Wednesday, October 21, 2009

An assortment of critters...

I haven't been able to get final photos of some recent paintings this week, so I thought I'd put up an assortment photos of non-human, non-botanical living things that I've taken recently and that are not up on my Picasa gallery albums.   Again, you are welcome to use these for any personal use if you'd like.

In general, most of the photos I've been able to take of animals and invertebrates has been either been due to random luck, or more often, because the subject in question was either oblivious or unconcerned about my presence.  Until I am able to get a telephoto lens for my camera, these circumstances will have to do.   All shots are hand-held, and settings vary from aperature-priority to macro and sport (fast shutter speed).

Here are a few photos of crittters that I hope you'll find as amusing, odd or interesting as I did:

Waiting for a handout
Ducks just never fail to make me laugh when I see them - they always seem so carefee and happy.  This duck (unidentified species) is one of many residents in a duck pond located in the outdoor shopping village where I work.  He is poised and ready for quick action when the next handful of food gets tossed into the water. 

Moon Jellyfish along the Mystic River Shore
These graceful marine invertebrates travel upriver almost 2 miles.  This one was slowly pulsing along, and with luck, will head out to deeper water and survive.

Monorail Fly
Most of my creature photos are of insects, simply because there are many of them in my backyard.  This unidentified fly was resting on the edge of a tomato cage in our backyard and for whatever reason, didn't fly away.  I took several photos of it for this reason, and I'm both fascinated and a bit creeped out by it.  It is not a greenhead fly, but it has a pair of sharp mandibles and I'm pretty sure it likes to dine on blood. 

Pigeon Gang of Nine
Okay, pigeons are commonplace, messy and annoying at times.  But, seeing these pigeons (photo is cropped) standing on the public dock along Mystic River, I wondered why they were all facing the same way.  I also liked the variety of plumage they are sporting.  A variety of amusing narratives are possible here.

Yellow-legged Meadowhawk (Sympetrum vicinum)
I have to admit that dragonflies and damselflies are probably my favorite insects.  Not only are they living fossils, but they are the good guys:  they eat mosquitos!  They are also notoriously difficult to photograph because they seldom sit still and are amost impossible to get close to, thus requiring luck and a good telephoto lens.  I saw this one resting on a granite boulder last week on my fall colors photo shoot.  The choice of background isn't ideal, but that's just the way it goes when photographing wild things.

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