Friday, January 30, 2015

Life Of The Gray Hairstreak Butterfly

Mrsroadrunner Photography | Life Of The Gray Hairstreak Butterfly


Mrsroadrunner Photography: Life Of The Gray Hairstreak Butterfly &emdash; Life Of The Gray Hairstreak Butterfly

Meet the Gray Hairstreak Butterfly. If you have not been to my blog, or new to my blog then this butterfly is new to you. If you are a long time visitor to my photography and/or blog then this butterfly you should already know.

Mrsroadrunner Photography: Life Of The Gray Hairstreak Butterfly &emdash; Life Of The Gray Hairstreak Butterfly

The Gray Hairstreak Butterfly showed up here to the house some years ago. Attracted to several of my plants, one being the Hollyhock Flowers and where I took these photographs was one of the Hollyhock Plants.

Mrsroadrunner Photography: Life Of The Gray Hairstreak Butterfly &emdash; Life Of The Gray Hairstreak Butterfly

if you notice the leaves of the Hollyhock there in the photograph above? The holes are from insects. Perhaps the caterpillar of the Gray Hairstreak Butterfly? This is a good trade I think!

Guy says to me why dont you water with the agriculture water we pay every year for? I have spoken to several agencies about this water, it is run off from the farms and ranches. Several times a year chemicals are placed in the pipe lines to kill the algae that grows in the lines. I am told not to put this water into the ponds due to the chemicals.... so why would I want to put that water onto my plants? Would the water not kill off the caterpillar of such creatures as this Gray Hairstreak Butterfly?

Mrsroadrunner Photography: Life Of The Gray Hairstreak Butterfly &emdash; Life Of The Gray Hairstreak Butterfly

This Gray Hairstreak Butterfly is laying eggs. Again if you are new to my blog this is new to you.

The creatures who visit, or even live their life here on our property with us tend to get used to my routine. Along with getting used to my routine, they get used to me. Unless the creature is new here, we have not gotten used to each other. However the new creatures to my garden do not feel comfortable enough to do such things as lay eggs right in front of me.

Mrsroadrunner Photography: Life Of The Gray Hairstreak Butterfly &emdash; Life Of The Gray Hairstreak Butterfly

If you want to get such photographs I recommend getting a lens that can take such shots. Even if you have to get close, you can do it! The lens I like the most, which is always left on one of my camera bodies is a 70-300mm. This lens just works for me and I have two brands of the same lens. I like this lens that much!

Mrsroadrunner Photography: Life Of The Gray Hairstreak Butterfly &emdash; Life Of The Gray Hairstreak Butterfly

Everyone has their own style when it comes to photography. My style is real basic. I shoot in manual, I try and make the shot count. These photographs are uploaded, looked through and the file is named. Uploaded to website. If I crop I will tell you. These photographs are not cropped. Like I said , once the butterflies get used to you. They let you get right into their business.

Mrsroadrunner Photography: Life Of The Gray Hairstreak Butterfly &emdash; Life Of The Gray Hairstreak Butterfly

These photograph to some may seam like the exact same photograph. No, the Gray Hairstreak Butterfly is little!! The reference I give is, look at your thumb nail. That is pretty much the size of this Gray Hairstreak Butterfly, give or take of course for I have small hands.

Mrsroadrunner Photography: Life Of The Gray Hairstreak Butterfly &emdash; Life Of The Gray Hairstreak Butterfly

The blue speices of butterfly I admit they confuse the crud out of me haha! There is quite a few of them, they are all small species of butterfly! Once your eyes see one species of blue..... you are trained to see them all!

Mrsroadrunner Photography: Life Of The Gray Hairstreak Butterfly &emdash; Life Of The Gray Hairstreak Butterfly

As I have said on twitter , I like taking photographs of creatures doing what they are going to do if I am there or not.

No perfumes, I do not wear insect repellant. I also do not like my clothing to stink like perfume (however lets be real here I do not do laundry. I am not much of a domestic goddess ).

Perfumes , insect repellants etc. will not do you as a photography of wildlife any good! You may smell pretty to another person, but to the wildlife you want to photograph you may just stink? Anyhoo you get the point.

Mrsroadrunner Photography: Life Of The Gray Hairstreak Butterfly &emdash; Life Of The Gray Hairstreak Butterfly

You can see the larger photographs, you should by clicking on the photographs. Again being organic has it's good and bad points. This I feel is a good thing, even though my flowers, the leaves or plants themselves take a hit and do not look perfect as another gardener who used chemicals to kill the good bugs, and the bad bugs.

Thank you for coming by my photography, if you read my rambling that you for listening!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Life on The Columbine Flower

Mrsroadrunner Photography | Life on The Columbine Flower


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Meet the Columbine Flower and the pollinators the Columbine attract to your garden!

Many of us gardeners are getting ready for the season of outdoor flowerbeds and vegetable beds. We are no different! The excitement of colors, smells and the visitors can get overwhelming for some of us! Specially those who are dealing with snow and cold weather.

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The Columbine that we grow is the "old world", species. That is they have beautiful spikes. The new hybrids do not have these spikes. However we have noticed the hybrids do have more colors. We chose not to grow the hybrids due to Guy. Guy rejects every species of Columbine seeds we find that do not have the long "spikes". Once you get the Columbine established you really do have to keep them under control in some places.

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insects. Aphids like the Columbine!! Can not express this enough! Ants of course use aphids as we use cattle. The ants you can watch them take the aphids placing the aphids where ever the ants want the aphids to feed on what ever plant. The ants care for the aphids just like people care for their milking cattle.

We overhead water the Columbine to deal with the aphids. Of course this is not a full prof plan! One drop of water can kill a aphid or any other small bug for that matter. The aphids are nasty creatures, ladybugs can and will eat a enormous amount of aphids. Being organic, we do come up with all kinds of things to battle such things as aphids ........ There are other things that attack the Columbine but aphids are our main concern.

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Yellow appears to be the natural base color for us anyways? We have a lot of yellow Columbine, even if they start out another color. Yellow tends to be dominant.... to my observations. We do have wild red columbine here in Oregon that are smaller flowers, smaller plants.

Our Columbine reach are oh three feet give or take. Typically I dont even bend over to clip off the seed pods.

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I went ahead and put in several shots of the life on the Columbine Flowers in this post.

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Our Columbine are in several places in the garden. They do not seam to care for full sun here in the High Desert. Of course watering is a must for anything one grows here.....

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The White Columbine seen above with the Hoverfly was impressive in 2014. Big blooms, long spikes. Flashy blooms.

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The Honeybee's really like the Columbine!! Like I said though you got to control those seed pods!! The photograph above shows a seed pod! The seed pods dry up and SNAP!! You can hear them SNAP! The seeds fly!! Walla, another plant or two or more start growing! Like any living creature the Columbine flowers are no different - they want to take over the world!

Noticing the Columbine will also give off these very long flower stems. These flowers will produce seed pods which can fall over reaching pretty darn far for a flower. SNAP, the seeds go flying even further away from the main plant.

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Along with the flashy flowers, the pollinators the Columbine flowers attract, the Columbine have great foliage. Or we think so!

The clover looking leaves stay green for a long time!! When the flowers get done just trim back the stems! Walla you have a nice bunch of clover kind of looking, green leaves!

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Bumblebee's , oh my goodness do the Bumblebees like the Columbine! In the shot above you see the red Columbine, along with the Yellow and there is a seed pod in these shots.

We have many pollinators here at the house, thus we get a lot of seed pods.

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The soil where these Bumblebee shots and some of the others has been fortified with cow manure we get for free at one of the many cattle places here. Not every year of course do we have to feed the soil. Every oh , two to three years we notice it needs done again. You just have to feed flowers ie plants or well you are not going to have them!

We also do something that is a HUGE no no, I do not recommend anyone to copy this and no one should do this in the part of the garden where you or your family will consume what is grown. We throw the dog poop right into the soil! We have a shredder, and that is thrown in there. We also have a mulch pile that too is thrown into the flower beds. People ask us how do you get your flowers to grow like that!! Well, we just laugh..... if folks do not stay on the walking paths, guess what they get on them haha

Of course we add other things, we have a lot of birds here that do there thing, then we buy such things as basic "top soil", and soil places sell in bulk and Guy is afraid some day of coming home from work and seeing a dump truck here unloading soil additives haha! The cattle "stuff", is not "clean". Meaning if you choose to go this route you really do not know what is going to grow!! Talking of weeds, and the bugs! Though really , we do not have to do this every year.

If you are going to add meat eating animal dung into your garden, we feel it is "dirty", to add this kind of stuff into the area where you will eat what is produced. Why it is considered a huge no no..... I could get way more into this topic but you get the idea?

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In this post I wanted to show a couple pollinators. SO many more show up here on the Columbine!! You can see some of the photographs I have uploaded so far over on the insect album here

Since we do grow many of the flowers I photograph it is rather easy for me to talk about them. I also do my best in the insect photography album to say what flower which ever insect is on. I also photographs the wildflowers. At times I am invited into other peoples gardens (where of course the gardener gets photographs for allowing me in), and I do on occasion visit commercial business's. I do believe in the barter system hint hint hahahahaha

All in all our property is not huge by no mean, however with a little planning. Some work and money thrown in (how much money spent really depends on you), anyone can grow such things as the Columbine flowers!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

European Hornet

Mrsroadrunner Photography | European Hornet


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Meet the European Hornet! Rather big , flashy insect visiting my Foxglove Flowers.

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This is the first time I had noticed this visitor here at the house, or anywhere! The first three photographs are cropped. I was not sure what I was dealing with so gave this bee plenty of room! The series of photographs is rather long so I stuck to uploading just these six photographs. Also had to read up on this European Hornet, for like I said I never photographed this species before.

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The neighbor home was not lived in for some years so I do wonder what the new neighbors may have living with them over there? Hopefully this European Hornet and the other Hornets were just passing through?

Reading up on the European Hornet it sounds like this is not something one wants to deal with as far as a nest goes! Since we are the High Desert we have plenty of canyons. The state is trying to clean up the juniper trees that could be home to such creatures, the canyon rocks may make a nice place to set up shop for such creatures to build their nests?

The flowers you see here is the Foxglove. The Foxglove is not a flower you want to go unchecked! This species of flower is pretty and I do like the Foxglove, however I also worked for a ranch where I had to kill the Foxglove (for a reason, however we are not talking about the Foxglove Flower), so ying yang.

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I like the shot above for the shot above shows the abdomen, or the nasty part of any Hornet. I can not express to you how big this European Hornet is! I read where the males do not sting. HELLO, I just do not know which is male, which is female and I for one do not want to find out the hard way!

The only "true", Hornet is North America is what I read. When I read that something is "extremely" aggressive this is just not something my common sense had to be told. I do not pick up, try to touch any of the creatures that is new to me for such a reason. Ignorance is not a pretty thing. One look at this insect told me do not mess with it!

Red to me means fire. Sure some creatures are like mushrooms. Which one is ok, which one is not? Seeing this creature in my garden also is one reason I told the neighbor that I really do not want his children to come with me in my garden until he and his wife are sure the children are not allergic, and know the rules about such wildlife that can sting. The children are super good kids and watched and waited where I asked them to.

The other neighbor who feels it is ok to come into my garden, pick my flowers (huge no no), and do whatever she wants to without my permission is another story.

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We do have wasps here in the High Desert! So many wasps that they set up shop what seams like over night!! Constantly looking out for these nests and destroying them. Wasps will set up shop even in peoples vehicles! I have rules, one of the rules is if you can hurt me you will not set up shop here!! People who know me in the real world know I just can not put up with such things. The wasps do try, got to give them credit for trying!! The European Hornet eats such things as wasps. Not that I will excuse the European Hornet from setting up shop here for this!

I would think if a person has the European Hornet setting up shop on their property the person would have common sense to pay a professional to take care of the nest. Some folks might be surprised to hear me say such a thing as to kill off something, however sometimes wildlife can get out of hand. Knowing I have such a Hornet even visiting the garden like the European Hornet has made me more alert, looking for such a nest, making such places as our lilac bushes / tree's not a place that would be a comfortable place for such a thing to set up shop in.

Knowing I am not my brothers keeper, or what my neighbors do or dont do I have no control over. I just wished folks were more aware of their environment. Specially when children are involved.

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I get many visitors after my morning watering. Living here in the High Desert is different then living say, in the valley where I grew up. One has to water on this side of the Cascade Mountains if you want a garden! Even grass which I am not real fond of, though understand the benefits of such a thing as lawn, you have to water it too!! Since water is such a big deal here in the High Desert, visitors do stop and get drinks, perhaps something to eat before moving on. Once visitors know we are here, we do see the same species of visitors stop year after year. Some visitors set up shop, like I said though they have to be within my rules to stick around. The European Hornet is not within my rules.

My afternoon/evening watering we do get visitors. Though with Guy's work schedule the way it has been the last couple of years we have to get sleep sometime ha!

Thank you for stopping by and checking out my photography, and/or my observations of my world around me.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

honey bee on a bachelor button flower

Mrsroadrunner Photography | honey bee on a bachelor button flower


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Most folks know of the Honey Bee? If not here is a example of the Honey Bee! The flower the Honey Bee is working on is a Bachelor Button.

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I make it no secrete that our place comes to life in spring and summer! The HUMMMM of the bee's of all shapes, forms, colors I also make folks aware of if they stop by to chat.

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The pollen is typically orange on the Honey Bee's legs, however it is white on this Honey Bee's legs. Just depends what the Honey Bee is working on. Assuming the pollen on the Bachelor Button is white.....

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Something about the Bachelor Button. We do not just have flowers bought somewhere, we grow all our flowers typically by seed, bulb,tube whatever. The Bachelor Button is one of those plants one has to watch out for. It is a weed in some places. It can grow around two in a half plus feet high, it seeds like no ones business!! Easy to grow and care for. When it goes to seed it can and will fall over, spreading it's seeds as far away from the main plant as possible. Killing other flowers in it's wake. How do I know this haha? Experienced this for ourselves! Just be careful growing this flower that comes in many colors!

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As you can see the Honey Bee's really like the Bachelor Button flowers! Not only the Honey Bee! I have liked the Bachelor Button since I was a child growing up over the mountain in Eugene Oregon. The places I would go to watch the wildlife I also would come across the Bachelor Buttons growing wild. Fact is, I thought of it as a wild flower here in Oregon. It was only when I moved here to the High Desert that I thought of putting it in the garden to attract the pollinators. Attracting the pollinators this flower does!!

You should be able to push on the photographs to make the photo bigger, share, there is a lot of features to look at the photographs! All my posts are first placed at the main website, mrsroadrunner.com . This is where the photographs are hosted at and where you should be directed to go to see the bigger photographs and the features if you are at one of my affiliate sites.

Thank you for coming by and seeing this small series of photographs!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Swimming Frog In Oregon

Mrsroadrunner Photography | Swimming Frog In Oregon


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Meet one of our frogs that more then likely was born and raised here on our small piece of property!



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We bought the prefabricated ponds placing them within the natural ponds to save on water. Drought conditions and all, and well we wondered if such things as the frogs would still be able to live here in the natural and prefabricated ponds. No worries the frogs made the best of both worlds!

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The frogs showed up here some years ago as they tend to do to any place that has a water source. I like the frogs so did not run them off or kill them. I watch the frogs as some folks watch their fish. Only thing that is different is, one should not name the frogs or get to attached. They are wild, coming and going as they see fit, not as we see fit.

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We also do not bring the frogs here to the house, they came on their own. We placed the ponds in at first for the dogs to have a place to cool off in on the hot days here in the high desert. Then when we noticed creatures such as this species of frog moved in, we just left them be. The dogs still get in the water btw to cool themselves off! Frogs do not seam to care!

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We found out many things were drawn to the water! Such things as butterflies, birds, toads, frogs, many kinds of bee's, slugs / snails (yuk), on and on find the water source refreshing. They , the wildlife have set up their own ecosystem here at our ponds. Dragonflies show up to eat the mosquito's in turn lay their eggs and mate here. The bee's (wasps, hornets), come to drink or get mud and take it to where ever they live. The birds show up and eat what they like etc.. I do remove the snakes who come, they tend to wipe out everything!! Throwing the balance off. We also have to keep peoples pets out of here. Cats, chickens, ducks are the main things we have had issues with. Of course being within the dogs kennel helps, however you would be amazed how slick people pets can be ha!

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As you can see the prefabricated ponds we have, have not run off the frogs! This is one of many frogs we have here of all stages of development. It can get rather noisy here at night time and the reports I have gotten from neighbors is that they like the sounds.... Day time of course I dont even know if the neighbors hear the frogs? We sure do !

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We estimated we have saved, well Guy is out right laughing about how much water we have saved by putting in these fabricated ponds! By the way our water bill has gone down as well! So for the what $100 a piece on these (?), we paid the two ponds have paid for themselves several times over! We had even found out we had a night time toad living here we never new we had! Who knows what else we have here at night time ?

Thank you for coming by and checking out this frog swimming!!

Friday, January 23, 2015

White-lined Sphinx and the Foxglove Flowers

Mrsroadrunner Photography | White-lined Sphinx and the Foxglove Flowers


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Meet the White-lined Sphinx. I call them hummingbird moths, always have and wrong or not I can remember this name quite easily ha!

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I was already in the middle of my outside chores when this moth showed up at these Foxglove flowers in this part of the garden and it seamed to make a difference due to how close the White-lined Sphinx let me get? It already new I was out there....

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Along with the hummingbirds, these White-lined Sphinx moths also like the Foxglove flowers. The difference in these is, they do not make that humming sound. Though big enough to catch the eye.

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Only down side to having such things here in our garden, along with butterflies is they do eat some of our plants,fruit, veggies etc.. when they are young. I think it is worth the photographs and enjoyment we get watching them?

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I made another blog with this species , though on another flower. The link if you want to look at those photographs is White-Lined Sphinx or Hawk Moth

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The Foxglove Flower there is pretty easy to grow. If you do choose to grow this flower make sure you contain it somehow if it grows where you live as well as it grows here! Like every living thing, it will take over the world if it is allowed to and you do not want anything such as puppies, kitten, livestock thinking it is a meal. It is ONLY for the flowers to attract the wildlife like this White-lined Sphinx moth, and bumblebees really enjoy this flower!

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The series of photographs of this White-lined Sphinx moth feeding on this patch of foxglove flower is pretty large so I will leave it at these photographs. I did show another photograph there on twitter of a photograph of one of these flying to the Foxglove flowers as it went further away , giving a good example of the size to the flowers.

Thank you for checking out this series of shots of this day of the White-lined Sphinx moth and the Foxglove Flowers!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bald-faced Hornet Eating

Mrsroadrunner Photography | Bald-faced Hornet Eating



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Meet the Bald-faced Hornet. I came upon what I think is the same Bald-faced Hornet on several different days in our garden. This is from one of those days.

I noticed something rather large on one of the raspberry leaves, upon further investigation I observed this creature eating. Keeping my distance of about a foot seamed good for the both of us!

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I really could not see or photograph clearly of what this Bald-faced Hornet was eating on. At times I thought it was a honeybee.

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This week I noticed going through my photography archives (I found it easier to take photographs, then write and upload them later on), I found I had several new types of Hornets and Wasps show up, this was in June of 2014.

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As I was observing this creature eating , I could sense it new I was photographing it. Just some of the movements it made. Not wanting to get stung I kept my distance. I hear the sting hurts??

Though I dont touch many of the things I photograph anyways, even things that dont sting. Some creatures can be harmed by something so thoughtless as the oils of our hands. Even the stress of handling some creatures can kill them. I learned this some time ago from a teacher of mine. I wonder if he knows that he was listened to by some of us students?

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This Bald-faced Hornet did turn its back on me several times! I know by having such things as the snakes, some creatures feel if they can not see you, then you obviously can not see them! Makes sense if you only have the capacity to think only so far.....

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Perhaps this Bald-faced Hornet just thought the sun was beating down and got to hot for eating it's meal? Moving in the shade did something to my light, however with the color of these Bald-faced Hornets you can still see its face. Not so much of what it is eating. Dose not hurt my feelings one bit!

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MMM wonder what Wikipedia says about these Bald-faced Hornet?

Dolichovespula maculata (yep I will remember that name haha - what about you ha).

It makes a paper nest. I have several rules here, one of the rules is such things as the Hornets, Wasps are not allowed to set up shop here. They can visit, heck everyday if they wish. They can even get drinks here, but no setting up shop!! I got stung before walking by a truck we had. Since then this has been a rule of mine. Just keeps the peace here since , like Wikipedia says the female Bald-faced Hornet will continue to sting to protect her nest..... OMG can you imagine??

You can read more over there here .

I can regurgitate what is written over there or you can just read it yourself if you so choose.

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My photographs can be enlarged by clicking on them taken you to the folder in which I placed these. There you can do all kinds of things, which should be making the photograph larger if you wish.

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Since all was still going well with photographing this Bald-faced Hornet I just kept photographing it. Went with the flow you know?

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I did go in a little closer, no these are not cropped these photographs are off my camera. Named so I can find them easily in my archive, uploaded to the website already named for optimization.

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This Bald-faced Hornet is just doing what it would do, hopefully if I were there or not. At least this is what I am going for with my photography.

Some washing did take place, however sorry to say those photographs did not come out. At one point this Bald-faced Hornet did get tired of me photographing. Or at least that is what it seamed like as I watched it wash itself, then carry the small portion of its meal that was left under the leaf!

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As the observation was winding down I moved further away into another spot and took these photographs.

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This all was going down in the raspberry patch. The raspberries have a lot of things going on. Never a dull moment around these! Since the raspberries are basically thornless I have kept them.  We even get some berries from them that the birds and other critters do not eat haha!

Thank you for coming by and checking out this series of shots from the Bald-faced Hornet eating. I have another series from another day which is going to wait for frankly I forgot which day I took the photographs ha!