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Some September "Critters"
Lens: FA 50 macro, FA 100 macro, Adaptall 90 (plus 2X TC) Camera: K 5 Photo Location: East Tennessee 
Posted By: mole, 09-25-2015, 04:37 PM

The early autumn meadows here in East Tennessee are rich in small wildlife! Mornings in the meadow are gemmed with varied spider webs.




This little Argiope (?) spider got itself rather gemmed with morning dew!




And here's a rather bold Autumn Meadowhawk - on a very patient child's finger...




Common Green Darners hardly every perch, but the cool of an autumn morning kept this one still for just a moment. Tried to get a second shot without the plant obstructions, but she took off...




Was sharing nature education at a nearby school recently, when the children noticed LOTS of tiny dark frogs. It's a species that spends more time burrowed in than out and about. Notice the fold of skin above the eye - helps keep out dirt while the little Eastern Narrowmouth Toad is feasting on ants!






Another sharp-eyed student spotted this Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar at their school. Normally green, they turn yellow soon before they pupate. Those eye-spots just might fool a predator!






One more schoolyard critter discovery - it's a Carolina Mantis. Not the non-native Praying Mantis, but his native cousin. This one was waiting for lunch in the goldenrods.






Hope you enjoyed a few glimpses of the common small lives of the East Tennessee fields. Thanks for any comments and critique!
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09-25-2015, 05:09 PM   #2
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Really nice shots. I especially like the caterpillar.
09-25-2015, 05:59 PM   #3
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I love the Praying Mantis shots.
09-25-2015, 06:11 PM   #4
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That is one great series of Macro shots. TFS

09-25-2015, 06:12 PM   #5
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Beautiful dew on the spiderweb
09-25-2015, 08:04 PM   #6
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A Creature for sure!

Not a great picture but a interesting creature! Megalopyge opercularis, in its larval stage, it's known as the puss or asp caterpillar. Do not touch it, but that should go without saying!! I like your caterpillars, those look nice!!
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09-26-2015, 03:35 AM   #7
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Great series, like the colours. I see you got them eating out of your hand.
09-26-2015, 10:08 AM   #8
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Stunning captures. And how do you talk to those dern dragon flies to train them so well? Bait? Those are so sharp and clean looking.

09-27-2015, 06:17 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by pdvair Quote
Really nice shots. I especially like the caterpillar.
Thanks! Must agree that all the Swallowtail caterpillars are very appealing...

QuoteOriginally posted by Rodney9 Quote
I love the Praying Mantis shots.
Glad you liked her!

QuoteOriginally posted by eaglem Quote
That is one great series of Macro shots. TFS
And thanks for taking time to comment!

QuoteOriginally posted by dzmorgenweck Quote
Beautiful dew on the spiderweb
That's always a fun subject to capture...

QuoteOriginally posted by CarsonDude Quote
Not a great picture but a interesting creature! Megalopyge opercularis, in its larval stage, it's known as the puss or asp caterpillar. Do not touch it, but that should go without saying!! I like your caterpillars, those look nice!!
Yes, I've messed with a few puss-moth caterpillars, and their close cousin, the saddleback caterpillar (Acharia stimulea). Those "stinging" hairs are amazing protection!!

QuoteOriginally posted by Carpon Quote
Great series, like the colours. I see you got them eating out of your hand.
Hah! Actually it was a child's hand. He waited very patiently with his finger right next to the dragonfly's perch, until it decided to land on him instead of the twig.

QuoteOriginally posted by plantej Quote
Stunning captures. And how do you talk to those dern dragon flies to train them so well? Bait? Those are so sharp and clean looking.
My home park has a special event each June called "Dragonfly Day," with guest speakers who teach both identification and observation/photo methods. Among other things, they've taught that certain species of odonates have a favorite perch. They keep coming back to that perch and you can get quite close by moving towards it while they are off flying. Also odonates have no sense of hearing, but amazing vision (especially for movement) in all directions. But if you can creep in close enough to obscure more than about 1/3 of their visual field, they'll ignore you. Will be glad to share more tips if you're interested (or maybe you can come to Dragonfly Day next year).
09-27-2015, 06:49 PM   #10
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nice set!
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