Probably not Beelzebub

fbDSC00552There are at least 240,000 species of flies, the internets tell me, albeit less than half have been properly described. Some varieties are vilified as demonic disease bearing despoilers of all that is clean and good.  This one is, as far as I know, an innocent fly, resting its stylishly grey on grey self on a matching bit of garden furniture.  But it could be a villain.  If I but had the will I might explore this site to it’s bitter buzzy depths.


Technically, f5.6 1/250 sec, ISO 320, focal length 50mm + a 16mm extension tube, whatever that adds up to.  Vintage manual lens Super-Takumar on Sony A6000.  

Getting in close

DSC00617Ordinary things are amazing when you look closely – like this everyday Daddy Longlegs spider, crawling across a red-painted wall in my bedroom this morning.   Her/his kind (Pholcus phalangioides)  leave vaguely annoying strands of web in the high corners of the ceiling that gather dust, and as a species are generally more at risk of being vacuumed than appreciated.  But hey, those ridiculous legs have amazing joints that can rotate to pretty much any angle, used to tangle others spiders in silk from a safe distance, especially the somewhat bitey Whitetails.

This pic was shot with a basic lens, made more macro-capable with a budget extension tube ($25 from ebay).   One day I’d like to get the kind of fancy camera gear that would let me way closer, but an extension tube seems a good way to experiment with macro for now.

Technically, f3.5 1/160 sec, ISO 200, focal length of lens 30mm + a 16mm extension tube.  Also, camera flash. 

De-stressing with charcoal

life drawingPeople have been drawing with charcoal as long as people have been people.  It is strangely soothing to look and draw and look and draw, with no end goal or great ambition beyond being there and looking and drawing.  Nice too to be with a bunch of other nice people, all quite separately rediscovering in each pose the incredibly complicated bits and amazing whole that is a body.

I do my best to get to at least one life session a week, it is a one of those soul nourishing activities that make life’s general irritations all a little less irritating.

Not conventionally beautiful?

White peacock

This pale peacock is stomping about and strutting  his stuff for the benefit of another more gorgeously hued bloke.  There was not a jot of interest in the macho display from some nearby peahens, who very carefully weren’t watching.

Word for the day is leucism, is a condition in animals characterised by reduced pigmentation, and different from albinism.   Quite tricky to photograph without blowing out all the highlights.

Holiday creatures

I’m back from my leisurely trip from deepest Southern winter to European summer, so now I start sorting through way-too-many photos.   I visited a bunch of zoos and wildlife parks, most singing a conservation tune and doing their best to offer inhabitants a reasonable facsimile of a interesting life, albeit one lacking both the dangers and the freedoms of the wild.   The primate rescue centre in Southern England was one of the most impressive.  The place is dedicated to rehoming mostly former lab animals and illegal pets who couldn’t ever be repatriated or released, and telling the various sad stories (albeit ones that ended happily) of how the residents came to be there.

[I will add more to this page as I sort through the SD cards]