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Garden journal entry


yesterday's find: a midge with some seriously feathered antennae
June 20, 2014. The past week has been fertile ground for spotting insects and spiders in the garden. Whenever I'm carrying my camera around the garden, documenting new flowers or other interesting features of the garden flora, I'm especially alert to unfamiliar new animal life forms as well. As soon as I spot an interesting portrait candidate, I go into photographer mode, flipping up the flash (insect photos nearly always turn out better with flash) and trying to get as close as I can without scaring my subject off, often taking a half dozen or more pictures in hope of getting at least one or two decent ones. I won't know until I'm back at my computer to download the images. If they turn out OK, the next step is usually to attempt identification. I own several books and field guides on insects, but I seldom succeed in identifying the portraittees myself. Luckily, there's BugGuide, whose identification feature is a wonderful online resource. Dozens of experts in various insect areas routinely help with identification, so that I can usually at least narrow things down (it's a cranefly, not a long-legged bug) relatively quickly. Once I know where my finds should be classified, I add them to one of my critter pages, which feature an ever-growing collection of my amateur photos. New arrivals go into some logical position on the page, so it's not necessarily obvious that there's something new on any particular page. To highlight the latest shots, I decided to make a new page that shows off just the ten most recently uploaded photos in the critters section. So when you're bored, or tired of looking at flower pix, just cruise on over to that page, and have a gander at the amazing life forms that inhabit our gardens, often right under our noses without being noticed.

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Last modified: September 09, 2009
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