Milkweed alert

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GeorgianBay1939
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Milkweed alert
5 months ago

On Wednesday, warm and sunny, I happened upon two different Milkweed patches which were very aromatic and abuzz with bee, moth, dragonfly and butterfly activity.

So I had lots of fun sitting in the truck pointing the 100-300 mm lens:

Hard to imagine that this little patch of milkweeds would yield such a treasure!

I think that it was the combo of milkweed maturity, aroma, temperature and sunshine with contributed to this event.  I will be keeping my eyes (and nose) open for other sites on the next hot sunny day!

Tom

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Michael L NYC 99
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Re: Milkweed alert
In reply to GeorgianBay1939, 5 months ago

Excellent results Tom. Hard to believe you can see all of that from your truck. Happy 4th to you.

Regards

Michael

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Ron Evers
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Re: Milkweed alert
In reply to GeorgianBay1939, 5 months ago

Looking good Tom.  I assume we are viewing some heavy crops.

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The wood is clear between the knots.

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Glen Barrington
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Very Enjoyable Photos . . .
In reply to GeorgianBay1939, 5 months ago

This reminds me that years ago during a cruise of the Southern Caribbean, we went to a butterfly farm, on I think, St Marrten.

One of the things that I most recall, was that, by far the most popular butterfly they sold was the Monarch and that since they fed only on Milkweed, it was a major expense for them.  It would grow on the island but not well.  That they spent a great deal of effort on making sure their Monarch butterflies got enough to eat.

We North Americans in the tour were surprised that something that is such a common, almost unnoticeable, part of our summers could seem so . . . exotic, to others.

Your photos brought back a most pleasurable time of my life to me.  Thanks.

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B-rad
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Re: Milkweed alert
In reply to GeorgianBay1939, 5 months ago

Nice shots. How do you like that lens? I'm thinking of getting the new version for my new M10. Thanks.

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Brad
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Old Listener
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Re: Milkweed alert
In reply to GeorgianBay1939, 5 months ago

GeorgianBay1939 wrote:

On Wednesday, warm and sunny, I happened upon two different Milkweed patches which were very aromatic and abuzz with bee, moth, dragonfly and butterfly activity.

So I had lots of fun sitting in the truck pointing the 100-300 mm lens:

Hard to imagine that this little patch of milkweeds would yield such a treasure!

I think that it was the combo of milkweed maturity, aroma, temperature and sunshine with contributed to this event. I will be keeping my eyes (and nose) open for other sites on the next hot sunny day!

Tom

Lots of great pictures.  I always like pictures of the moth (?) that looks like a flying crayfish.

I see similar behavior about flowers suddenly becoming the place to eat.  I can't see the difference but insects sense when a flower or a group of flowers are at their peak for producing nectar and pollen.  An example

bugs on grindelia flower. (Gumplant)  The flower was about 1 - 1.5 inches across.

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GeorgianBay1939
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Re: Milkweed alert
In reply to Michael L NYC 99, 5 months ago

Michael L NYC 99 wrote:

Excellent results Tom. Hard to believe you can see all of that from your truck. Happy 4th to you.

Regards

Michael

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Thanks Michael,

Yes, that 100-300 lens (plus some mobility issues that showed up last fall) has opened my eyes to a whole new world in our ditches.   Most of those shots were at minimum focus distance (1.5m ~ 5 ft).  So whenever I see a potential spot I just pull over to the left shoulder of the road and keep my eyes open.

Already celebrated with fireworks, cake etc ... Last Tuesday for Canucks!

Celebrating your Independence Day today!  Have a good one!

T

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GeorgianBay1939
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Re: Milkweed alert
In reply to Ron Evers, 5 months ago

Ron Evers wrote:

Looking good Tom. I assume we are viewing some heavy crops.

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The wood is clear between the knots.

Thanks Ron.

Variable crops. This one was taken close to minimum focus distance:

OOC uncropped, just RAW conversion in LR5.3. No tweaking. Downsized to 70% quality to reduce file size for DPR. Best to view full size.

BTW, I learned to keep my eye on the proboscis and to AF-S on the flowerlet that it was using. That gave me better keeper rates than trying to keep that critter in focus. It moves very erratically, very quickly. IF I get another opportunity I will shoot in mechanical shutter right from the start!

T

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DLBlack
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Re: Milkweed alert
In reply to GeorgianBay1939, 5 months ago
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GeorgianBay1939
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Re: Very Enjoyable Photos . . .
In reply to Glen Barrington, 5 months ago

Glen Barrington wrote:

This reminds me that years ago during a cruise of the Southern Caribbean, we went to a butterfly farm, on I think, St Marrten.

One of the things that I most recall, was that, by far the most popular butterfly they sold was the Monarch and that since they fed only on Milkweed, it was a major expense for them. It would grow on the island but not well. That they spent a great deal of effort on making sure their Monarch butterflies got enough to eat.

We North Americans in the tour were surprised that something that is such a common, almost unnoticeable, part of our summers could seem so . . . exotic, to others.

Your photos brought back a most pleasurable time of my life to me. Thanks.

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This is the first summer in my life that I have really noticed the frenetic activities around a patch of milkweed!  I suspect that familiarity breeds un-noticeability.

One of the great joys of this recent hobby is that I notice more nowadays.

And I am pleased when my long suffering friends express appreciation for noticing new things in their everyday lives ... as a  result of seeing some of my stuff.

Tom

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GeorgianBay1939
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Re: Milkweed alert
In reply to B-rad, 5 months ago

B-rad wrote:

Nice shots. How do you like that lens? I'm thinking of getting the new version for my new M10. Thanks.

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Brad
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Thanks Brad.

I use the Panny 100-300 mm a lot as I am now obsessed with BIF, birdies in trees (warblers etc), bugs and wildflowers.

Its IQ is sufficient for me. Jorginho posted some fine imagery here:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53077503

ISSUES for me:

Very sticky barrel to change FL. I've pencilled it and polished it with microfibre. So to change FL, I hold the lens and rotate the camera body. It would be HORRIBLE to change FL will shooting video. I think that this stickiness seems to vary from unit to unit.

Manual Focus used to be "sticky" also but is improving with use.

The AF is not very fast compared to newer lenses, like the 35-100mm. Andrew Smallman has some very useful 100-300 mm AF info here: http://cameraergonomics.blogspot.ca/2014/06/panasonic-gh4-user-review-part-5-100.html

f/5.6 at the long lens makes it difficult to get wildlife in heavy shade or late in the day. I would buy a stabilized 300 mm f/4 lens with fast AF in a heartbeat. That would pair up nicely with the 14-140 mm, also a great lens.

"the new version"  ???

Tom

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GeorgianBay1939
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Re: Milkweed alert
In reply to Old Listener, 5 months ago

Old Listener wrote:

GeorgianBay1939 wrote:

On Wednesday, warm and sunny, I happened upon two different Milkweed patches which were very aromatic and abuzz with bee, moth, dragonfly and butterfly activity.

So I had lots of fun sitting in the truck pointing the 100-300 mm lens:

Hard to imagine that this little patch of milkweeds would yield such a treasure!

I think that it was the combo of milkweed maturity, aroma, temperature and sunshine with contributed to this event. I will be keeping my eyes (and nose) open for other sites on the next hot sunny day!

Tom

Lots of great pictures. I always like pictures of the moth (?) that looks like a flying crayfish.

Thanks Bill!   I thought of you when I saw the milkweeds attracting such a menagerie of critters.  That moth is the Hummingbird Clearwing Moth .

I see similar behavior about flowers suddenly becoming the place to eat. I can't see the difference but insects sense when a flower or a group of flowers are at their peak for producing nectar and pollen. An example

bugs on grindelia flower. (Gumplant) The flower was about 1 - 1.5 inches across.

Wow!  I DID notice the VERY STRONG perfume of the milkweeds when I shot that bunch of images. It was hot and sunny.  Perhaps the aroma signals food/pollen which sets off some sort of crowd behaviour.  In the case of the milkweeds it involved a variety of critters.

Lots of good fun (getting interesting content      )

Tom

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http://naturelover.smugmug.com/

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GeorgianBay1939
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Re: Milkweed alert
In reply to DLBlack, 5 months ago

DLBlack wrote:

Excellent series!

Thanks!

t

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Old Listener
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Re: Milkweed alert
In reply to GeorgianBay1939, 5 months ago

GeorgianBay1939 wrote:


Lots of good fun (getting interesting content )

The pictures you have been posting have been about capturing interesting content.  I like such material and I find the people who are content oriented to be good forum companions.

More milkweed photos:

normal milkweed stem

Milkweed stem with a horde of oleander aphids.  They tap the stems and leaves for the sap.  Too many of them and the plant will die.  You can see that several leaves have already turned brown.

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wolfeel
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Re: Milkweed alert
In reply to Old Listener, 5 months ago

very nice set of photos

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GeorgianBay1939
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Re: Milkweed alert
In reply to Old Listener, 5 months ago

Old Listener wrote:

GeorgianBay1939 wrote:

The pictures you have been posting have been about capturing interesting content. I like such material and I find the people who are content oriented to be good forum companions.

More milkweed photos:

normal milkweed stem

Milkweed stem with a horde of oleander aphids. They tap the stems and leaves for the sap. Too many of them and the plant will die. You can see that several leaves have already turned brown.

Yeah!

Now you've piqued my further interest in milkweeds!   My understanding is that the sap (latex?) of milkweeds is a factor in making the Monarchs toxic to predators.  Would this be true of oleander aphids?

T

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Old Listener
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Re: Milkweed alert
In reply to GeorgianBay1939, 5 months ago

GeorgianBay1939 wrote:

Now you've piqued my further interest in milkweeds! My understanding is that the sap (latex?) of milkweeds is a factor in making the Monarchs toxic to predators. Would this be true of oleander aphids?

I don't know whether eating milkweed sap makes the aphids toxic to their predators.  I know that the sap discourages most insects from eating the leaves and sap.  The oleander aphids and milkweed bugs (pictures in this gallery) have adapted to consume milkweed sap.

some pictures of milkweed and insects that feed on it.

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GeorgianBay1939
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Re: Milkweed alert
In reply to Old Listener, 5 months ago

Old Listener wrote:

GeorgianBay1939 wrote:

Now you've piqued my further interest in milkweeds! My understanding is that the sap (latex?) of milkweeds is a factor in making the Monarchs toxic to predators. Would this be true of oleander aphids?

I don't know whether eating milkweed sap makes the aphids toxic to their predators. I know that the sap discourages most insects from eating the leaves and sap. The oleander aphids and milkweed bugs (pictures in this gallery) have adapted to consume milkweed sap.

some pictures of milkweed and insects that feed on it.

Thanks Bill!

Very nice close-ups of those bugs and their habitat.... including the Lion's Tooth. (Dent de Lion).   I use  Lion's Tooth when considering the topic of 2-4-D etc when talking with lawn manicurers.

I shot some more images using the mechanical shutter today.  Got some more of the "flying crayfish":

Good news is that the marina owner chatted with me today and was very appreciative of my pointing out his Monarch Butterfly Garden.    Lotsa small battles, eh?

Tom

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richj20
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Re: Milkweed alert
In reply to GeorgianBay1939, 5 months ago

GeorgianBay1939 wrote:

Now you've piqued my further interest in milkweeds!

How about milkweed seedpods -- for me, they are almost as beautiful as the flowers!

Photographed in the Sequoia National Forest, California:

Asclepias cordifolia

Asclepias cordifolia

Asclepias fascicularis

Asclepias fascicularis

Asclepias speciosa

Asclepias speciosa

- Richard

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GeorgianBay1939
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Re: Milkweed alert
In reply to richj20, 5 months ago

Yes!  For sure.

Nice depictions of those pods.

t

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