A Year in Review

The end of 2014 has turned out to be pretty busy for me–not so much time left for my photography.  But I did have some time this morning to review the photos I took, and I came up with some to feature.

Here are what I consider my top ten.  Some made the list because I liked the results of the photographs.  Some made the list because I enjoyed the experience of taking the photograph.  I hope you enjoy them.

On May 30, I took this photo of a male mosquito.  I posted it to bugguide, and though it looks like it should be pretty distinctive, it was never identified to species.


On June 14 I took this photo of a cicada from the 17 year brood.  The photo was OK, but what I really remember was the magic of the emergence of these magnificent singing insects.  I did not realize before I tried to identify my insect that the brood consists of 3 species, not just one.  I don’t know which one this is–you have to turn them over to ID them.  The generic name Magicicada is appropriate.


On June 21 I attended a bioblitz at Whiterock Conservancy.  Adults and children interacting with a frog–also magic.


The fifth of July should have been a good time to find some of the rarely seen hairstreaks.  I took a short trip to Jasper County–Jacob Krumm Nature preserve, in hopes of finding some, as they had been reported to be there in the previous years.  Banded, Edwards, and striped hairstreaks should have been possible there.    However, the weather did not cooperate.  There were several inches of rainfall earlier in the day and on the previous day.  I only found one or two butterflies, and they weren’t hairstreaks.  So instead I photographed some of the lifeforms on the bark of a burr oak tree.  The jumping spider and snail (Vallonia pulchella) were found on the wet bark of a single tree.



On July 6th, I went to Medora Prairie in southern Iowa, hoping to find some of the same rare hairstreaks, and also the regal fritillary.  I had hoped to photograph the regal on a flower, possibly butterfly milkweed.  I did find coral hairstreaks but not some of the others I had hoped for.  I got one poor photo of a regal flying, and went back to the access road feeling defeated.  When I saw some regals mudding, I did my best to get a good photo.  I was happy with the result, but I think I can do better, so hopefully I will try again next year.


Sometimes you go to exotic locations, sometimes you find the exotic in your driveway.  The question mark butterfly is common, but I think it is pretty magnificent.   I took this photo on July 12 in my driveway.


We have a small patch of reconstructed prairie near to our house.  Gorgone checkerspot is occasionally found there, and on August 17 I found one that stayed and posed long enough for me to take a bunch of photos.  I particularly liked this one.


For reasons beyond my control my chances to pursue photography slowed down toward the end of the summer.  The last butterfly photograph I took was on October 25.  I was kind of happy with the results, although this is the very common orange sulfur on an equally common dandelion.


I got a late start to my annual chore of splitting wood, and found this colorful crane fly, Limonia annulata, in the middle of a hollow log.  I included this photo not so much because I like the photo, but because I like the bug.  This photo was taken August 26.


Three months or so from now I will start taking macro photographs again.  Cold winter weather is not so good for bugs or bug photographers.  Until then, I can only look at the past photos and dream of photos yet to come.

Happy new year.


About the roused bear

Nature photographer from central Iowa.
This entry was posted in butterflies, insects and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Year in Review

  1. Finn Holding says:

    Fine selection of images, I hope 2015 provides you with a whole lot more.

    I really appreciate your pictures from the 5th July because they encapsulate my idea of nature photography – it often transpires that the target species doesn’t play ball at which point all that’s left to do is throw ones hands in the air and photograph what is there instead.

  2. So true. And while I always try to take a good photograph, sometimes it is the experience that matters most, not the net result.

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