A Lovely April Morning Walk

So often, I can’t get my camera to focus where I want it to, but this past Sunday morning, the photography stars aligned and all my pictures turned out beautifully!

On my regular route, I go first through a pasture, where right now, giant thistles are going to seed. They are full of interesting insects. (You can click to see these images in a larger version.)

Pasture with some big shady trees.

Spangled Flower Beetle deep in thistle fluff.

Blueberry Mason Bee in a thistle seed head.

Close-up of the beautiful blue bee.

Six Carolina Chickadees and a Summer Tanager perched in trees on the edges of the woods, to see what I was up to.

Summer Tanager.

Carolina Chickadee.

Woodland path.

Common Whitetail, female.


And here’s what I mean about how well my camera cooperated that day:

I was aiming to get a picture of this tiny lizard, a Little Brown Skink, which was only about 3 inches long.  Look at how great all the textures show up — the old wood, the dead leaves and pine needles, even the strands of spider web in the top right. (If you are only going to click on one photo to see the larger version, this is the one to choose.)

Forest floor textures.

And the skink came out in sharp focus too.

Brown Skink.

Then I moved just a little, and I lost the sharp focus on the lizard’s head, but look at the phenomenal bronze colors in his tail, and his super-delicate toes.

Metallic-looking scales.

And then I got some pictures of this Wolf Spider — I take so many pictures of Wolf Spiders because they are big enough to focus on, but never before have I gotten a picture this sharp.  You can see her eyes!  And some little arm-band-looking things around the tops of her legs.

Wolf Spider.

When I was almost back to the house, I saw these sprays of white blossoms, and a Feather-Legged Scoliid Wasp was exploring them.  It had beautifully patterned gray and black eyes.

White blossoms with scoliid wasp.

Feather-legged Scoliid Wasp, Dielis plumides.

It was a productive walk on a lovely day, and I am never changing my camera settings again!!