Earwig, Forficula auricularia.

One-day old earwig

One-day old earwig

Another update to the gallery, this time the complete set of the European earwig photos from 2012.

This little guy was first blogged about at Entomology Notes 1: How to pin a baby earwig.

Posted in Alberta, Bugs, Canada, Dermaptera, Edmonton, Forficulidae, Galleries, Insect, macro, photography, White Studio

Red-belted bumblebee, Bombus rufocinctus.


Pollen covered Bombus rufocinctus.

Pollen covered Bombus rufocinctus.

I’ve been neglecting the blog lately as I prepare for two speaking engagements and some new workshops, so when I find time to spare, I work through images from the past. I am hoping to use Zenfolio to store all my images eventually, giving me one more level of image back-up in case my computer crashes again. The latest set of older photos to be uploaded to the gallery are Bombus rufocinctus images from May 2011, and more details can be found in the original blog post.

Posted in Alberta, Apidae, Apinae, Blog Link, Bugs, Canada, Edmonton, garden, Hymenoptera, Insect, macro, photography, Season, Spring

Do not adjust your set….

…design fiddling in progress.


Posted in Website

Running Crab Spider, Thanatus sp.

Thanatus sp., a Running Crab Spider

Thanatus sp., a Running Crab Spider

Another upload to the gallery, this time a female Running Crab Spider (Philodromidae), Thanatus sp., possibly T. formicinus. At the time, I wondered about the ‘split’ on the abdomen, and it was only when I got closer that I saw it was part of the natural pattern! The original post for this spider can be found at Runner on the Sand and includes a cropped close-up of the eye arrangement. The complete Thanatus gallery can be seen here.

(8 May 2012 in the Opal Natural Area, Alberta)

Posted in Alberta, Arachnid, Araneae, Canada, Habitat, Links, macro, MP-E65, Natural Area, Philodromidae, photography, Season, Spring, White Studio Tagged , , , , , |

Update. Wasps and more…

Dolichovespula arenaria, the common aerial yellowjacket.

Dolichovespula arenaria , the common aerial yellowjacket.

◊ The gallery on Dolichovespula arenaria (previously blogged here) has been updated with more photos that were taken in July 2014, including some of the inside of the nest. Go take a gander.

◊ I’ve been working on this new website design for 2015. It is still being refined, but let me know if you find any problems with readability, image display or the design itself.

◊ For those with websites and blogs…broken links can damage your SEO, so it’s worth dealing with them. I have removed dozens of broken links in older posts, with the help of the very useful app ‘Broken Link Checker‘.  It takes a lot of time to dig up replacement links, so I will just have to ignore those for the time being.

That’s all for now, folks.




Posted in Alberta, Blog, Bugs, Canada, Edmonton, Hymenoptera, Insect, Lepidoptera, Links, macro, photography, Shameless self promotion, Vespidae, Web LInk, Winter Tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

In Memoriam–the tongue that killed my flash

Bombus impatiens Cresson

Male Common Eastern Bumblebee, Bombus impatiens Cresson

While this bee was going through a re-shoot, the lighting unit, a Canon MT-24EX Macro Twin Lite Flash, failed on the right side. This image is cropped from the previous 150 image focus-stacked image that I was not satisfied with, but I will share it now because I may not have the opportunity to re-shoot again this winter. I was attempting to show the tongue length with this stack, which is quite amazing but probably not unusual for bumblebees. I have used Lightroom to clean-up grit and dust, but most of the pollen grains remain.

The twin-flash was a used unit, purchased for $500 in 2010. I did not use it heavily, so it’s disappointing that it did not last longer. That is the problem when purchasing reconditioned or used equipment: outside condition is not necessarily an indicator of how often it has been actuated. The MT-24EX is not the perfect macro flash unit by any means, but with adaptations, it worked well when shooting at higher magnification with the MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro Photo Lens.  I will not replace the flash ($900 new!), but will set-up another more affordable system for the coming season.


(Photographed with white-box diffusion. Stacked in Zerene Stacker. Bee provided by Gary Anweiler)

Posted in Apidae, Canada, Equipment, Flash, Focus stacking, Insect, Lenses, macro, MP-E65, photography, Prairie, Season, Winter Tagged , , , , , , |