A surprisingly warm day for this time of year, so the insect activity may have been a bit more than normal. This one had an intriguing flight, almost like a beetle, and I haven’t been able to identify it yet [edit: identified on Facebook as a March fly, Penthetria heteroptera, but perhaps also a dark fungus gnat?]. Sorry for a poor photo:
This heron stood across the lake amidst some gorgeous autumn colors:
And finally, some flowers to celebrate the end of summer:
Taken with my cell phone on my walk to the train station this morning. As far as I know, I didn’t apply any filter to it — the Impressionist effect simply comes from zooming in and a felicitous lack of pixels.
Iceland is a PAYFC kind of place (“Put Away Your Camera”). There’s just so much beauty everywhere you look, how can you hope to capture it? Where do you start, where do you stop, and how can you even try? I did in fact put my camera away at times, because I didn’t want to look at the country through a viewfinder.
Here are my attempts, and they don’t do the place justice. The first set is in Skogar, near the southern tip.
The trail actually went behind the waterfall:
These photos were also in Skogar, as we climbed the trail up Skogafoss and behind it:
The view from the top of the falls:
A photo from the bottom of the waterfall:
The next set of photos are from the trail to Solheimajokull glacier.
Photos from Dyrholaey, a rocky promontory on the southern coast:
On the drive from Skogar to Skaftafell, there were huge tracts of land that had been recently covered by volcanic activity, and the woolly fringe moss had just started establishing a foothold.
Foss a sidhu:
Early views of Skaftafell from the road:
The colors were nothing but spectacular, and I wonder how they change over the seasons.
Jokulsarlon was also amazing:
The famous blue icebergs lived up to their reputation:
Seeing and actually photographing a mink in the wild was a major highlight for me.
Ice lying on the beach:
In Vatnajokull National Park, we hiked from the Skaftafell Visitor’s Center to Svartifoss to Sjonarsker to Sel.
Svartifoss is beautiful, and the basalt columns near it set it off stunningly.
Sjona means view, I believe, and Sjonarsker lives up to this:
We had a great view of the sunlight through the clouds:
From Sel, we saw the range from blue sky to rain clouds to the rain falling:
Let’s end on a rainbow.
Friday? Halictidae! I’ve always wanted good photographs of sweat bees (Halictidae) and today delivered. As a technical aside: I always thought I did a good job with white balance, and then I tried taking photos of sweat bees, and my fond hopes of reproducing the right colors utterly vanished.
Off to Borderland State Park. For some reason, I’ve never looked for insects at Borderland, even though it’s only five minutes from my house. A rather strange gap, I’m not sure what I was thinking.
I get unreasonably excited by photos of insects flying, and am willing to share them, even if they’re actually pretty crappy:
At this point, I hit sweat bee paydirt. I’m just going to share all my best sweat bee photos from today in one place. These were identified for me as Augochlora pura.
There were many more, but I think that’s enough for now. See why I think sweat bees are so beautiful?
A couple of carpenter ants aka Componotus, I believe. Identifying ants better has been a goal for a long time, maybe it’s time to start working towards it.
I enjoyed this tapestry:
A closeup of a bee’s tongue:
A pretty cute leaf beetle, Chrysomelidae, I think:
Some random photos of the lake:
And an extremely reddish stream:
I find Opilionids (harvestmen) always very photogenic with their long limbs arching out of the focus zone:
Nobody likes flies, ever. But look at those colors:
And finally, a very charismatic, heavy-metal rock-and-roll assassin bug nymph:
A basilica orb-weaver at the base of Mount Greylock. (Perhaps Linyphia triangularis instead?)
From the top of Mount Greylock, we went on the Overlook Trail.
The overhead sunlight was harsh on the photos, but you snap what you get.
We spent a week in Acadia National Park, and had a wonderful time. Not much time for photography, and a lot of that was during the afternoon, when the photos tend to get washed out. Still a great visit!
Here’s a loon that was nesting. To be clear, we did stay outside the roped-out area, so as not to disturb it.
There was a Pelecenid wasp at our house, and those are always very photogenic. Those ovipositors are spectacular!
I went to photograph a Syrphid fly, and it turns out that there was an elephant weevil in the photograph when I looked at it later. Embarrassingly, the elephant weevil was in better focus than the Syrphid fly.
I love this photograph of a caterpillar — the perspective works!
Some beetle hanky-panky. Sorry. Let’s move on.
As mentioned earlier, the photographs did not do justice to the scenery. Apologies for that, and it means I need to make another trip.
I went to catch the sunrise at the beach, but missed the peak color by a few minutes. Here are a few photos that I was able to take.
I’m going to add the black and white versions, just to see how they compare: