More macro adventures

Took a chance with the weather this morning (rain first thing, but supposed to warm up and be sunny from mid-late morning); headed out to my favourite local nature reserve, before popping down the motorway to try for some more special species.

On arrival at the meadow just down from Hook Norton Cutting Nature Reserve, the sky was grey with rain in the air; but it was reasonably warm (about 18°C) and not too windy.  I’d brought my tripod with me hoping for some close-up shots of insects sluggish after the overnight rain.

Only saw 2 butterfly species here today (Meadow Brown and Marbled White), but they ended up not being the focus of my attention.

First of all, I encountered a large-ish white macro moth on the gate on the way in, which I duly photographed, and IDed as a Light Emerald (Campaea margaritata).  I’m not very well versed in things mothy, but have a copy of the Waring-Townsend-Lewington Field Guide at home to sort me out.


Nikon D800E/200f4micro/cpl

ISO 800 0.4″ f/22, tripod, cable release

The gate is under a large tree, so the light was pretty dim, hence the high iso for tripod-work; I like how the greens of the moth are repeated in the algae on the gate.  The high f-number is the result of my inability to properly line up the subject with the plane of focus!

I then moved around the field to see what I would find: maybe a Marbled White perched up?  Sadly I didn’t see a single Marbled White perched – the overnight rain had probably driven them deep into the dense grass; nevertheless, there were one or two interesting things, including a sleeping colony of tiny bees (Lasioglossum sp.?), one of which I was able to shoot with the grass stem attached to the longer of my two Wimberley plamps.  Quite pleased with this shot, though perhaps could have done with a reflector (left them at home, didn’t I!),

About 5mm long I reckon.


Nikon D800E/200f4micro/cpl

DX-crop mode, cropped for composition

ISO 1000 1/60 f/18, tripod and cable release

Also found a very damp-looking Bumblebee asleep on a Scabious flower:



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