Ants farm aphids on a senna stem

Ant Farm

Ants farming aphids for honeydew on a wild senna stem, Senna hebecarpa. The ants appear to be red-banded carpenter ant, Camponotus chromaiodes, based on a quick internet search. An even quicker search suggests the aphids may be black bean aphid, Aphis fabae. Taken with 60mm AF f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor. Related articles Best Cheap Nikon Macro Lens: 60mm f/2.8D AF […]

Monarch chrysalis in early October

Last Chrysalis

A chrysalis matures in the early days of October. The monarch butterfly in this chrysalis needs to get it moving. The window for migration is closing quickly. The hint of wing patterns suggests the eclose is close. The butterfly did eclose successfully (not a certainty with the many parasites around) and left for Mexico on […]

Sassafrass Texture

Sassafras Texture

More captures of autumn with a Nikon 60mm AF 2.8 Micro-Nikkor. A sassafras leaf. Did you know safrole a compound in sassafras tea is banned for use and manufacture in the United Stated? Related articles West Virginia Small Game Hunting and Trapping Opportunities for 2015-2016 Yellow Crabapple Leaf Fall Brown Pelican and His Shadow

Brilliant Sugar Maple Leaf

Brilliant Sugar Maple

Taken with my favorite lens, the Nikon AF FX Micro-NIKKOR 60mm f/2.8D.  Sugar Maple leaf in the late afternoon autumn sun. The leaf was held perpendicular to the sun in order give definition to the texture of the leaf. Note the sympathetic colors in the autumn foliage in the background.  Nikon D90. f/8. Processed in […]

Nikon D90 DSLR Camera

Nikon DSLR Best Value: D90

Nikon D90 DSLR: Not the latest, but still great Bottom line: Even today, I think a used D90 is best “cheapest” camera. Cheap here means it is the least expensive option with the qualities we want.  Three reasons I chose the Nikon D90 12.3MP DX body: Excellent High ISO performance Ability to drive older pin-focus, non-AF-S auto […]

Autumn Meadowhawk

Red Face at f/32

Taken with a Micro-Nikkor 60mm on a Nikon D90. Autumn meadowhawk dragonflies are the last dragonflies to leave the local ponds in the fall. They stick around, as long as the weather holds, into November. November this year was particularly favorable. There were still half a dozen of these actively breeding on November 17; that is […]

Nikon AF Micro Nikkor 60mm f:2.8 Lens

Best Cheap Nikon Macro Lens: 60mm f/2.8D AF Micro-Nikkor

The Nikon 60mm f/2.8D AF Micro-Nikkor is not only my Nikon macro lens, it’s my favorite lens in general. In Nikon lenses, only Micro Nikkors offer true macro. The Nikkor 18-55 DX and 70-300 zooms do not focus close enough for macro. Zooms sometimes label their closest-focus as “macro” but nothing beats true 1:1 macro. The […]

Saddleback Caterpillar with Thumb

Saddleback Caterpillar: Look, No Touch!

Beautiful but deadly! Well, not deadly, but extremely uncomfortable. This saddleback caterpillar, Acharya stimuli,  is bristling with stinging hairs. Potent enough to cause nausea in addition to straightforward pain. Thumb for scale. I followed this specimen over several days as it worked on blackberry leaves. I was excited to find this; I have been looking for one for […]