art, landscape, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #203 – “Local Vistas”

This time, Anne challenges us to go local. Everyone takes photos while traveling or on special occasions like parties, graduation for school or university, weddings, birthdays, and so on. But, have you ever tried taking photos where you live? You know, I’m primarily in nature photography. But I live in a quiet¬†urban region. Although, I living at the edge of the Ruhr area, you can’t really step out and be in the nature. Even the forests are fields where trees are planted to harvest wood.

I know, some people grab their camera an go into the city for taking photographs. They are either in architecture or in street photography. For me, non of these topics is really interesting although I do it sometimes.

Instead, I’m planning visits to natural places in my greater region. Quite often these are trips to nature protected areas with significant bodies of water to photograph birds. During the last two years, I also captured some butterflies and dragonflies as well as blossoms in our garden, And I hope, this year the monthly photographers roundtables will start again.

So, for today, I assembled a small collection of images taken in our garden dring the last years. Most of the images are unpublished. I’m extremely proud of the hummingbird hawk-moth having visited two times our garden and me being able to get a few very nice images of this really fascinating and extraordinary insect.

As the other kinds of wildlife photography, this can also be quiet time consuming. Be prepared and wait patiently for your subject coming in the right position. Although this collection might look amazing, I’m not one of these guys going out in the wild meadows to search for and photograph insects. I really admire those people bringing back home those fantastic photos of insects, but for me the necessary effort it too high. So, I only have an open eye and capture what’s around me. I can be patient to get my shot but I’m not patient enough to do so for hours.

You can enlarge the images by clicking on one of them and use the cursor keys to jumpe from one image to the next. That way you can also see the descriptions for the images. Have fun!

 

 

I hope, you enjoyed my little insect gallery. I know, not everyone loves them and I have to admit, some insects really look strange and alien like. Nevertheless, these tiny creatures also have their important role to play her on earth. They help feeding us! And each of them is worth the effort to protect them.

Take care!

animals, art, flowers, insect, macro, nature, photography, plants, seasons, world

Throwback Thursday: surprise in the blooming field

Starting from last week Wednesday we had a few very summerly days. Blue sky, hot sun and temperatures around 30¬įC during the days. So, I took my camera and headed to the bloomy areas to chase butterflies. Every now and then, I saw a very angry-looking insect in strong yellow and black colors. It alerted me and caught my attention. I’ve never seen such an insect before. It reminded me to a wasp but it was way bigger: about 2 cm long and much fatter than a wasp. Also the face was broader and rounder then a wasps face. The biggest wasp here is a hornet. But, a hornet is colored very different. After studying several books to find out, what insect I found, I guess, I found it:¬†Anthidium manicatum, commonly called the European wool carder bee (Gro√üe Wollbiene). One of the 524 bee species living in Germany.

The bees I know, are more brownish or black and not in such a bright yellow. The only insect I knew before in such an intense yellow is the wasp.

Just in case, someone knows it better, please drop me a line. I also have some more images ūüôā

Take care!

animals, culture, flowers, food, insect, nature, photography, plants, seasons, world

Bees still in danger

Last week I’ve read an article in a German political news magazine with very good reputation for publishing their reports from a very neutral point of view. They wrote about a research report, published recently by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).¬†I already wrote here about the huge decrease in insects around. But, this report is specific to bees.

The EFSA report said, they now have an evidence for the suspicion verbalised in 2013, that pesticides and insecticides based on Neonicotinoides (named  Clothianidin, Imidacloprid and Thiamethoxam which are used to safe seeds: i.e. rapeseeds) are an enormous danger for bees. Wild bees as well as domesticated bees.

According to experts, even tiniest doses of i.e. 4 billionth gram per bee is deadly. Weaker doses already endanger their ability to navigate, to learn, weaken the immune system and reduce the ability to fertilise.

Why do we need bees, one might say, combined with a statement about not eating honey. But, bees are much more important than for producing honey: without bees we won’t get much food. Even in greenhouses bees are working hard to pollinate¬†billions of blossoms each day. Not speaking about the huge industry like orchard growing i.e. apples, pears, plums, cherries and many other fruits. There’s a quote, four years after the bees, people extinct too. Although, this quote often is accredited to Albert Einstein, the real source is unknown. Even channels Darwin published a statement with a similar meaning. Nevertheless, the impact of the vanishing of bees will be huge.

Despite the European Union already restricted the allowed usage for these poisons (allowed only in greenhouses and of certain plants like winter grain), the restrictions are about to get tightened now.

This new report could be the final keystone to get these poisons forbidden. A very good new for the insects.

Our environment is already very seriously harmed. Help, to turn the clock backwards. Buy your food from local farmers, where you can ask them about their usage of poisons.

Take care!

animals, bird, insect, nature

The vanishing of insects and birds

probably a large carder bee or moss carder bee (Bombusmuscorum) / Mooshummel

Last week I noticed a report saying biologists have discovered an enormous decrease in the amount of insects around over the last 25 years. They set up catches and caught insects over a certain time at the same places all over Europe. At the end of the catching period they weight the catch. Over the last 25 years they discovered, the catch shrink every year. Compared to the catch 25 years ago, they caught only 1/4 of the amount they caught 25 year ago. That’s a descent of 75%.

I believe this. When recalling the memories to my childhood, I remember very dirty front-screens of the cars after each longer trip in the countryside. Thousands of insect were smashed and have had to be removed. And nowadays? I’m still living in the same area, but I have to clean my front-screen only 2 or 3 time over the whole summer.

What does this mean? First of all, less food for the birds and other insectivores. But, it also means, there are less insects for pollination our food-plants. Over the next years we have to find a solution to bring back insects. This would also have an effect to the insectivores, especially the birds.

Don’t forget, not only the insects die. The vanishing of the local insects gives room for insects from other areas that don’t have enemies here but could endanger our health (think i.e. of the¬†tiger mosquito bringing¬†different kinds of dangerous illnesses).

So, don’t spray insecticides¬†over your plants. Try to find natural ways to keep the unwanted insects away from your house and your garden. Give insectivores a home in your garden or near your house. Try to buy your food from farmers which avoid the usage of spraying¬†insecticides (this is also a benefit for your own health because there is less poison to remove before you eat the food!)

Btw. there’s also a post from Solveig of “Penty of Amelie” focused on the vanishing of the birds¬†that might get your interest, too.

Take care!