There are some days during which one’s goals can quickly dissolve in the bog of ‘other things’.
Today I thought I would ‘just quickly’ keyword and upload some of the many caterpillar photographs sitting on my computer. I am determined to not upload any image, especially a nature image, that is not keyworded with its correct scientific and common names. This caterpillar was found on a tomato plant in my garden (as are most bugs – I sure do have trouble growing tomatoes) and, since many of its kind find their way into my small garden, I thought it would be pretty easy to identify.
Well, I’ve googled for hours and pored over every butterfly and caterpillar photograph in the Struik Field Guide to Insects of South Africa, and cannot find a similar looking fellow. The research led me to numerous websites with pictures of some amazing looking insects – very beautiful creatures, none of which I would like to find in my garden. How do you kill a big, squishy caterpillar that looks as if it has flowers growing from its body? Rather let it eat what it wants … decimate the garden.
My caterpillar looks pretty much like the Cherry Spot caterpillar, but the markings are not quite the same. I posted a pic here, so let’s see what happens.
Anyway, having spent some hours achieving nothing, it’s time to move on to some other work … like edit that novel of mine that’s also been rattling about my computer for some years.
This type of caterpillar is found quite often in my garden, usually on the tomato plants. I have no idea what it is, though.
Mom caterpillar and baby caterpillar, feasting on some tender tomato leaves
I took these pics with a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro Lens and the Canon Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX Flash (still my favourite piece of camera equipment).
Trying to grow an organic garden is pretty rewarding. It comes with some drawbacks, though. Like regular plant-scoffing visitors. I was amazed to discover how many bugs I have in my garden. This is not so good for the basil and the roses, let alone the lettuce, but it does give my macro lens and twinlight flash some air.
I discovered that my elegant lady is covered in canaeus carnifex, commonly known as red bugs or fire bugs. They seem to mate a great deal, and the hundreds of teeny babies in the seed heads of my shrub will attest to that.
Cenaeus carnifex, also called red bugs or fire bugs
The green vegetable bug is almost impossible to detect. All you see is brown curled up leaves left in its wake.
Nezara viridula, or green vegetable bug
Nezara viridula - you don't want to squash these guys. There's a reason why they belong to the stink bug family
The sunflower seed bug decimated my tomato bush – pride and joy of my garden, and producer of a rather fine harvest. There is now a bare patch where she once stood.
Agnoscellis versicoloratus, or sunflower seed bug
Amazing how creatures so destructive can be so beautiful. I don’t have the heart to kill them, so I’m hoping some big bird will come along and have them for breakfast before my garden is a desert wasteland!
In ‘Eighteen ’till I die’ Bryan Adams says ‘try anything twice’, and he’s right. It’s just too easy to close ones mind, dismiss something as a waste of time, only to continue wasting time walking the same old road.
A friend of mine wanted to try out my camera on some ideas he’s had brewing for a while. Always keen to meander along the path of creative process, I agreed, and so we spent two Friday nights in my studio, sipping wine, cutting up coloured cellophane, moving bits of glass and lights about, and moving my macro lens in and out of focus in the bid to achieve the image that he had in his mind.
I don’t think we managed to produce what he was after – much to his frustration – and so I suppose we’ll just have to spend another Friday night or two sipping wine in the studio.
I, on the other hand, tumbled into a whole other world I previously thought to be not really worth exploring. These pics probably won’t thrill anyone as much as they thrill me, but that’s fine. They weren’t shot to anyone’s brief, and they don’t have to help pay my credit card bill (although that would be rather lovely!). They were simply for the fun of spending a few hours with my macro lens … and I do so love my macro lens!
So, to take Bryan’s advice, I’m going to give this another try, and see what happens. Being creative also means being receptive. You never know what will emerge from the next efforts.
Now, I’m forever grateful for the opportunity to use my macro lens, and so my first reaction when spotting these nezara bugs on my struggling iceberg rose was to give a little Alice in Wonderland gasp, turn off the hose and dash for my camera.
A 1:1 view through the 100 mmm macro revealed that a horde of aphids and white scale had joined these very pretty rotters in their feast of rose juice. No wonder this little bush had been struggling for its life.
I don’t mind sharing, guys, especially since I know something bigger is going to come around and scoff you next. But good grief! This is ridiculous. So I’m afraid, it was ‘Hasta la vista, babies!’ and ‘So long and thanks for all the photos!’
Sorry, guys … but this patch of garden ain’t big enough for the bunch of us!
Are YOU my mother?
Jelly drips from a swirly shell
He’ll scoff everything in sight, of course. But he was just too handsome to toss over the wall into the neighbour’s garden!
Arching back to kiss the sun
I recently acquired a Canon EF 100 mm Macro F/2.8 USM. After many years of holding my breath to squeeze an image from a set of extension tubes, I now know what it’s like to shoot macro images like a grown-up.
Not that there’s anything wrong with extension tubes or filters. If anything, they will teach you to be truly grateful for your macro!
A fragrant mix of poetry, herbs and roses