Wednesday, July 17, 2013

More Evening Visitors!

While lately I've been posting about insect visitors hanging out at our outside light in Tucson, I'm in a different venue tonight - just arrived at "Ketelsen East" this evening in the western 'burbs of Chicago.  Last time we visited was in early May and the cool wet Spring had delayed the trees budding out, but it is nice and green now.  I drove up right at sunset and it was spectacularly clear - something I've not seen in Tucson in some time!

And something else we don't see in Tucson - I fought a blizzard of mosquitoes to take a couple pictures tonight just outside the house.  In the growing darkness, I saw a 'possum prowling around, but by the time I zoomed and turned the flash on, it ran off. But I did catch something else - lightning bugs! While we've seen them often in previous trips, they are notoriously difficult to image.  They appear during twilight, but don't hang out till dark, so you can't expose a really long time to catch them.  Typically exposures are short and they don't look that impressive.  The picture at left is of our side yard to the South, along the property line with our neighbors.  Looks like a normal shot, but it is 30 seconds exposure with the kit lens opened up about as wide as it will go (F/4.5).  Though the glowing bugs can be detected, they show up a lot better in the zoomed-in version of the same shot at right closer to the resolution limit of the camera - make sure you click the image for the full-size shot - caught at least 8 of 'em!  RAGBRAI starts in a couple days and I may work to get some better shots, so stay tuned for this Summer's Midwest Adventure (SMA!)...

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