What nature photography has taught me

With my fancy new Powershot S5 I've been taking some pretty awesome closeups. I've been going back and photographing all the flowers and insects that I've shot before, since I can ridiculously closer now. And I'd like to share some of what I've learned while trying to get my lens right up in the face of various critters.

  • When an ant brings a bit of dirt out of her nest, she pats it into place, just how squirrels pat the ground after burying an acorn.
  • Ants don't like having a camera lens hovering above the anthill. They huddle just inside the entrance.
  • Beetles are shy little bastards. Their favorite place to hang out is always on the other side of the stem.
  • Beetles are very hairy.
  • Cicadas, grasshoppers, and wasps all have three smaller, jewel-like eyes in the middle of their foreheads.
  • On a cool but sunny day, a basking lizard may decide that being petted by a big, scary human is a lesser evil than hiding in the shade.
  • A male carpenter bee has greenish eyes and a yellow patch on his forehead, and his buzz is higher-pitched than that of a female.
  • The best way to get video of a carpenter bee in flight is to look for a male hovering a few inches off the ground. He's usually guarding a female, who is hiding in the leaves.
  • Stand still long enough and carpenter bees will forget you exist.
  • Every square foot of foliage seems to have at least one bug.
  • Jumping spiders have no fear.

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