Saturday, August 21, 2010

South Pond - 8.18.10 - Post 2 (The Birds, the Bees and the Fishies)

Okay, last set of shots from Wednesday, so that I can start going through my shots from today, before I got out again tomorrow.  :)

Wasp on Orange Flowers
A wasp on a flower.  At this size it's a little harder to see, but the stripes on his abdomen are almost green.

I may have mentioned this before, but photography has completely wiped out my sense of self-preservation when it comes to things that could puncture me.  (And that's just so wrong, given my huge phobia of needles and such).  But I no longer go, "Look, a wasp!  I should move away."  I go, "Look a wasp!  Hey sit still so I can get closer and get a nice clean shot!"  This is going to bite me in the ... uh... arm?  eventually, isn't it?

Bee on the Wing
I love that the bee's body is still and reasonably in focus in here, but his wings are moving far too fast for my shutter. And when I'm outside on a nice day, I'm shooting pretty fast.  This particular shot was at 1/400.  That means this bee flaps his wings faster than 400 times a second!  I also caught him with his 'tongue' sticking out. :)

There's Thin and Then There's This
Remember what I was saying about not having the sense to run the other direction in the face of puncturables?  I spent a good three minutes getting this thread-waist wasp.  Doesn't he look like he came shipped in two pieces?  I love the shadows in this one.  There's the shadow of his antennae and the fact that the upper-left corner leg is bent, but the sun is straight over it, so the shadow is straight.  And that stinger... I really need to start being afraid again.

Little Heron Waits for Lunch
 Here's another juvenile heron.  I guess they're getting big enough to fish for themselves now.

Goose Gets to the Core of the Problem

 This goose looks like he's freaking out over something, but he was fine.  A kid had tossed his apple core into the pond and the goose snapped it up.  He'd gotten it bitten into manageable pieces and was working on choking them down before anyone else could grab them.

Wood Duck, Almost Grown
A wood duck.  Where I grew up we had Canadian Geese and Mallard Ducks o'plenty.  But that was pretty much it for waterfowl.  So I'm loving the fact that Chicago has a population of different ducks, like wood ducks. This happens to be a juvenile male.  Juvenile males are colored more closely to and adult female, but they have a white neck patch (easy to see in this shot).  Adult males have red beaks, females have gray beaks.  All juveniles have gray beaks.  In this shot you can see where his beak is losing the gray and coming in red.

Algae Forest
The water was incredibly clear.  This looks like an overhead of a forest shot from a plane.  It's the algae plumes coming up from the bottom and not reaching the top.  Everything in the shot is under the surface of the water.
Fish in Algae


 A little further around the pond, the algae is a little browner and there are tons of fish in it.  Occasionally I'd see a Blue Gill, but they were jittery and would take off before I could get a shot.  There were tons of these clear guys though.  I think they may be X-Ray Tetras.  Which I do find kind of funny if they are, since I drove all the way up to Niles to take pictures of X-Ray Tetras in a pet store for my nephew's animal alphabet book.

Fish in Mid-Swerve

More fish.  I like how I caught the one on the far right side in-mid swerve.

Okay... now to sort the shots from the Lincoln Park Conservatory, the Lily Pond and the east side of the North Pond.  (It was a busy day today.)


  1. I had wood ducks at my nature center in college. It startled the hell out of me one day when I was walking along and heard them call to each other. It's such a nice call...

  2. I love wood ducks. It was funny, when I only knew about the ones that lived inside "The Swamp" at the other zoo, I made it a mission to get a good shot of one of them, because they were so cool looking. Never did get one through the glass. But I've gotten a couple of good ones of the wild guys in Lincoln Park. :)