or the scientific name Mantodea. Due to the varying types, the Mantis can be found on every continent but one, Antartica.
The placement of the eyes allows the Mantis to spot movement from almost sixty feet away. Finding an abundance in my yard, the green Praying Mantis feasts on a variety of insects including mosquitoes, crickets, and flies.
White with black markings, the Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar stands out against the green foliage. Slowly moving along the underside of the leaf, the caterpillar seemed to avoid detection from passing predators.
Researching the spiked tuft caterpillar was interesting. Many people have allergic reactions due to the hair like spikes. My grandfather used to say “if you are dumb enough to pick it up then it’s your own fault.” I still take this advice to heart when I am out in the woods. I am really cautious as I photograph insects and wildlife in general.