Monday, September 22, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
This weekend is the Fossil Festival at the Falls of the Ohio State Park, and highlight of the season for the volunteers. It rained at home when I got up, but only sprinkled on the fossil beds. We had wonderful crowds come to hike on the Outer Fossils beds across the river, as well as the Lower Beds on our side. While roving on the fossils beds, with a few trainee volunteers, I took photos whenever the opportunity presented itself.
The lower beds are usually covered by rushing water. When the river level goes down, the flat broad rocks are exposed. Everything is covered with a layer of silt, so our favorite activity is getting the children to scrub off the mud to see more of the fossils. Natural springs seep from the cliffs on the shore, feeding small puddles across the rocks. Children love to jump over the puddles, but when they miss and go splat into the dirty water, they think they've broken a leg! The ducks don't ever have this problem, of course. I like to watch the seedlings and small flowers that put root into this unforgiving environment. I know they won't last longer than a few weeks, until the river rises again, but these small plants persist.More river birds taking their ease.
I love this macro on the new camera!
Friday, September 19, 2008
Although I like my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30, it didn't seem to do what I wanted on the close-up pictures of butterflies and bugs this summer. And it's been a bit of a nuisance to cart it around with the teleconverter, which is heavy and limits my ability to change from telephoto to close-up shots. Therefore, I've been on the lookout for a new camera.I found the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28, a 10 megapixel camera with 18X zoom and 27mm wide angle in a Leica lens. Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy! It is much lighter weight than the old one and takes unbelievable macro shots. It's a smarter photographer than I am, and I can set everything on automatic to correct my errors, or put it on manual if I get brave. My hope/plan is that the zoom will be enough for my birds, but if not, I can use the teleconverter I already have with a simple adapter to fit the front of this one. AND, I can use the extra batteries, cables, etc from the old camera since they are the same brand.
Louisville's West End from Aegon Building.
Power Plant stacks - about 3.8 miles away.With the lens set at wide, I can move it as close as 1 cm to the subject and still get a good focus. With this we should be able to count the hairs on a butterfly's legs! The real test will be how well the zoom does getting birds across the river at the Falls tomorrow. I have high hopes!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
This could be either a Fall Webworm or perhaps a White Caterpillar - Spilosoma virginica. Checking with Bugguide.net, and I'm still not sure. The Fall Webworm descriptions show it in tents and not so hairy looking. But the Peterson Caterpillar book says there are black spots on each body segment, which seems to be the case here. This guy, believe it or not, was crawling all by himself on black pavement - at high risk of becoming some bird's dinner.
It crawled willingly on to this twig and held on for dear life while I carried it to house and camera. Can a caterpillar have acrophobia? When the pictures were finished, it gleefully scurried off into the grass.