Sunday, July 22, 2018

Macro Workout!

"You were sick, but now you're well again, and there's work to do."

― Kurt Vonnegut

Compass Plant Silphium laciniatum

Still short of full-strength, I stayed close to home over the weekend and checked out a few spots in Middleton for macro photography subjects. That's one of the beautiful things about macro photography―it can be accomplished just about anywhere. Checking my gear, I encountered a setback when my Nikon FT-1 adapter malfunctioned with a lens error. I took it apart, cleaned it, put it back together, but it didn't solve the problem. In a last-ditch effort, I thwacked it a couple of times with a hammer ... and PRESTO! It started working. I decided to order a new one just incase it fatally fails, which I suspect it will do so. The FT-1 is the adapter that converts my mirrorless Nikon V1 mount to a regular Nikon F-Mount and is necessary for my digiscoping rig and macro lens. Back in business, I headed out to explore the summer jungles of Middleton! Oh, that sound so exotic!

So, let's begin! We'll start with a dragonfly. There were lots of these around the pond...

Blue Dasher Pachydiplax longipennis

A super close-up of its compound eyes...

My first hopper insects of the summer season...

Planthopper Acanalonia conica

Buffalo Treehopper Ceresa taurina

A gnarly Gnat Ogre with prey...

Robber Fly "Gnat Ogre" Holcocephala abdominalis

A leaf beetle I've never encountered before...

Grape Rootworm Leaf Beetle Fidia viticida

Wildflower close-ups...

Wild Bergamot Monarda fistulosa

Purple Coneflower Echinacea angustifolia

There were Punctured Tiger Beetles hunting the gravel trail...

Punctured Tiger Beetle Cicindelidia punctulata

And a gorgeous Red-spotted Purple using its proboscis to suck up nutrients...

Red-spotted Purple Limenitis arthemis

Bird-wise, there was an annoying immature Red-tailed Hawk screeching nearly the entire time I was photographing insects. It kind of stressed me out. Adding to the clamor, American Robins and other songbirds were mobbing the raptor trying to get it to leave. I wish they had been successful. Anyway, my otherwise highly-tuned BIRDAR ears shut down. I only recall hearing repeated call notes of an Eastern Phoebe and singy Song Sparrow. Actually, now that I think back, there were Northern Cardinals, American Goldfinches, a Mourning Dove, Chimney Swifts, Hairy Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, and a Ruby-throated Hummingbird. I guess I was paying closer attention than I thought!

All images © 2018 Mike McDowell


  1. Wow! Beautiful. Thanks so much for showing us these plants and critters up close and personal. AND the Blue Grosbeak. Hope you feel 100% by now. Summer viruses are miserable.

  2. Thanks! Feeling better day by day!