Two pollinators climbing around on this lily in the Alps of Austria.
Alpine tundra blossoms plus pollinator in Colorado.
Along came a spider …
Nature’s diversity is astounding at any level, but when you get down to a bug’s-eye view, it can really blow your mind. When I took the lily photo (with the upside-down bee or wasp) I didn’t notice the second bug until I looked at the image on a larger screen at home. Curious, I started searching around a little bit and it didn’t take me long to learn that it’s a lily beetle, which is considered a pest in gardens, but is part of the natural environment in the Alps. In any case, plants and insects are completely interdependent, just as all living things are woven together in the global fabric of biodiversity. Respect nature, don’t abuse it.
A red admiral stops to gather food at some wildflowers in the Austrian Alps.
Drenched in pollen, a honeybee emerges from a cactus flower on coast of southern France.
Colorado bumblebee on a thistle.
A white-lined sphinx moth enjoys wildflower nectar in Breckenridge, Colorado.
OK, so I’m not a super tech geek when it comes to my iPhone, and even though I’ve thought about getting some of those fancy external lenses, I can’t reach that deep into my pocket. Maybe someday … but in the meantime, I do get lucky every now and then when a bee or some other bug happens to be right in front of the lens on a bright, sunny day. Click. Magic!
If you want to support Summit Voice independent journalism, you can buy fine art landscape and nature prints at one of our online galleries like FineArt America, where I’ve posted some of my best shots. Browse for traditional or metal prints, or even greeting cards with your favorite image and keep environmental alive.
Yellow street lights stunt growth in some plant species
FRISCO — Light pollution is affecting natural ecosystems in far-reaching ways that are difficult to predict, according to University of Exeter scientists, who simulated the effects of street lighting on artificial grassland plots.
State Forest Service warns against transporting firewood
FRISCO — It may be a little like the Dutch boy putting his finger in the leaky dike, but Colorado Forest Service officials are warning that transporting firewood from place to place may increase the spread of invasive tree-killing bugs.
Moving firewood even short distances increases the risk to Colorado’s native forests and urban trees. With the 2013 detection of the highly destructive emerald ash borer in the City of Boulder, and ongoing bark beetle epidemics in the state’s mountain forests, the Colorado State Forest Service wants to be sure people are aware of the risks associated with moving firewood. Continue reading “Is out-of-state firewood a threat to Colorado trees?”→
FRISCO —I am still amazed at how much I can do with the iPhone camera during a casual stroll. Friday morning in Breckenridge, I spotted several hummingbird moths feeding on planter flowers at the Riverwalk Center. Not expecting too much, I positioned myself at a good angle to the sun, held the camera close to the blooms and waited for a moth to enter the frame. The shutter speed wasn’t quite high enough to completely freeze the moth’s wingbeat (up to 50 beats per second) but I rather like the slightly blurred effect, giving the image a dynamic quality, and the rest of the frame is pretty darn sharp. Friday evening as the lightning rolled in from the West, I experimented with low-light exposure and, to my surprise, actually managed to catch a sky-brightening flash, leaving the silhouette of Peak 1 fairly sharp, but the foreground highly pixelated (next image). Continue reading “Morning photo: An iPhone set”→