Life and Death in Nature. Sourland Mountain Reserve in New Jersey.
It was a great day to photograph nature at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Many Butterflies, Clearwing Hummingbird Moths, Dragonflies, Robber-Flies, and a few Praying Mantis carnivores. I went in with two cameras, a D3s with a 300 mm f/2.8 VR with an TC-E III 20 teleconverter and a D3x with a 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro. Humidity was high, and I had to spend the first 15 minutes equilibrating the lenses so they were not fogged. The first place I went to was the location I observed a Praying Mantis eating a Clearwing Hummingbird Moth yesterday. The first image is a Black Swollowtail Butterfly on a Thistle bloom. Soon thereafter a Clearwing Hummingbird Moth started checking out the Thistle blooms. DANGER! DANGER! It didn’t see the Praying Mantis. Minutes later the moth was breakfast for the Praying Mantis. Later, another Black Swollowtail Butterfly was breakfast to a brown Praying Mantis.
Sourland Mountain Reserve Wildlife. Early Summer in New Jersey.
Some images that I took on a walk this morning in the Sourland Mountain Reserve. This was a test to see what I could photograph with a 500 mm f/4 lens on a monopod. The minimum focus distance for the lens is 12.6 feet (4 m) which is a challenge for close up images of insects.
The first image is a close-up of a Dragonfly. The second is what I believe is a Blue Grosbeak. The third is a Yellow Swallowtail Butterfly on Milkweed flowers. The fourth and fifth images are Snowberry Clearwing Moths (Thanks to Rick Sidler for the ID and link). It is larger (longer) than a Bumblebee, but its wings are small and transparent. It also was working the Milkweed flowers. The sixth image is Kermit the Bullfrog.