In an earlier post I listed my favorite insect images of the year taken by other photographers. Now it’s my turn. Here is the best of my own work over the last 12 months.
Rather than blather on about my Easter Sunday, I’ll just share a few images from a morning hike in Tucson’s Rincon mountains. Winter rains have given way to wildflowers, and in particular the Encelia brittlebush was spectacular.
Formica accreta, Northern California I wish I could say I knew what these ants were doing. Hiding from the photographer, perhaps? Formica of the fusca species group are notoriously shy insects, but not all of these ones seemed to be equally spooked. photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon D60. f/13, [...]
In 1934, a diminutive book by an unknown author seeded the largest conservation movement in history. The book, Roger Tory Peterson’s A Field Guide to the Birds, pioneered the modern field guide format with crisp illustrations of diagnostic characters, all in a pocket-sized read. The Guide sold out in a week, but the book’s effects [...]
Dineutes sublineatus – whirligig beetle Arizona, USA Whirligigs are masters of the thin interface between air and water, predating on animals caught in the surface tension. In the field it can be hard to appreciate the finely sculptured details of their bodies, the erratic movements that give them their name also make them hard to [...]
I have thousands of absolutely awful photographs on my hard drive. I normally delete the screw-ups on camera as soon as they happen, but enough seep through that even after the initial cut they outnumber the good photos by at least 3 to 1. Here are a few of my favorite worst shots. Thinking that [...]
My early bug photos, the ones I don’t show anyone anymore, are poorly-exposed affairs that now sit hidden in my files. If I had to put my finger on the single biggest problem with these embarrassing first attempts, I’d say that I lacked an eye for composition. I was so intent on getting the bug [...]
Onthophagus gazella Gazelle Scarab, Arizona At my current rate of once-a-week Beetle Blogging, I’ll need 10,000 years to cover every living species. Wish me luck. photo details: Beetle attracted to UV light Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon 20D f/13, 1/250 sec, ISO 100 flash diffused through tracing paper levels adjusted in [...]
For your viewing pleasure I’ve set up a new Hemiptera gallery at www.alexanderwild.com. Hemiptera are the “True Bugs”, a large order of insects defined by having the mouthparts modified into a hollow beak. You can visit the gallery here: Bountiful Bugs Photo Gallery! I admit being a little embarrassed at how few photographs I have [...]
Common caricatures of Darwinian evolution evoke nature as a brutal force, one of ruthless competition in which the strongest prevail. In truth evolutionary processes can be much more nuanced. Under a wide array of conditions, species find Darwinian advantage in cooperative relationships. Some of the most striking cases of evolutionary partnerships involve the planet’s dominant [...]