Lens-Artists Challenge #252 What’s Buggin’ You?

This week, Donna of Wind Kisses is hosting the Lens-Artist Challenge with a focus on, What’s Bugging You? She thinks that the true challenge here is that encounters are rarely purposeful, and bugs are never willing participants. Some will flitter around and finally land on a leaf. Some pollen collectors will ignore the photographer and some will look straight at you.

Plenty of things are buggin’ me, but this post is strictly about the ones found in nature. I captured most of these images in California. The arachnids I discovered on The Big Island and in Kauai. All except the first one were found outside of a dwelling. Unfortunately, last night as I sat down to watch television, my Moxie kept looking at the lampshade. And there I discovered a VERY unwanted intruder. I captured it in a jar and took a photograph.

Who is this uninvited intruder?

Now I get to the real purpose of this particular blog. Insects I come across in nature. They are usually found around flowers, and I do appreciate their reason for being. The only one that I did not capture, and I have found no reason for being is the mosquito. In some seasons I appeal to them more often. Other times, I can go a long time before their nasty bite comes along. I am not a fan of putting on insect repellant either.

Busy Bees

Photography leads to learning about my images. I did not know the difference between honey bees and bumble bees.

This is the first photograph I sold. It was taken at Effie Yeaw.

I believe this is a honey bee
Honey Bee
Carpenter Bee stay away from my house.
Bees ready to pollinate the sunflower fields

Wasps – Don’t get in their way!

Wasps have black and yellow rings around their body
A wasp

The Fly – Not the dance by Chubby Checker

A solitary fly

Damsels and Dragons in distress?

Golden flecks on this one
Found this one at the Sacramento Zoo landing freely on this plant
Once a dragonfly lands it returns to the same spot. This one wanted to pose.
Landing on a zinnia bud
Balancing on a lotus flower bud
This damsel/dragonfly casts a shadow on the lotus leaf

Beetles – Not the Sixties group

I see a face, do you?
On a cactus in Sedona, Arizona
On a California Poppy in Carmel, Ca.
A pair of ladybugs or ladybird beetles
Another beetle. There are so many kinds.

Butterflies and Moths

Monarch lands on a Coneflower
Sun captures this moth
Lands on a Zinnia

The religious kind – Praying Mantis

Posing on a hydrangea
I’m looking at you
Just hangin’ around

Arachnids: Spiders and their webs

A local arachnid found in a local Sacramento garden
Aloha from Kauai
Locally grown in Sacramento
Found on a California Poppy
Beautiful web design catches the morning sun.
Beautiful web design with dew drops in the morning sun

Water bug

Just doing the backstroke at the Empire Mine water lily pond

On Friday I find out what kind of visitor I have invading my domain. I hope the resolution will be painless for all concerned.

Just some of the little creatures I captured along the way as I explore the world around me. Do you have any favorite bugs?

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #196 Humor

John asked me to dig into my photo archives and find something humorous. (Please, nothing that might be injurious of anyone or anything, of course. WE, the collective Lens-Artists that we are, must retain our civility.)

I’m not one that usually tells jokes. As a matter of fact, when I was the librarian at Rio Americano High School my principal would stop by and ask me to share a joke he might use as an opener for an upcoming meeting. Sadly, I could not provide one, but I did get a book of jokes, and story openers for him to use. But when I am out with my camera I often look for funny signs, or happenings. So here goes.

Giving directions in a positive or negative way

Public restrooms often are a source of amusement

Heed these warnings

Some suggestions to follow.

Some food-related signs

Katz’s Delicatessen encouraged the home front to not forget soldiers fighting during World War II.
Can you relate? Sometimes, I can!
Candy Heaven in Old Sacramento allows customers to taste.
This Monterey’s Fisherman’s Wharf restaurant brings in customers with a
life-altering cioppino! We gave it a try.
Catering to a particular customer in Monterey.

The following signs are a mixed bag of honest information that might make you smile.

Are you sometimes overscheduled? Just hang up a sign!
The Truss Bridge in Folsom has quite a history.
This sign leaves me confused.
I wonder when this plant will figure things out?
Good to know. Sometimes I’m not sure.

Some more suggestions that may keep you from getting into trouble.

And sometimes I come across situations that are just too funny not to grab my camera.

I’m not sticking around
I met Trawler and his owner as he was tied up at the downtown waterfront on the Sacramento River.
30% off a bargain price. Get down to Bye Bye Baby for a limited time!
This sign caught these girls’ attention
Never be overcharged in Rough and Ready, California
Well, they tried.
It’s up to you to create this caption.

That’s all folks! Now it’s your turn to leave me a comment.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 194 Bokeh

Sofia challenges me to primarily think of out-of-focus areas in your photos. Are they an important component of your shot? What is bokeh for you and how do you achieve it? I’ll be looking forward to seeing how your beautifully blurred areas also have a story to tell.

Using a large aperture setting would be how I would describe my style of photography.

While visiting Donner Summit, I borrowed a reflecting ball. The shallow depth of field places the photo in a forest setting and the reflection is in focus.

By using a shallow depth of field here my photo leads the eye in a line.

A line of pigs
Colorful crayons

The story I tell with my flower photographs often is about one particular flower standing apart from the rest.

The bee settles on a flower in the field of flowers
Paws, please!
When my Moxie was a young pup!

While capturing images with people the depth of field helps to tell the story.

Racing fans gather during the Amgen finale in Sacramento

This last photograph was taken in 2004 while visiting my In-Laws in Florida. This is an example of why I recommend not discarding all your old mistakes. This was my first DSLR the Nikon D70. I was not familiar with white balance and forgot to change from the indoor lighting setting to the outdoor one. My images were quite blue. But today, I saw potential in this image. I changed it to black and white. What do you think?

I hope you enjoyed my look at bokeh and how it helps to set the stage for my images. Please comment and let me know.