Category: Insects

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Forager!

I was out walking by the Lake the other day, nonchalantly strolling around as one does on a cooling Autumn day. Movement on one of the rocks caught my eye, so out came the mobile phone and out came the camera! You can just make out the ‘what’ towards the top of this photo.

Oops… sorry – maybe now would be a good time to say ‘Warning! May Contain Bugs!’

In the blink of an eye, this little chap made his way down the rock, to feast on whatever it found lurking in the moss and plant life a little further down:

It’s a shield bug. Normally they are a green/brown colour (well, the ones I normally see are!), but this one caught my eye because of its purples, blues and oranges. I do like a splash of colour, I do. Here he posed to show off his good side:

I’m fascinated by creatures such as this… their intricate markings, the way they know exactly what they’re doing, where they are going, and the way they seem to show no fear when a great looming giant is standing not too far away taking photos of them.

We share our fabulous planet with an abundance of creatures, some of which we wouldn’t even give a second glance to. But if we stop and watch them going about their normal lives, surviving, we start to see the very essence of life itself: just being. Living. The magic of life.

This ends this post. If you aren’t keen on insects and creepy crawlies, you may now come out from behind the sofa!


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Lookout

It’s One Word Sunday once again, and this week Debbie’s theme is ‘Lookout’. Earlier this year I took a few photos looking out over one of the lakes around here, so thought one of these would be ideal for the theme. And in this photo, I managed to capture a passing dragonfly. Not an easy thing to do with the camera on a mobile phone, but I managed it. I’d like to say it was intentional, but I’d caught the ‘burst-shot’ setting on the camera, and ended up with about fifty photos of the same scene, all slightly different from the other. I will also have to look out that I don’t do that again, but then again, sometimes the results are special.

To participate in One Word Sunday, pop on over to Debbie’s site, where you will also be able to see other interpretations of the theme.


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Natural Disaster

Sigh.

Sometimes what seems like a good idea goes completely awry.

“I know!” I thought to myself, inwardly, “I’ll create a watercolour painting. What could go possibly wrong?” I then realised that I’d said, or rather thought, those immortal words that preceded something which didn’t quite turn out as it ought.

Onwards and upwards, I always say, and warts and all, I carried on regardless.

I got my watercolour pad, my watercolour paints and my watercolour water.

“Just do it!” I urged myself. “Don’t bother with the outline in pencil. Just do it!” So I started. With yellow, I created a flowery shape, and then filled it in, adding more reds and oranges to the yellow to bring in the different tones. For the bee, I added a little brown into the mix and painted a splodge just above the larger splodge which was intended to be a flower.

Once I was happyish with the two splodges, I wasn’t happy with the vast chasm of white that separated them on the bevelling and crinkling paper.

“Ooh.” I thought as I desperately tried to hold the paper flat. The wet paint upon the paper was causing the curling, so I reached for my hairdryer (which, since my haircut, I haven’t needed to use for a while!) and switched it on.

Switched it on to temperatures that would seem hot compared to the centre of the Sun. I couldn’t believe it! Steam started coming off the drying paint. It could have been smoke, but I’m going with steam. The paint was drying, which was good. The paper was still trying to wrap itself into knots which wasn’t so good.

Eventually, I was happy with the dry paint, and had managed to keep the paper somewhat smooth, and still rectangular in shape.

I needed green to fill in the chasm. I started with a yucky green and filled in the spaces, and then painted over it with a far more greener green. And then, just to add varying amounts of light and dark, I mixed some black with the green and smeared this around the yellow splodges as well. I made some leaf-like shapes, but I wasn’t really bothered what they looked like as they were just meant as a bit of background colour and nothing else.

Once I’d finished with the green, I wasn’t happy with the yellow, so decided to use my white pen to mark a few edges and create a few highlights here and there.

Only the white pen decided not to work very well. The instructions on the side said to shake the pen, and then press down the nib to allow the white to flow. I managed the get as much outlining of the petals done, before the pen really started playing up. I got the pen going once more and added a shine to the bee’s eye, and a few fluffy bits when the pen stopped again. I shook the pen. Nothing. I pressed the nib. Nothing. I shook the pen again, and white splotches went everywhere. All over the wall, all over the table. All over me. And all over the flower.

The unfortunate thing was that I wanted spots of white to be around the centre of the flower, but nowhere else. And certainly not anywhere that wasn’t included in this painting.

I managed to scrape away some of the unwanted largest splot, which landed almost where I wanted the smaller splots to be, but there is no getting away from the fact that it is an unwanted splot. I’ve tried to make it look like a little shine on the petal, but nah. It doesn’t quite work. Some of the other splots I managed to cunningly disguise, and others I just left them.

Finally, the pen, which I will NEVER use again, worked to allow me to scrape my name onto the painting… although I had to go over it four or five times so that it looked something like.

I then took some photos so I could include the masterpiece disaster on the blog. The photos emphasised the white, where I’d only intended it to be a subtle highlight here and there.

This photo I took second, and in pitch darkness with just the flash of the mobile camera:

This photo I took first, with the big light on and the flash of the mobile camera:

I needed the flash in both instants, well, because in the first one we wouldn’t see anything and in the second one I had a huge shadow of me hulking halfway across the picture. Luckily, the flash solved those problems. Well, I say solved, but beggars can’t be choosers.

This is the inspiration for the painting, I used it in a post the other day, but didn’t paint it exactly as. I wanted to do it a little different. And didn’t I just!

I returned my attention to the watercolour pad, to try and see why it decided to play up as well. I found that it wasn’t a watercolour pad at all, but a pad of heavyweight paper to be used for inks and markers and such. I must have picked up the wrong pad when I went to buy a few new ones a while ago… or someone had mixed it in with the others and I just grabbed three without checking. Lesson learned.

So, this little exercise was doomed from the very beginning. Even before the very beginning in fact.

I called this post ‘Natural Disaster’, which in all fairness it really isn’t. Unless you look at the painting.

Back to the drawing board, I suppose…


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Wordle: Keep Calm and Carry On

The open meadow
Still as still can be
Nothing moving
No blade of grass, no tree
Still as statues
Stability
In a mad mad world
Through the stillness
Snaking left and right
March tiny orange ants
Almost hidden from sight
Unaware of evil
And lies and other sad facts
Of a mad mad world
No torches needed
They weave from A to B
Working hard
Efficiently
A brotherhood of ants
Foraging, collecting
And carrying on
Normally
In a mad mad world