Tag: Macro


Today it was unseasonably warm and sunny here in the Netherlands and so, though it is only february,  all the crocuses were open and the honeybees were having their first flights of the year.  They were loaded with the pollen they had collected: big clumps at their feet while little bits were covering their bodies everywhere.



Weekly Photo Challenge – Rare

This is my entry in the Daily Post weekly photo challenge of this week.

Usually when I post a picture of a flower with an insect, the insect is the main subject. But this time it is all about the plant. This is a Whorled Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum verticillatum) and very rare, at least here in the Netherlands.
The flowers grow in clusters around the upgoing stem, while the flowers of the much more common Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum multiflorum) in the second picture hang in rows from the underside of the horizontal stems.
DSC_4330 . DSC_4278

Umbelliferae – schermbloemigen

When you are out with your macrolens and on the lookout for bugs you are always well served by the flowers of the members of the carrotfamily or Umbelliferae. They are always loaded with all kind of flies, bees, hoverflies and all sort of other insects like the sawfly in the first picture.

Als je op stap bent met je macro lens en op zoek bent naar insecten kun je bij schermbloemigen altijd terecht. Je vindt er massa’s vliegen, bijen, zweefvliegen of zoals hier zaagwespen.

I suspect this cranefly landed here by accident as they usually have little interest in flowers. Ik vermoed dat deze langpootmug hier per ongeluk is beland, die hebben anders meestal weinig interesse in bloemen. DSC_4337

Looking from a distance these flowers just look a little dirty but when you come closer you find they are covered with little ants.

Van een afstandje zagen deze bloemen er een beetje viezig uit, maar als je dichterbij komt zie je dat ze vol zitten met kleine mieren.

solitary bee

I love these blue/purple geraniums and so does this solitary bee apparently. I don’t know what kind of bee it is exactly. I read somewhere that there are over 20.000 species in the world, many of which look very much alike. So I will leave the  identification to the experts.

Ik vind deze blauw/paarse geramiums prachtig en blijkbaar vindt deze solitaire bij ze ook leuk, of in ieder geval lekker. Ik heb geen idee wat voor één het precies is. Ik heb ergens gelezen dat er meer dan 20.000 soorten zijn waarvan er veel erg op elkaar lijken. Dus ik laat het determineren maar over aan de experts.


Bee Beetle – Penseelkever

It is almost a ritual: the annual visit of the bee beetle when the blackberries are in bloom. This year I thought I had missed him until last weekend on one of the last blossoms there he was!

Het is bijna een ritueel, eens per jaar als de bramen bloeien krijgen we bezoek van de penseelkever. Dit jaar had ik ze nog niet gezien tot afgelopen weekend er op één van de allerlaatste bloemetjes opeens één verscheen.
DSC_4987 Taking pictures was quite a  challenge because of the strong winds. The bee beetle was a clever little guy and anchored himself by hooking is hind legs around a flower petal Fotograferen was lastig door de sterke wind. De penseelkever was zo slim zich te verankeren door zijn achterpoten om een bloemblad te slaan. DSC_5003

All of a sudden, while I was taking these pictures,  a second bee beetle landed on the same flower.
Plotseling, terwijl ik aan het fotograferen was,  landde er een tweede penseelkever op hetzelfde bloemetje

DSC_5018 That resulted in a fight of course and after a lot of wing flapping, the intruder took off. Dat gaf natuurlijk ruzie en na een boel vleugelgewapper ging de indringer er weer vandoor. DSC_5022

Snipefly – snavelvlieg

OK, I admit, I had to look it up. But apparently this is the downlooker snipefly or Rhagio scolopaceus, part of the soldierflies family. He has got his name because he is usually sitting head-down on fence posts or sunny tree trunks. Never knew macrophotography would be so educational :).

OK, ik geef toe, ik moest het even opzoeken, maar blijkbaar is dit een snavelvlieg ofwel gewone snipvlieg, wetenschappelijke naam Rhagio scolopaceus. In het engels heet hij ‘downlooker snipefly’ omdat hij vaak met zijn kop naar beneden op een paal of boomstam zit. Nooit gedacht dat je van macrofotografie nog zo veel kon leren 🙂
DSC_0693 . DSC_4694b


Some pics of solitary bees that visit our garden at this time of year. We nickname them ‘bellysliders’ because they pollinate the flowers with their belly, as you can see clearly in the third picture.

belly-slider2 . belly-slider

Pretty fly

To me there always were only two kinds of flies: ugly ones and very ugly ones. But now I have to change my system because this fly doesn’t fit into either category. In fact she is rather pretty (I think of her as a ‘she’, though I guess it is a male as in the animal world the males are almost always the most colourful).

DSC_6661 . DSC_6677



When you are in your garden searching for bugs to shoot but cannot find any, there is one trick that works every time. Just lift a flowerpot.






More parsnip flowers

A few more shots of visitors of the parsnip flowers:
A common red soldier beetle, a bit the worse for wear. He misses a bit of his antennae and a leg. Well, what do you expect when you draw attention to yourself wearing those colours.


The next two pictures are of a little scorpion wasp that didn’t make camouflage his first priority either.




This year seems to be an excellent year for hoverflies. Especially the marmalade hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus) is showing himself in our garden in droves.


Ditto for these little guys (Epistrophe melanostoma):


Painted Lady

A great globe thistle in flower is one of the best honeyplants there are. So if you love macro photography make sure you have a couple of these in your garden and you will be sure of plenty of subjects to shoot. Here a picture of a painted lady who is so busy with her meal she does not care about the big lens right in front of her.


The same butterfly on the gardenpath.


Sunday stills – eyes

I found it rather hard to find an original viewpoint for this weeks challenge. I bet a lot of participants will be posting pictures of the eyes of their favourite pet. Well the animal in this post is definitely not a pet, but it is some kind of favourite of mine. I love the little elegant damselflies that hoover around our pond.


I must admit that this picture is from my archives, as I was much too busy this week to play with my camera. I will be going on holiday this weekend and so will be missing the next couple of challenges. Will be back some time in june.


As a rule you should focus on the eyes when you shoot insects – or humans for that matter. But rules are there to be ignored, so this time I focused on the wings.


These are bumblebee wings btw.