Life in the Natural World

Challenge series hosted by RuthC. Challenges start on Saturdays.
Nature, and small creatures in their natural environment, as seen through the Macro lens.
Announced (1 challenge)
Submissions start day: 3rd January, 2015 GMT
In this FULL COLOUR challenge, show us pictures in nature where the subject is in monochrome, that is, in different shades or tones of a SINGLE colour. NO entries in black & white only, or sepia. You may enter photos of any colour, for example green, but the whole picture must be in shades of green. Ditto white, yellow, pink, red.... See my examples below. Macro and close-ups welcome. Please,...
Open for submissions (1 challenge)
Entries: 27
Voting starts: 3rd January, 2015 GMT
This nature challenge is repeated by request. It's the end of the year, so let's see some end views of insects, spiders and other arthropods. We spend so much time trying to capture the faces and eyes of these creatures that we often overlook their interesting and often colourful abdomens Show us their rear view, (not side or front views.) Macro and close-up shots welcome. Please, no humans,...
Open for voting (1 challenge)
Entries: 99
Votes: 610
Winners announced: 3rd January, 2015 GMT
At this time of the year, when we are giving and receiving gifts from family and friends, consider the gifts that nature gives to us. This might be a beautiful flower which appeals to your senses, a view of a stunning landscape, fresh water, (the ultimate gift of life), a honey bee helping to produce the foods which we eat..... Show us what you consider a gift from nature. Please, no humans,...
Finished (129 challenges)
Entries: 69
Winners announced: 27th December, 2014 GMT
Winner: Blue Damselfy
In this insect challenge show us pictures of DAMSELFLIES, (Order Odonata, Suborder Zygoptera) the much daintier smaller cousins of dragonflies. Macro shots welcome. NO photos of Dragonflies (Order Odonata, Suborder Anisoptera) please. They are usually bigger and sturdier than damselflies and had their own challenge recently. http://bugguide.net/node/view/190/bgpage will provide more information...
Entries: 60
Winners announced: 20th December, 2014 GMT
Winner: the same but different
In this challenge in the 'Leaf' series, here is your opportunity to show us two (2) natural leaves, which are different in colour, texture, size or age. One might be green, the second leaf another colour, or dried, one might be large, the other small; one smooth, the other serrated and rough-textured. Other leaves may be in the picture, but the two leaves which are the subjects should dominate....
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 13th December, 2014 GMT
Winner: Art nouveau
This challenge is about delicacy or fragility in nature. Your entries may be those plants, flowers, insects or animals which are delicate. Alternatively, they may appear deceptively delicate to us while in their own environment they are actually strong and robust. A dragonfly's wings look delicate, while they are surprisingly strong. Beautiful lacy spiderwebs are not really delicate, since they...
Entries: 70
Winners announced: 6th December, 2014 GMT
Winner: Reddish Egret with newly washed hair
Here's your chance to display the weird and wonderful pictures you've collected over the years of plants, animals, insects, birds etc which appear to be having a 'bad hair day'. Only subjects found in nature, please, and no humans, domestic birds or animals. Macro and close-up photos welcome. Size of entry: 1,600px on the longer side.
Entries: 75
Winners announced: 29th November, 2014 GMT
Winner: The Circle of Life
In this challenge show us examples where life is a struggle for survival, in places such as deserts, barren lands, the Arctic or the Antarctic tundras. This might be through lack of water in the deserts, or permafrost in the tundras, or continual harsh weather on rocky inhospitable land. The life in these places might be plants, lichens, insects or spiders, reptiles, animals or birds.......
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 22nd November, 2014 GMT
Winner: Dragonfly Flight
This insect challenge is just for photos of DRAGONFLIES, (Order Odonata, Suborder Anisoptera) possibly the fastest fliers in the insect kingdom. http://bugguide.net/node/view/191/bgpage will provide more information about dragonflies. NO photos of Damselflies (Order Odonata, Suborder Zygoptera). They are smaller than dragonflies, and will have a separate challenge later. Macro shots welcome....
Entries: 75
Winners announced: 15th November, 2014 GMT
Winner: REFLECTION - RED MAPLE
In this challenge, show us ONE RED LEAF, the beauty of its colour, details, veins and texture. The leaf can be outside, still attached to the tree or plant, or it might have fallen to the ground. Other leaves may be in the background, but the single red leaf should be dominant as the subject. Please, no yellow, green, brown, pink, purple or orange leaves, no flowers of any colour in this...
Entries: 99
Winners announced: 8th November, 2014 GMT
Winner: Heaven-on-Earth
This is the title of Richard Llewellyn's book, which was subsequently made into a film, then later a television series. Here, I'd like to see examples of (would you believe?) green valleys. Tell us the location of your valley, if you know it. SIZE: 1,600px MAXIMUM on the entry's longer side.
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 1st November, 2014 GMT
Winner: Antelope Canyon
In this Jigsaw Puzzle challenge, the subject is to be an abstract of nature. It must be 1. Part of the natural world. 2. An abstract picture. 3. A very detailed and 'busy' scene which would make an ideal jigsaw puzzle. Think 1,000 piece "drive you crazy" picture. Your entry might be a waterscape, landscape, leaves, tree bark, flowers, animals in the wild, an insect's wing, patterns in the...
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 25th October, 2014 GMT
Winner: The Wave 5 0811
This challenge is all about the beautiful curves which we see in nature. Perhaps the curve is in a leaf, a petal, a wave at sea, a seashell. Where possible, the subject should be outside in the natural environment. Please, no domestic animals. Macro and close-ups welcome. SIZE: 1,600px MAXIMUM ON LONGER SIDE.
Entries: 70
Winners announced: 18th October, 2014 GMT
Winner: Wasps_2068
In this challenge show us photos of insects, spiders or other arthropods which can bite or sting us, (humans or animals.) Think mosquitos, ants, bees, wasps, venomous spiders such as the Black Widow in America, or the Redback in Australia, scorpions, etc. This challenge is NOT about insects stinging other insects or eating them. Where possible, the insects or spiders should be outside in their...
Entries: 50
Winners announced: 11th October, 2014 GMT
Winner: Persian Shield
In this challenge, show us natural leaves coloured pink or purple, the beauty of their unusual colour, details, veins and texture of the leaves. Your entry can be a single leaf or multiple leaves. The leaves can be outside, still attached to the tree or plant, or they might have fallen to the ground. Other leaves may be in the background, but the pink or purple leaves should be dominant as the...
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 4th October, 2014 GMT
Winner: Loneliness
The evocative title of Thomas Hardy's book is a line taken from Gray's 'Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard'. It offers us the opportunity to share some interesting photographs of lonely, quiet, rural, contemplative places. Please DON'T enter shots of graveyards; just quiet, isolated places. Man-made structures can be present, but should not dominate the picture. Tell us the location of your...
Entries: 99
Winners announced: 27th September, 2014 GMT
Winner: Grand Marais Rocks
I've been asked to repeat some of the Jigsaw Puzzle Challenges, which I started back in 2012. In this challenge, show us an example of something very busy, and detailed: a natural landscape, a seascape, a forest, plants, flowers, trees, birds or animals in the wild, insects, etc etc which would make a great jigsaw puzzle. Man-made structures, (roads, buildings, bridges etc.,) should be...
Entries: 70
Winners announced: 20th September, 2014 GMT
Winner: Organic colors
Here's your chance to show us nature at its most flamboyant and colourful best. Sometimes we see trees, flowers, birds, insects, rocks etc in such bright colours that they surprise and disturb our senses. Your entries can be these discordant colours, or they can just be very vivid and bright. But let NATURE take centre-stage, NOT your saturated post-processing. (If entries look unrealistic...
Entries: 60
Winners announced: 13th September, 2014 GMT
Winner: One Orange leaf
In this challenge, show us one natural orange leaf, its beauty, detail, veins and texture of the leaf. Macro and close-up photos welcome. The single orange leaf can be outside, still attached to the tree or plant, but it might have fallen, and attracted you to it where it lies. Other leaves may be in the background, but there should be only one dominant leaf as the subject.This is the fourth of...
Entries: 96
Winners announced: 6th September, 2014 GMT
Winner: Red Shiny Head
In this challenge, show us subjects which are shiny in nature, where the texture of the subject is smooth and (usually) highly reflective. Show us shiny sea shells, the hard exoskeleton wings of beetles, shiny leaves, pebbles, rocks or wood polished by the weather. The subject of your entry must be tangible, and able to be touched, so sunshine, sunsets, reflections of water, will probably be...
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 30th August, 2014 GMT
Winner: Out of the Mist
Have you taken a stroll beside a river, fresh water lake, pond, lagoon or canal recently? Show us interesting examples of life here. This is a nature challenge, so show us water ripples, reflections of reeds, overhanging branches, waterbirds, fish, canoeists, swimmers etc. Please, NO noisy activities which disturb the peace in the water. Beside the water, you might see trees, leaves, flowers,...
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 23rd August, 2014 GMT
Winner: Mantis fly
This challenge gives you an opportunity to showcase some unusual, interesting insects, or arthropods which you've captured on your camera. Let's think beyond honey bees, bumblebees, butterflies etc to some of the more unusual creatures you've found. If you don't know what they are, then another member might know. Where possible, the insects or spiders should be outside in their natural...
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 16th August, 2014 GMT
Winner: sundown all around
In this challenge show us examples where colours in nature harmonise together. I know that this is very subjective, but I'd like to see what colours YOU think are harmonious, and are pleasing in YOUR eyes. I'm not just referring to 'complementary colours' of red-green, yellow-violet etc., but I want to see pictures which you find pleasing to view, and perhaps tell us why. Preferences for colour...
Entries: 74
Winners announced: 9th August, 2014 GMT
Winner: All paths lead to the center
In this challenge, show us one natural brown leaf, its beauty, detail, veins and texture of the leaf. Macro and close-up photos welcome. The single brown leaf may be outside, still attached to the tree or plant, but it has probably fallen, and attracted you to it where it lies. Other leaves may be in the background, but there should only be one dominant leaf as the subject.This is the third of...
Entries: 65
Winners announced: 2nd August, 2014 GMT
Winner: Honolulu Zoo
The structure of a bird's feather is quite amazing when looked at through a Macro lens or a microscope. The design is quite specific for each species of bird, whether the feathers are to aid flight, waterproofing, downy to keep warm, muted to camouflage, or brightly-coloured to display themselves to the world. Show us examples of the beautiful design of feathers, a single feather or many. ...
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 26th July, 2014 GMT
Winner: winter Walk
Do you have the opportunity sometimes to take a walk in a park? Show us interesting examples of life in the park. This is a nature challenge, so think trees, leaves, flowers, leaf litter, birds and bees, people having lunch, children playing together... Tell us the location of your park if known. It should be a park or garden open to the public, not a private garden. Macro and close-ups...
Entries: 73
Winners announced: 19th July, 2014 GMT
Winner: Ambush
In nature we often see examples of things suspended in midair, sometimes for protection, sometimes by accident. Show us what you've found suspended. It might be a spiderweb, a caterpillar hanging by a single thread, an insects' or a bird's nest Maybe it's an icicle or a stalactite, a plant growing in a precarious place; perhaps a vine or branch crossing a void to form a natural bridge. Where...
Entries: 88
Winners announced: 12th July, 2014 GMT
Winner: From immature bud to mature flower.
This challenge is seeking examples of the way everything in nature changes over time. Perhaps you see this in the life cycle of a plant, an insect, or an animal. Tiny plants become mighty trees, which die, and become the host for other plants and animals. Old leaves become the mulch for new plants to thrive. Rocky headlands erode and become sand on the beaches or new habitats for underwater...
Entries: 59
Winners announced: 5th July, 2014 GMT
Winner: Fern Spring Leaf
In this challenge, show us one natural yellow leaf, its beauty, detail, veins and texture of the leaf. Macro and close-up photos welcome. The single yellow leaf may be outside, still attached to the tree or plant, or it may have fallen, and attracted you to it where it lies. Other leaves may be in the background, but there should only be one dominant leaf as the subject. The leaf may be...
103. Dewdrops
Entries: 79
Winners announced: 28th June, 2014 GMT
Winner: tiny drop
This is always a popular subject in photography, and with good reason! Show us the beauty of dewdrops on leaves, flowers, insects, spiders and their webs, and the wonderful delicacy during their short existence. Please NO raindrops, which will be DQ'd from this challenge. As this is a nature challenge, no photos of waterdrops with beautiful post-processed images within the drops.; save these...
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 21st June, 2014 GMT
Winner: bears clamming on beach near Lake Clark NP, Alaska
Do you have happy childhood memories of spending days at the beach, of sun, sand and surf? Show us interesting examples of nature by the sea. This is a nature challenge, so think rockpools, seaweed, shells, wading birds, footprints in the sand, driftwood, breaking waves, fishing, children building sand castles, etc.... Please NO scantily-clad men or women, and NO slow-speed cotton candy shots...
Entries: 82
Winners announced: 14th June, 2014 GMT
Winner: Tokay Gecko
In this challenge, let us see examples of spots or dots in nature, perhaps on flowers, plants, tree bark, insects or spiders, wild (undomesticated) animals or birds, the first drops of rain on dry ground, etc. By 'spot' I mean a mark on a surface differing sharply in colour or texture from its surroundings. Macro and close-ups welcome. Where possible, the subject should be outside in the...
Entries: 86
Winners announced: 7th June, 2014 GMT
Winner: allium fields
We tend to look at flowers from above, as they display their beauty to the sun, and be attractive to insects, birds etc. However, they can look quite different from below. Show us examples of upward-facing flowers backlit by the overhead sun. Get your camera down to ground-level, and see these flowers from a different aspect. White daisies are often shot this way, but they are just too easy for...
Entries: 58
Winners announced: 31st May, 2014 GMT
Winner: Dandelion Seeds
In this challenge, show us seed pods: EITHER pods or capsules with their seeds still inside, after the flowers have bloomed, OR the pods are empty now, but are still interesting to look at for their textures, shape, colour and size. They should be in their natural environment, still on or near the plant whether it is a tree, shrub, small plant or grass. Insects, spiders or other small creatures...
Entries: 98
Winners announced: 24th May, 2014 GMT
Winner: One Green Leaf - Backlit
In this challenge, show us one natural green leaf, its beauty, detail, veins and texture of the leaf. Macro and close-up photos welcome. The single green leaf may be outside, still attached to the tree or plant, or it may have fallen, and attracted you to it where it lies. Other leaves may be in the background, but there should only be one dominant leaf as the subject. This is the first of a...
Entries: 74
Winners announced: 17th May, 2014 GMT
Winner: JEWEL BUG
This challenge is for you to show us your best and most interesting beetles (Order Coleoptera) or true bugs (Order Hemiptera), displaying their interesting shapes and colours. Beetles tend to have a split down the back of their hard-shell wings, and have chewing mouth parts. Bugs typically have diagonally-crossed wings, and a long proboscis for feeding. Where possible, the beetles or bugs...
Entries: 33
Winners announced: 10th May, 2014 GMT
Winner: fossilized plant
Here's an interesting one for you, to show us evidence that life was around a long, long time ago. The fossils, such as shells, animals, petrified wood may be still in situ out there in the natural world, or you may have interesting specimens which you use as paperweights or doorstops! Please, NO photos of elderly grandparents as this may offend those of us in our dotage. Size, 1,600px MAXIMUM...
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 3rd May, 2014 GMT
Winner: Falcon shades of grey
Grey is not my most favourite colour, yet I've noticed there are some very interesting shades of grey in the natural world. Here's your opportunity to show us some of them. Your pictures might be of drift wood, moths' wings, spiders, feathers, (with or without the owners), rocks or pebbles, grey clouds in the sky, foggy mornings. No domestic animals. Please, full colour photos only, DON'T...
Entries: 56
Winners announced: 26th April, 2014 GMT
Winner: Hollow Home
In this challenge, show us examples in nature of subjects which are hollow. This might be a giant log which has become hollow through old age and decay, lava tubes, ice caves, or it may be something very small, such as marine tubeworm shells, bamboo, dried grass stalks. Macro and close-ups welcome. Where possible, the subject should be outside in the natural environment. SIZE: 1,600px MAXIMUM...
Entries: 80
Winners announced: 19th April, 2014 GMT
Winner: over the sea
Nature has a wonderful way of reclaiming its lost land. Show us examples where nature has found ways to start new life, through plants, moss, fungi etc., often in extremely harsh, unwelcome places. The plants can be between bricks, stones, concrete, steel, asphalt, or other man-made structures. Show us the sense of struggle and survival between the tiny plant and the large structure. Please NO...
Entries: 78
Winners announced: 12th April, 2014 GMT
Winner: Very Hairy Jumper
In the world of insects and spiders, show us the interesting details and hairiness of these creatures' legs, which isn't visible with our naked eyes. Show us your best photos of these hirsute, or in some cases, prickly, or spiny legs. Macro and close-up photos welcome. Where possible, the insects or spiders should be outside in their natural environment, (unless you too have Daddy-Long-Legs and...
Entries: 69
Winners announced: 5th April, 2014 GMT
Winner: Two pals
By request, here is an opportunity for you to showcase interesting and beautiful seashells (molluscs). The shells may still be enjoying life at the seaside, or you may have the shells at home where you can still admire the intricacies of these remarkable molluscs. Please, NO photos of fine dining with oysters on a bed of rock salt, snails in garlic butter, seafood paella etc. I will allow...
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 29th March, 2014 GMT
Winner: Natural Repetition
If we look around, we can see many examples of nature using repeating patterns, on leaves, flowers, seed pods, tidal marks at the beach, clouds in the sky, sedimentary rocks,.... Show us your interesting examples of these patterns. Where possible, the patterns should be outside in the natural environment. Macro and close-up shots welcome. Size, 1,600px MAXIMUM
Entries: 99
Winners announced: 22nd March, 2014 GMT
Winner: Rough yet gentle
In this challenge, show us examples of roughness in nature, where the texture of the subject is dominant. Show us craggy rocks, coarse tree bark, textured leaves....The subject should appear to be rough relative to its environment. Macro and close-ups welcome. Where possible, the subject should be outside in the natural environment. SIZE: 1,600px MAXIMUM ON LONGER SIDE.
Entries: 89
Winners announced: 15th March, 2014 GMT
Winner: notholirion thomsonianum
Show us examples of flowers, in nature, which hold their heads down, rather than up to the sunlight. You may enter photos of a single flower or multiples, looking straight at the flowers, or from below, peering inside them to see their inner secrets. Where possible, the flowers should be outside in the natural environment. Please, NO flowers in vases or dried arrangements. Macro and close-up...
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 8th March, 2014 GMT
Winner: The Beautiful Kingfisher
In this challenge, show us examples of some very detailed aspects of nature. We have just seen examples of the simplicity of nature; now let us see the wonderful intricate details of nature. Flowers, plants, insects, small animals, (not domestic), etc. Macro and close-up photos welcome. Size of entry: 1,600px MAXIMUM on its longer side. Where possible, the subject should be outside in the...
Entries: 97
Winners announced: 1st March, 2014 GMT
Winner: hayden valley iconic lodgepole pine
By request, this challenge is being repeated, as the first one was popular, and filled very quickly. In this challenge, show us examples of simplicity in nature, perhaps a grass stalk, a leaf, a pebble or shell at the beach. Your entries should be VERY SIMPLE and MINIMAL. Less is better in this challenge. If the entry is considered too busy and detailed, it will be DQ'd. Macro and close-ups...
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 22nd February, 2014 GMT
Winner: Zic Zac
This challenge gives you the opportunity to showcase some interesting insects, or arthropods which you've captured on your camera. Let's think beyond honey bees, bumblebees, butterflies etc to some of the more unusual creatures you've found. If you don't know what they are, then another member might know. The insects should be outside in the natural world if possible, doing their natural...
84. Moss
Entries: 99
Winners announced: 15th February, 2014 GMT
Winner: Mossy Roof
In this challenge, show us interesting and beautiful mosses; the beauty and details found in their textures, and colours. These are some of the very earliest plant-life of the ancient world, and there are known to be at least 12,000 species. The mosses should be outside in their natural environment. Macro and close-up photos are welcome. (Lichens, which have different botanical structures have...
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 8th February, 2014 GMT
Winner: Slick
In this challenge, show us examples of smoothness in nature, perhaps a flower petal, a leaf, nuts or seed pods, the hard, shiny exoskeleton of a beetle, a pebble at the beach... The subject should appear to be smooth relative to its environment. (Water-worn rocks in a riverbed or beneath a waterfall are acceptable, though we know that up close they are quite rough). Macro and close-ups...
Entries: 87
Winners announced: 1st February, 2014 GMT
Winner: Electricity
Here is your opportunity to show us photos you've captured recently of the weather that has been making life so difficult in many parts of the world. Your entry may be of dramatic snow storms, frozen rivers, the chaos of attempting to travel in many parts of the US and Canada, the floods which have inundated parts of Britain and Europe, typhoons in Asia, or bushfires in Australia.You may enter...
Entries: 98
Winners announced: 25th January, 2014 GMT
Winner: Ninety eight, ninety nine, one hundred. Coming ready or not.
In this challenge, show us a photo of something in the natural world which brought a smile to your face. Perhaps it was an insect, spider or other small creature, a flower or plant, or maybe rocks. Macro and close-ups welcome. Size 1,600px MAXIMUM.
Entries: 61
Winners announced: 18th January, 2014 GMT
Winner: Time to Disperse
For this New Year, show us photos of new life in the world of very small creatures (arthropods) or plantlife. This might be baby insects or spiders, eggs, or tiny new plants rising from the earth. If possible, photos should be taken outside in the natural environment. Macro shots and close-ups welcome. SIZE: 1,600px MAXIMUM ON LONGER SIDE.
Entries: 91
Winners announced: 11th January, 2014 GMT
Winner: Spinner
This challenge is repeated by request. It's the end of the year, so let's see some end views of insects, spiders and other arthropods. We spend so much time trying to capture the faces and eyes of these creatures that we often overlook their interesting and often colourful abdomens Show us their rear view, (not side or front views.) Macro and close-up shots welcome. The creatures should be...
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 4th January, 2014 GMT
Winner: Agapanthus
Here's a challenge, at this time of gift-giving, to show us interesting ways nature wraps its treasures. The subject may be the outer wrapping OR the treasure inside, or both. This might be a seed pod, a case moth (or bagworm), a shell, a bud just opening, a rock with crystals hidden inside.... Macro and close-up shots welcome. SIZE: 1,600px MAXIMUM ON LONGER SIDE.
Entries: 56
Winners announced: 28th December, 2013 GMT
Winner: Roseate Spoonbill
In this challenge show us examples in nature, of birds, animals, fish, plants, flowers, insects or spiders, etc., which have been given nicknames which describe them well. The names will not be their scientific names, but have been adopted into common usage because that is what the subjects look, feel, sound, smell or taste like. Examples which come to mind include spoonbills, parrotfish,...
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 21st December, 2013 GMT
Winner: Abutilon
In this challenge, show us examples of the beauty of simplicity in nature, perhaps a grass stalk, a leaf, a pebble or shell at the beach,.... If the entry is too 'busy' and detailed, I may ask you to withdraw it and submit a simpler picture. Less is better in this challenge. Macro and close-ups welcome. Where possible, the subject should be outside in the natural environment. SIZE: 1,600px...
Entries: 53
Winners announced: 14th December, 2013 GMT
Winner: The Eyes Have It
In this challenge, show us the clever forms of mimicry that insects, spiders, or other small arthropods use to trick their predators into believing they are unpalatable or dangerous. Some flowers use mimicry to entice pollination. Camouflage is a form of visual mimicry, and clever examples of camouflage will be accepted in the challenge if they are appropriate. (The insect or spider must be...
Entries: 99
Winners announced: 7th December, 2013 GMT
Winner: The Blue Poppy
Show us Macro or close-up examples of flowers, plants or leaves (or anything botanical) which would make a great jigsaw puzzle. The entry can be just one flower, leaf or plant, or lots of them. Insects or spiders etc may be present, but the flowers or plants must be the dominant subject of the picture. Think 1,000+ piece, devious 'drive-you-crazy' picture with lots of minute details.... :-)...
Entries: 69
Winners announced: 30th November, 2013 GMT
Winner: hummingbird moth
In this challenge show us examples in nature, of plants, flowers, insects or spiders, etc., which have been given names which describe them well. The names will not be their scientific names, but have been adopted into common usage because that is what the subjects looks like. Examples which come to mind include lady slipper orchids, bachelor's buttons, bottle brushes (callistemons,) powder...
Entries: 32
Winners announced: 23rd November, 2013 GMT
Winner: Shy Millipede
Here's your chance to showcase those unusual little Arthropod critters which don't fit into the world of spiders or insects. These include scorpions, centipedes, millipedes, slaters, (woodlice or pill bugs), mites, ticks, small crustaceans; (no lobsters or large crabs, please.....) Macro and close-up shots welcome. Where possible, the subjects should be outside in their natural environment....
Entries: 98
Winners announced: 16th November, 2013 GMT
Winner: Bud of an Aloe Flower
In this challenge show us examples of abstract beauty in nature. The subject might be a leaf, tree bark, a rocky outcrop, patterns in the sand, an insect's wing, etc., but it must be recognisable as a natural object, and not man-made. Where possible, the abstract subject should be outside in its natural environment. Macro and close-up shots welcome. SIZE: 1,600px MAXIMUM ON LONGER SIDE.
Entries: 31
Winners announced: 9th November, 2013 GMT
Winner: Cicada Hatching
Here's an interesting challenge for you. Show us examples of insects or spiders, (or other arthropods) in the act of moulting, OR their abandoned and cast-off exoskeletons, or outer skins. Macro and close-up shots welcome. If the insect or spider is in the act of moulting, it should be outside in its natural environment. MAXIMUM SIZE 1,600px.
Entries: 60
Winners announced: 2nd November, 2013 GMT
Winner: no winner
This may be an interesting challenge for you to find examples of sharp angles in nature, where curves and smooth lines are the norm. The triangles, squares, diamonds, rectangles rhomboids, polygons etc should be outside in the natural environment. Macro and close-up shots welcome. SIZE: 1,600px MAXIMUM ON LONGER SIDE.
68. Ants #2
Entries: 49
Winners announced: 26th October, 2013 GMT
Winner: ant symmetry
Ants are always a popular subject, to photograph, even when they won't stay still! So show us your best photos of these little hard workers in their natural environment, (either one or many ants). Get up close and personal, but try not to get bitten.... :-) The ant/ants should be outside, not inside under artificial conditions. Macro and close-up shots welcome. SIZE 1,600px MAXIMUM!
Entries: 90
Winners announced: 19th October, 2013 GMT
Winner: Predator
Here is your opportunity to showcase the beauty and intricacy of these remarkable insect-catchers. Your photo could be a complete web, with spider, or just part of one. The spider may be present, but the web MUST be the main subject: more web, less spider. Macro and close-up shots welcome. The photos should be taken outside in their natural environment, (unless you too have spider webs in your...
Entries: 24
Winners announced: 12th October, 2013 GMT
Winner: Bald faced nest
In this challenge, show us the interesting places where insects, spiders or other arthropods make their homes, perhaps to stay protected and dry from the weather, or where they raise their young. Think bee hives, wasps' nests, ants' nests, insects or spiders who have woven leaves together to protect themselves against the world. (Note: The well-known and much-photographed aerial webs of spiders...
Entries: 99
Winners announced: 5th October, 2013 GMT
Winner: Ladybugs
Show us Macro or close-up examples of insects, spiders or other arthropods which would make a great jigsaw puzzle. The entry can be just one insect or spider or lots of them. Flowers or plants etc may be present, but the insects or spiders must be the dominant subject of the picture. Think 1,000+ piece, devious 'drive-you-crazy' picture with lots of minute details.... :-) SIZE: 1,600px MAXIMUM...
Entries: 78
Winners announced: 28th September, 2013 GMT
Winner: Mist
Here's your chance to show off your best pictures of dandelions, (Taraxacum species), either the flowers or the puffballs, or both. For many folks, this is one of the first subjects they shoot when trying out Macro photography, so enjoy showing us your works of art. Macro and close-up shots welcome. The dandelions should be outside in their natural environment, not inside under artificial...
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 21st September, 2013 GMT
Winner: Hunter
Some insects have amazing see-through wings, which appear to be extremely fragile, though they probably aren't. Show us examples of these wings, their beauty and their interesting structure. Macro and close-up shots welcome. Where possible, if the insect is still alive it should be outside in its natural environment. MAXIMUM SIZE 1,600px.
62. Lichens
Entries: 80
Winners announced: 14th September, 2013 GMT
Winner: Cladonia crystatella.
In this challenge, show us interesting and beautiful lichens; the beauty and interesting details that can be found in their textures, and colours. These are some of the very earliest plant-life of the ancient world. The lichens should be outside in their natural environment if possible. Macro and close-up photos are welcome. (Mosses, which have different botanical structures will have their own...
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 7th September, 2013 GMT
Winner: Pair of Citrus Swollowtail. Wings closed and open.
In this challenge, show us beautiful butterflies, Order Lepidoptera. They are the flamboyant members of the insect world. They (generally) hold their resting wings upright. (Moths are more modest in appearance than butterflies, and hold their resting wings flat. They had their own challenge recently, so any moths which flutter into the challenge will be DQ'd.) Show us butterflies alive and...
Entries: 63
Winners announced: 31st August, 2013 GMT
Winner: Fibonacci forest
Show us the unique and interesting ways nature uses spirals, whether in plants, flowers, seeds pods, in insects ands spiders, (the ultimate spiral makers), or shells etc. Subjects should be taken outside in their natural environment, if possible, not inside under artificial conditions. No flat circles, or spheres. Macro and close-up shots welcome. SIZE: 1,600px MAXIMUM ON LONGER SIDE.
Entries: 82
Winners announced: 24th August, 2013 GMT
Winner: Getting There
Here's your chance to show us these amazing insects with their wings in action. showing off their beauty, colours, and speed. The insects should be flying around in their natural environment. Macro and close-up shots welcome. Size: MAXIMUM 1,600px on LONGER SIDE.
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 17th August, 2013 GMT
Winner: oxbow bend 3
Show us an example of a very detailed seascape or waterscape which would make a great jigsaw puzzle. Think lots of water whether it is an ocean, a beach, a lake, a waterfall or a river! There can be evidence of man-made structures, such as roads, buildings, bridges over the water, but they should not dominate the entry. Think 1,000+ piece, devious 'drive-you-crazy' picture with lots of minute...
57. Flies
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 10th August, 2013 GMT
Winner: no winner
Yes, this challenge is giving flies (Order Diptera) the opportunity to show their talents??? and redeem themselves in the eyes of the public who just see them as pests needing to be swatted or sprayed. You may enter any type of flies, (order Diptera) whether they are house flies, hover flies, robber flies, time flies, even mosquitoes and gnats, (which are in the same family). The flies should...
Entries: 95
Winners announced: 3rd August, 2013 GMT
Winner: Timely rains
In this challenge, show us interesting and beautiful ways that nature carpets the ground, perhaps with wildflowers, fallen leaves, mosses, or even frost in winter. Show us the beauty and interesting details that can be found there, in their textures, and colours. Please, NO cultivated fields or man-made coverings such as garden beds, grass or lawn. Think soft and natural! SIZE: 1,600px MAXIMUM...
55. Bugs
Entries: 46
Winners announced: 27th July, 2013 GMT
Winner: Mama bug and baby bugs
In this challenge, let us see photos of true bugs, (Order Hemiptera), showing off their interesting shapes and colours. Bugs typically have diagonally-crossed wings, and a proboscis for feeding. The bugs must be outside in their natural environment, on leaves, flowers, trees, just doing what comes naturally to them, not inside under studio lights. Macro and close-up shots welcome. Refer to...
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 20th July, 2013 GMT
Winner: Lunar Eclipse
In this challenge, show us spheres or balls formed by nature. This might be a flower, a dandelion puffball, a fruit or seed, a drop of water as dew, or the moon. Subjects should be taken outside in their natural environment, not inside under studio lights. No flat, one-dimensional circles, or spirals this time. Waterdrops should be natural, NOT those captured by high speed flash in a studio....
Entries: 54
Winners announced: 13th July, 2013 GMT
Winner: Striped Horsefly Portrait
This challenge is only for INSECTS' or SPIDERS' eyes. Show us your best close-up or Macro photos of these interesting parts of their anatomy, which are so different from our own eyes. The insects or spiders should be outside in their natural environment, on leaves, flowers, trees, just doing what comes naturally for them, not inside under studio lights. Size: MAXIMUM 1,600px on LONGER SIDE.
Entries: 81
Winners announced: 6th July, 2013 GMT
Winner: Lancing College Chapel
Here's your chance to show us a very detailed picture inside a building or man-made structure: perhaps a shopping centre, a place of worship, hardware store, supermarket, a ship, or other place whose internal view would make a very busy, drive-you-crazy jigsaw puzzle. Your entry could be an overall view of the building interior, or a close-up of its contents, or merchandise on display. Think...
Entries: 48
Winners announced: 29th June, 2013 GMT
Winner: HUMMINGBIRD MOTH ON SPOTTED KNAPWEED
In this challenge, show us the beauty of moths, Order Lepidoptera. Moths are flying insects which (generally) hold their resting wings flat. Their antennae do NOT have the 'knobs' at the tips seen on butterflies.They are usually more modest in appearance than their butterfly cousins. Many are night-flyers. (Butterflies are mostly day-flyers, holding their wings upright to their body, when at...
Entries: 98
Winners announced: 22nd June, 2013 GMT
Winner: Withered
In this challenge, show us examples of flowers, leaves, trees or plants or other natural phenomenon, which are no longer perfect in form, but their beauty has been enhanced by defects. Perhaps the subject has been chewed by an insect, or damaged by the wind or rain, or old age. Macro and close-up shots welcome. Insects or spiders may be present, but should not dominate the picture. Subjects...
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 15th June, 2013 GMT
Winner: Stucked Bumble Bee
This is always a very popular subject, so I'm repeating it for your enjoyment. You may enter any type of bee, whether it is a honey bee, a bumble bee, or a native bee. The bee/bees must be outside, on flowers, leaves, buzzing around, or just doing what bees do; NOT under studio lights. NO flies, or other insects. Macro and close-up shots welcome. Size: MAXIMUM 1,600px on LONGER SIDE.
Entries: 50
Winners announced: 8th June, 2013 GMT
Winner: no winner
Here's your chance to show us the really weird and wonderful fungi which grow, often sight-unseen. The fungi can be mushrooms, toadstools or other strange growths which defy categorisation. Macro and close-up shots welcome. You may not know what the fungus is, and other entrants or viewers might help identify them. Photos taken outside in the real world are preferred, but for this challenge,...
47. Beetles
Entries: 67
Winners announced: 1st June, 2013 GMT
Winner: long horn beetle
In this challenge, let us see photos of beetles, (Order Coleoptera), showing off their beauty and colours. The beetles must be outside in their natural environment, on leaves, flowers, trees, just doing what comes naturally to them, not inside under studio lights. Macro and close-up shots welcome. Refer to http://bugguide.net/node/view/60/bgpage for more information on beetles. (Bugs, order...
Entries: 98
Winners announced: 25th May, 2013 GMT
Winner: Circular Wave by Insect
In this challenge, show us circles formed by nature. This might be a flower, a mushroom, a leaf, or perhaps something formed by wind or water. Macro and close-up shots welcome. Subjects should be taken outside in their natural environment, not inside under studio lights. No balls or spheres, or spirals this time; they will have their own challenges later. No shots of the moon, (which is a...
Entries: 99
Winners announced: 18th May, 2013 GMT
Winner: Bugs Life
In this challenge, show us tiny insects, spiders, or arthropods, in relation to their natural surroundings. Macro and close-ups are welcome, but the subject of the entry must be seen as very small in its environment. Show the insects or spiders outside, on leaves, flowers, trees, just doing what comes naturally to them, not inside under studio lights. TO BE CONSIDERED TINY, THE SUBJECT SHOULD...
Entries: 84
Winners announced: 11th May, 2013 GMT
Winner: Prague
Here's your chance to show us a very detailed picture of a cityscape, townscape, buildings or man-made structures, bridges, statues or sculptures, which would make a very busy, drive-you-crazy jigsaw puzzle. Think 1,000+ piece puzzle with lots of minute details. This jigsaw puzzle should show the EXTERNAL views of the buildings, etc., NO interior shots; and NO seascapes this time. SIZE:...
Entries: 51
Winners announced: 4th May, 2013 GMT
Winner: Mantis
Here is your chance to showcase Praying Mantids (or Mantis); Order Mantodea; these interesting insects, which can stay very, very still, or catch their prey at lightning speed. Show us praying mantids outside in their natural environment, on leaves, flowers, trees, just doing what comes naturally to them, not inside under studio lights. Refer to praying mantis in Wikipedia, or ...
Entries: 96
Winners announced: 27th April, 2013 GMT
Winner: no winner
This challenge is about flowers on tall stalks or stems. It may be difficult to find appropriate examples of stemmed flowers, because we look at the flower as the subject, and ignore the stem. (Why do some flowers hug the ground or remain close to their parent plant, while others reach for the sky?) Your flower may have risen to great heights from a succulent, or you might shoot smaller plants,...
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 20th April, 2013 GMT
Winner: grasshopper
In this challenge show us your best photos of these interesting insects, of the Order Orthoptera: grasshoppers, crickets or katydids; the ones with powerful springs in their back legs! Macro and close-up shots welcome. These insects must be outside, on flowers, leaves, or just doing what they do; NOT under studio lights. Go to http://bugguide.net/node/view/73/bgpage for more information. SIZE:...
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 13th April, 2013 GMT
Winner: Bulbophyllum Orchid
In this challenge, show us examples what you think are some of nature's really weird, unusual or bizarre flowers. Macro and close-up shots welcome. You may not know what the flowers are, and other entrants or viewers might help identify them. Photos taken outside in the real world are preferred, but for this challenge, you may have had a reason for shooting indoors. Small insects or spiders...
Entries: 61
Winners announced: 6th April, 2013 GMT
Winner: Crab Spider
In this challenge, show us the clever forms of camouflage that insects, spiders, or other small arthropods use to hide themselves from other predators, or wait for their own meal to come along. They should be outside, on flowers, leaves, or trees, NOT under studio lights. Macro and close-up shots welcome. SIZE: 1,600px MAXIMUM ON LONGER SIDE.
Entries: 20
Winners announced: 30th March, 2013 GMT
Winner: Sarracenia-trumpet pitcher.
This challenge is for you to showcase your photos of those strange and unusual plants, such as sundews, snaptraps, pitcher plants etc. which derive their nutrients from trapped insects, spiders or even tiny animals. Capture your photos in the natural environment if you can, though some of these carnivorous plants may be in pots or baskets, because that is the only way we can see and experience...
Entries: 67
Winners announced: 23rd March, 2013 GMT
Winner: Yellow Jacket Wasp (vespula vulgaris)
In this challenge, show us those insects we refer to as wasps, or their larger relatives, hornets. (Order Hymenoptera.) Often they aren't so friendly to those of us who accidentally encounter them or their nests. However, they are very useful, as parasitizers to control most pest insects. Macro and close-up shots welcome. The wasps or hornets, must be outside, on flowers, leaves, flying...
Entries: 88
Winners announced: 16th March, 2013 GMT
Winner: Yuanyang Hani Terraced Field, Yunnan, China
Show us an example of a very busy, detailed landscape which would make a great jigsaw puzzle. There must be evidence of man-made structures, such as roads, buildings, bridges over rivers or streams, orchards, tree plantations, vineyards, cultivated fields, etc. NO cityscapes, townscapes or seascapes this time please. Think 1,000+ piece, devious 'drive-you-crazy' picture with lots of minute...
Entries: 70
Winners announced: 9th March, 2013 GMT
Winner: Together
In the world of small creatures, show us two insects [perhaps more], spiders, (or other small arthropod creatures) as mating couples. They should be outside, on flowers, leaves, or trees, NOT under studio lights. Macro shots welcome. SIZE: 1,600px MAXIMUM ON LONGER SIDE.
Entries: 96
Winners announced: 2nd March, 2013 GMT
Winner: Three Friends
Photographing a single rose to capture its beauty, texture and colour is not difficult. In this challenge, show us TWO OR MORE roses in bloom, with open petals, in your entry. A single rose and bud, or unopened buds as the subject, will be DQ'd. The roses must be outside, still on the rose bush or shrub, with the natural background still visible. Please, NOT in a floral bouquet, flower market,...
Entries: 49
Winners announced: 23rd February, 2013 GMT
Winner: forest glory
This challenge is just for photos of DAMSELFLIES, (Order Odonata, Suborder Zygoptera) the much daintier smaller cousins of dragonflies. The damselflies must be outside, on flowers, leaves, flying around, or just doing what damselflies do; NOT under studio lights. Macro shots welcome. NO photos of Dragonflies (Order Odonata, Suborder Anistera) please. They are usually bigger and sturdier than...
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 16th February, 2013 GMT
Winner: Amethyst deciever
What do you see when you look down at the ground, amongst the fallen leaves, bark, needles and twigs? Show us the beauty and interesting details that can be found there, whether it is new life, insects or spiders, textures, or colours. Macro and close-ups are welcome. SIZE: 1,600px MAXIMUM ON LONGER SIDE.
Entries: 56
Winners announced: 9th February, 2013 GMT
Winner: Hunter
In this challenge show us insects or spiders (or other small arthropods) eating their prey. Insects eating spiders, spiders eating insects, insects eating insects.... your choice! (Please, NO birds, or animals eating these small creatures.) The creatures should be outside in their natural environment, not inside under studio lights. Macro or close-up shots only. SIZE: 1,600px MAXIMUM ON LONGER...
Entries: 59
Winners announced: 2nd February, 2013 GMT
Winner: rising fern
In this challenge, show us the beauty of ferns, just-unfurling fronds, a small fern plant or a large tree fern. A fern is a plant in the Pteridophyta family, with stems, leaves, roots and reproduces via spores. It has no seeds or flowers. (NO photos of cycads or palms which are not related to ferns, please.) The ferns (unless grown as a house-plant or in a glasshouse) should be outside in their...
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 26th January, 2013 GMT
Winner: Birth Of A Dragonfly
This challenge is just for DRAGONFLIES, (Order Odonata, Suborder Anistera) possibly the fastest fliers in the insect kingdom. The dragonflies must be outside, on flowers, leaves, flying around, or just doing what dragonflies do; NOT under studio lights. Macro shots welcome. NO photos of Damselflies (Order Odonata, Suborder Zygoptera) please. They are usually smaller than dragonflies and will...
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 19th January, 2013 GMT
Winner: Colours of autumn sunrise
Show us an example of a very busy, detailed natural landscape or seascape which would make a great jigsaw puzzle. Man-made structures, (roads, buildings, bridges etc.,) should be non-existent or minimal please. Think 1,000+ piece, devious 'drive-you-crazy' picture with lots of minute details.... :-) SIZE: 1,600px MAXIMUM ON LONGER SIDE.
Entries: 45
Winners announced: 12th January, 2013 GMT
Winner: New life substituted
For this New Year, show us photos of new life in the world of very small creatures (arthropods) or plantlife. This might be baby insects or spiders, eggs, or tiny new plants rising from the earth. Photos taken outside in the natural environment, not under studio lights. Macro shots and close-ups only. SIZE: 1,600px MAXIMUM ON LONGER SIDE.
26. Rear View
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 5th January, 2013 GMT
Winner: Fake Eyes
It's the end of the year, so let's see some end views! We spend so much time trying to capture the faces and eyes of insects and spiders, that we often overlook the interesting and often colourful abdomens of these little creatures. Show us their rear view! Macro and close-up shots only. The creatures should be outside, on flowers, leaves, flying or sitting around, or just doing what they do;...
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 29th December, 2012 GMT
Winner: Yelowstar
At this celebratory time of the year, let us see a star or stars here on earth. NOT the twinkly ones up in the sky at night, but those we see around us, in the natural environment. The star/stars might be flowers, leaves, a plant, a starfish, sparkles on the water or perhaps marking on an insect or spider.... Macro shots welcome. SIZE: 1,600px MAXIMUM ON LONGER SIDE.
Entries: 80
Winners announced: 22nd December, 2012 GMT
Winner: Spiders in the fading sun
In this challenge, show us an example where nature, such as plants, insects, spiders or other small creatures, has used a man-made object to its advantage. Macro or close-ups only, and outside in the natural world if possible. Large trees such as those growing at Ta Prohn in Cambodia will be DQ'd. SIZE: 1,600px MAXIMUM ON LONGER SIDE.
Entries: 82
Winners announced: 15th December, 2012 GMT
Winner: Well, hello little guy!
In the world of small creatures, show us two or more insects and/or spiders, (or other small arthropod creatures) who encounter or confront each other. Perhaps they are just passing, or maybe eyeing off a potential mate OR their next meal. Please, for this challenge, NOT one devouring the other for lunch; NOR in the act of mating; that will be other challenges. They should be outside, on...
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 8th December, 2012 GMT
Winner: Cutleaf Maple
This challenge is all about trees which are not green! They may have red, blue, yellow, orange, or purple leaves. They may be covered in flowers, or may be showing their wonderful autumn (fall) colours. Show us part of a tree, one or more trees but without green, or a very minimal amount of green. SIZE: 1,600px MAXIMUM ON LONGER SIDE.
Entries: 99
Winners announced: 1st December, 2012 GMT
Winner: P4159530 Lanternfly Pyrops candelaria
Here's your chance to show us the really weird, bizarre beasties you've found in your photography forays. You may or may not know what they are, and other entrants or viewers might be able to assist. Macro shots welcome. Photos taken outside in the real world are preferred, but for this challenge, you may have had a reason for shooting it indoors. SIZE: 1,600px MAXIMUM ON LONGER SIDE.
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 24th November, 2012 GMT
Winner: Red Flower
This challenge is to showcase those flowers which grow in the countryside, without human cultivation or attention. Your entry can be a Macro shot of a single flower, a cluster of them on a plant, or fields of flowers; alpine wildflowers, or deserts in bloom after rain.... Show us these flowers outside in their natural environment, not under studio lights. No garden flowers such as roses,...
Entries: 98
Winners announced: 17th November, 2012 GMT
Winner: Balance
This challenge is just about hover flies, (Syrphid Flies), NOT bees, wasps, spiders etc. Hover flies look like bees, but are much smaller, and they have very different life styles. They DON'T collect pollen on their back legs, DON'T live in hives, DON'T have bee-like antennae, and they DON'T sting. Drone flies, (Eristalinae sub-species,) with spotted or striped eyes, are also welcome to be...
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 10th November, 2012 GMT
Winner: Foggy Autumn lake reflection.
Show us an example of a very busy photograph you've taken outside in the natural environment, which would make a great jigsaw puzzle. Think 1,000+ piece, devious 'drive-you-crazy' picture with lots of tiny details.... :-) Macro photos are welcome, insects or spiders also welcome. SIZE: 1,600px MAXIMUM ON LONGER SIDE.
Entries: 99
Winners announced: 3rd November, 2012 GMT
Winner: Jumpin' Jack Flash
This week's challenge: Spiders, in their natural environment. They should be outside, if that is where they live. However, if they live on the ceiling above your bed, then capture this image by all means.... :-) Please don't photograph them under studio lights with no realistic background. Macro shots welcome. SIZE: 1,600px MAXIMUM ON LONGER SIDE.
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 27th October, 2012 GMT
Winner: Veins
For this challenge: One Leaf Only. Show us the beauty in the detail of that leaf: the veins, the texture, colours, or the pattern. This could be a bright green leaf, an autumn leaf or a skeletonized leaf. There may be very minor leaves in the background, but one single leaf must be the subject of your picture. Macro Shots welcome. SIZE DOES MATTER! See below.
Entries: 77
Winners announced: 20th October, 2012 GMT
Winner: Suction action
In this challenge show us your local bees: the carpenter, mason, blue-banded, miner, solitary bees, and any of the thousands of bee species which are not 'domesticated' Honey Bees, or Bumblebees, which had their own challenges recently. NO hover flies, spiders etc. The bee/bees must be outside, on flowers, leaves, buzzing around, or just doing what bees do; NOT under studio lights. Macro shots...
Entries: 76
Winners announced: 13th October, 2012 GMT
Winner: Clear blue sky & crisp white blossom.
Let us see the beauty of spring blossom in your fruit trees, such as peach, almond, cherry, apricot, plum, nectarine, trees; pear, apple or citrus trees. Macro shots welcome. Show us these flowers outside in their natural environment, not under studio lights. No roses, hibiscus, daisies, etc. No, you don't have to be in an orchard, just show us the blossoms from the fruit trees. Small...
Entries: 55
Winners announced: 6th October, 2012 GMT
Winner: I'm off!
Ladybirds or Ladybugs (in the U.S.) is this week's insect challenge. These are the ever-popular good guys of the insect world, family Coccinellidae for the entomologically-minded, and aren't really bugs but beetles. There are apparently over 5,000 species, with different numbers of spots (or even stripes), and their basic colour can vary from scarlet red, to orange or yellow. Show us one or...
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 29th September, 2012 GMT
Winner: City of Chicago Flag
Many plants grow sharp prickles, spines or thorns, usually to protect themselves from predators, such as insects, birds, or animals. Show us the interesting or bizarre forms of these sharp appendages in your entries, which should be in their natural environment, not under studio lights. Macro shots are welcome. Insects or other small creatures may be present, but must not dominate the...
Entries: 92
Winners announced: 22nd September, 2012 GMT
Winner: Bumblebee On Goldenrod
Let us see your best photos of those large, hairy, jumbo jets of the bee family. Just bumblebees, not honey bees, carpenter bees, native bees; NO hover flies etc. The bee/bees must be outside, on flowers, leaves, buzzing around, or just doing what bumblebees do; NOT under studio lights. Check Wikipedia for information about bumblebees. SIZE DOES MATTER: See below!
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 15th September, 2012 GMT
Winner: fungi
Show us the beauty and and unusual details in toadstools or mushrooms in their natural environment, not under studio lights. (No, no mushrooms sliced and diced ready for a Stir Fry or Mushroom Sauce for your steak.) Insects or other small creatures may be present in your entry but must not dominate the picture. Macro shots welcome. SIZE DOES MATTER: See below!
Entries: 13
Winners announced: 8th September, 2012 GMT
Winner: Blood Thirsty Mosquito
Gnats, mosquitos, midges, sand flies or other similar little beasties which annoy and pester us, by drilling holes in our skin and removing our precious blood, or just biting us to make us itch.... I'll also allow crane flies and other related insects with slender bodies and long legs. Show us these insects, preferably outside in their natural environment. OR you can capture their image...
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 1st September, 2012 GMT
Winner: Oriental Poppy about to burst
Show us flower buds JUST as they are starting to open, the centre of their blooms ALMOST visible, their beauty nearly ready to display itself to the world. The flower bud/buds should be still in their natural environment, not under studio lights. Insects or other small creatures may be present in your entry but must not dominate the picture. SIZE DOES MATTER: See below!
Entries: 99
Winners announced: 25th August, 2012 GMT
Winner: Hatchling
This challenge is JUST about 'domesticated' honey bees, which live in hives and provide us with honey for our toast. One or more bees, as you please. NO bumble bees, carpenter bees, native bees.... no hover flies, wasps, flies, spiders etc etc. (They will all have their own challenge later.) The bee/bees must be outside, on flowers, leaves, flying around, or just doing what bees do; NOT under...
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 18th August, 2012 GMT
Winner: Barknotes
The bark on trees, (not the four-legged kind) can offer interesting and beautiful images. Show us texture, pattern, colour, light and shade, rough and smooth. Needless to say, the tree and its bark should be outside in its natural environment, not under studio lights! If you know the name of the tree, let us know. If there are small insects on the tree, that's okay, but they must not...
Entries: 61
Winners announced: 11th August, 2012 GMT
Winner: Bon Appetit Nawab P3128409
Caterpillars, one or more.... hairy ones, green ones, ones with spots or stripes, brightly coloured ones; I don't mind, as long as they are caterpillars, before they pupate and grow into moths or butterflies. Show us caterpillars on leaves, flowers, tree trunks etc. out in the real world, and not under studio lights. SIZE DOES MATTER: See below!
Entries: 100
Winners announced: 4th August, 2012 GMT
Winner: Humble but beautiful wild weed.
Flowering weeds can be as beautiful as those plants we cultivate, even though we often think of them as pests. Show us the beauty in these flowers, in their natural world. I know that a weed in one country may be a treasure somewhere else, that's okay, it is what YOU consider to be a weed where you live. Wildflowers in the countryside will be in a separate challenge later; this challenge is...
3. Ants
Entries: 73
Winners announced: 28th July, 2012 GMT
Winner: Quick Chow
Show us ants in their natural environment, (either one or many). Get up close and personal, but try not to get bitten.... :-) The ant/ants should be outside, not under studio lights. Keep the background of your entry intact so we can see how the little fellows live and work. Interesting information about your ants would also be appreciated. SIZE DOES MATTER: See below!
Entries: 84
Winners announced: 21st July, 2012 GMT
Winner: its a pod & its full of seeds.
Show us seeds still in their pods or capsules, after the flowers have gone. The seeds are waiting to start their life cycle again. These should be in their natural environment, still on or near the plant whether it is a tree, shrub, or grass. If insects or other small creatures are present, that is okay, but they must not dominate the shot.
Entries: 99
Winners announced: 14th July, 2012 GMT
Winner: Hunter
Insects only; one or more. (They should have 6 legs; 8 legs are 2 too many). NO spiders, frogs, snails, cats etc. The insect must be shown to be in its natural world, not under studio lights. If you have interesting information about your entry please include it.