Bugs | Waterloo, IA Nature Photography

I’ve lost count of how many times this summer I have heard, “Mom, you’ve got to come see this!”, “Come check this out!”, or “You have to get a picture of this!”  Usually it involves creepy-crawlies of some sort and while I’m usually willing to at least see what it is, I am not necessarily getting close enough to photograph it…

blue dragonfly with green eyes perched on rock
Eastern Pondhawk – Erythemis simplicicollis

If said “cool” species isn’t going to jump up at me, squiggle across my foot, or fly right at my lens; then I’ll pull out my camera and try to capture them.  When I have a picture, I can convince them to leave the living creature outside where it belongs!

Katydid – family Tettigoniidae

This guy below was borderline on my squeamish scale, but he was fairly slow moving and was kind-of fascinating to watch climb.  We don’t see many large beetles around our place (thank goodness), so maybe that was part of the attraction!

large black beetle climbing stick
Hermit Flower Beetle – Osmoderma eremicola

Occasionally, I even scope out bugs on my own.  For the sake of practicing the art of photography, of course!  Someday I will have  a true macro lens for this type of shot, but until then I work with what I have and enjoy the experimenting.

Bumble bee on Kale blossom
Bumble bee – genus Bombus

Of course after the photos are captured, I often have to head inside to research and try to identify just exactly what the subject is.  There are so many similar species that are often generalized, but it’s fun to puzzle out which ones actually live in our area and observe the little details that set them apart (i.e. Monarch vs. Viceroy).  Maybe I’m raising biologists?!

side view of monarch on phlox
Monarch – Danaus plexippus

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