Friday, November 30, 2012

11. Today's post is about butterflies

As I mentioned in a previous post there are several places in Chicago that I love, one of them is the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and its butterfly pavilion. They have butterflies from around the world flying all around the place.  The view of so many butterflies is unbelievable! So gracious and fragile.
You can find small and big butterflies, with a great variety of colors, shapes and behaviors.

During early morning (my favorite time to go there) they are just warming their wings and feeding on flowers or fruit. Of course, that's the best time to picture them because they are still :)

The museum has a lot of visits from different schools and I can tell you that the faces of the little ones when they enter the butterfly pavilion is priceless! Sometimes I just sat in a bench for a while and watched them, so happy and excited! Kids are so amazing!

Cairns Birdwing - female

Cairns Birdwing - female
Cairns Birdwing - female

Cairns Birdwing - male

Cairns Birdwing - male

Postman butterfly

Owl butterfly

Common Blue Morpho butterfly

Looking from above the world...
Postman butterfly

Common Mormon

Scarlet Peacock butterfly

Scarlet Peacock butterfly

This butterfly is one of my favorites, each time I see it reminds me a lady in a gown dress! So gorgeous!

Rice Paper butterfly

Rice Paper butterfly

Rice Paper butterfly

Isabella Tiger butterfly

Tiger Longwing butterfly

Blue Banded Morpho butterfly

The behavior of this three butterflies was very funny, the one in the middle was just standing there and the other two where flying around and pushing it away from the leaf. They tried it many times but at the end I think they got bored because they flew away.

Playing around

This is the first of more posts about butterflies, so expect more in the future!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

10. Time for love birds

This little birds are so beautiful! Unfortunately I couldn't find what kind of birds are :(

Life is not so tough with you by my side

9. Beautiful flowers

I took this photos at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago.

Stages of life


Sunday, November 25, 2012

8. Nothing in particular, just like this photos :)

7. They were here before us... and they will be here long after we've gone...

Hello again, this post is for the bugs lovers. I always felt curiosity about bugs and always wanted to picture them. Spring and summer are the best seasons to catch them, they are everywhere! Even in my balcony on the 19th floor! And here in Chicago, nice time for walking (mainly spring though because summer can be very hot).
I love the sun and the outdoors and one of my favorites spots in the city is the Lincoln Park Zoo, it's a very beautiful place. It has an artificial lake just before the entrance surrounded by nature.
Around the lake you have a fence and the flies like to go there to warm up their wings and to say hello to the new day.

Nothing better than a sunbathe on early morning


Golden fly

Some of the flies need a zip of water to wake up.

And then... ready to go!

Flying over the lake there's a lot of dragonflies and damselflies. How can you tell the difference between them? Well, you can tell the difference when they rest because the dragonflies hold their wings away and perpendicular to the body while the damselflies hold their wings together above the torso.  This are some of the fastest insects in the world.
I can't tell you how hard was to take this photo! I was standing with my camera for about 3 hours until I could take a good photo! hehe but I enjoyed it! Which is the best part of all of this.

Inside the Zoo and besides of the animals, you also have a lot of nature like trees, flowers and insects.  I was sitting on a bench just enjoying the view when I saw this beautiful green fly on a gorgeous leaf. The fly is a Green Long Legged and its fluorescent green body looked amazing under the sunlight. I wish I could have a close up to this fly but I didn't have my macro lens at that time, only a 50mm f/1.8 lens.

The following bugs were on the screen of my balcony's window, don't know how they got there but I really like to have them.

Striped cucumber beetle

Chrysopa chi

This colorful bug with cylinder body is a moth known as Ailanthus webworm.

I tried to find the name of this bug, but it was impossible! I thought it was a termite but it wasn't, so if any of you know what kind of bug this is I'd appreciate if you can let me know

I was in the living room and I heard a weir noise on the balcony and saw something landed there. I looked and I found a cicada on the edge of the balcony. I couldn't help it, I had to take some shots! It's not very common to find a cicada on the 19th floor! I run and grabbed my camera and slowly, very slowly went outside and tried to take a good shot (unfortunately I didn't have my macro lens on my camera that day and I didn't want to spend time changing the lens because you never know how long the bug is going to stay). I was a little afraid also hehe I know that it doesn't bite or anything but I just can't help it! I was afraid that it was going to land on me hehehe Luckily for me I could take this two photos before it flew away.

So close and yet so far

Or maybe not?

The following photos are from a macro workshop that I took (the primary subjects were bugs). It was very interesting and educational  workshop because it wasn't only about how to take the photos, but also to know about the insects and its particularities.  If you know your subject you have more chances to find it in nature and because of that to have more opportunities to take a great photo of it.
The person in charge was an entomologist (meaning is the person who studies insects).  This guy was amazing! He knew so much about every kind of insect! And you could see his passion about bugs and photography as well.  I was so tempting to take entomology classes to learn more about insects!

My first model was this tiny mantis (I said tiny because it was a baby, around 2 cm long) and she was happy to posse for the photos.

Mighty mantis

 I love this beetle! Looks soooo prehistoric! It was slow but very cute! 

Armed to the teeth

 Tell me the truth, it doesn't look cute?

6. Wings...

Coo's there?


Friday, November 9, 2012

5. Spiders... love them or hate them

I was always afraid of spiders, any kind, small ones, big ones. But when I see them through my lens I find them so majestic and beautiful. They still make me scream though :P

My favorite spider is a small one called zebra spider, it's a jumping spider.  You can find them everywhere in Chicago.  I was lucky enough to photograph both female and male spiders outside my balcony.

This are small spiders, the females are 5-7 millimeters (0.20 to 0.28 inches) and the males are 5-6 millimeters (0.20 to 0.24 inches).  Because they are jumping spiders they don't built a web. They have four pairs of large eyes to locate their prey and their jumping ability allow them to pounce and capture it. Source: Wikipedia
The first photo is the first one that I took of this kind of spider and after this one I was so amazed that everyday I was searching for them on my windows and each time that I saw one I went outside and tried to photograph it while it was hunting or just taking a walk.

I had the great opportunity to see her hunt a fly (I said she, because this one is a female), first she moved really really step at a time... and when she was close enough from its prey she jumped over the fly! I couldn't believed what my eyes saw, so quick and deadly!!

Zebra spider - female

Another particularity of this kind of spiders is that they notice you, I mean, they are aware of humans and if you are looking at them they look back at you!!

What do you want?

This time she caught a big one.

Zebra spider - female

And it looks like after a couple of shoots she noticed me...

Zebra spider - female

Zebra spider - female

Zebra spider - female
Crazy look
Zebra spider - female

In the next two photos we have a male zebra spider crawling on the floor and walls of my balcony.

Zebra spider - male

Of course, he noticed me also...

Zebra spider -  male

The next spider is an Agalenatea Redii, a species of orb-weavers and are also very common in Chicago. You can find them anywhere, outside of the John Hancock Observatory (yes, on the 94th floor! Who knows how they got there!), at the Navy Pier, hanging on the street lights, on the trees, ...
During the day they are hidden, you can only see their webs, but when the sun goes down they return to their web and just stay there waiting for the meal.  This spiders are not aggressive and biting is their last resource.

Agalenatea Redii - orbweaver spider