Hello to all those who are interested in those little, or not so little creatures you find in or around your gardens, or anywhere else for that matter!
My own interest has blossomed since I got myself a good macro lens, I hope to be able to share some of my invisible creatures here. I say invisible because without being able to see them at high magnification, many look like just another tiny black speck. They are far from that! When you see the cute little creatures which were previously only a tiny black speck, your heart will melt towards them, you will start to look after their interests, worry that you might damage them, you might even start to talk to them! (I do!)
I hope some of my enthusiasm rubs off on others, these little guys need your help. Please feel free to share whatever you may find, I might even be able to help to identify it or someone else might give you a clue.
To give you an idea of what you might find, here's a pic I got on my pond which was new at the end of July 2009. A fly which lives near water in the family Ephydridae looks on as a tiny Springtail, Sminthurides aquaticus meets it as it bounced along the water. The fly was no more than 2mm long, the springtail female is only 1mm with males being 0.5mm long.
I hope to see you here, you know once I really get started there will be no stopping me so keep watching!
Lee Anne, glad you spotted it. It's the top end, or thorax and wings of a Chironomid fly, one of those things you get breeding in water. I had a lot of breeding going on in the pond, as it was only put together at the end of July I was really amazed at how much there was.
I have got some good pics of all sorts of larvae too!
Here's the next pic I took following on from that one...dig that look on the springtail, they always look like they are worried or smiling!
Ye, couldn't you just cuddle it? If you tried you would squash it though! They look like tiny white specks bouncing around on the water, I have a lot of other species too.
This one is only 0.7mm long, males much less. Stenacidia violacea, these are always nosing up to each other, male and female. Not a very clear pic, it was on 15th December after hard frosts but they are very small! They were on my frosted Water Hyacinth plants! Couldn't take them out the water as there was so much life on them!
Oh yes I got myself a good set up. I sold lots of stuff on ebay to buy it though! Nikon 105mm VR micro lens, and a Nikon 2x teleconverter.
My son bought me the camera, a Nikon D40X in September 2007 with a cheaper zoom lens, but I had outgrown that and needed to move on. You have to learn to take pics in Manual to get the magnification, but once you do that it's really quite easy and really much better than relying on auto settings.
Well, not insects as such, more of a sort of bug in their own right but they are very primitive and belong to the Order Collembola.
I didn't even know these existed until I could see them!
I had fun in December watching the antics of some on top of one of my water barrels where there was some stood water. In this pic you can see a group of very young babies, even different species play with each other. At the left side there is a baby one (parents around 2.5mm) which was around 0.5mm long, so you can see how small the others are.
I rarely get to bed any earlier than 3am! Too much to see here, and when it's bug and photo season I'm forever editing pictures!
Unless you have an advanced Photo editing programme the only option is to find a very long, shallow pic.
We had some sun today, it was a little warmer so I got some pics of tiny specks on the pond bouncing around having a great time (the springtails not me). Now I have some editing to do, only around 150 pics though, lol, some were already on the camera but on a typical day in season I often take that and more.
I will shortly be starting a Forum just for the pics I have taken over the last year, not sure yet how I will go about it. I have so many I need to be selective, and I would like the pics to be for just viewing so the flow isn't interrupted. I may have a thread within the forum for comments but don't want to appear to be cutting anyone off. Getting started is nerve wracking!