God created the earth and all that is on it much faster than I am getting this blog assembled, but I am nearly done with the basic framework. The addition of the bug and insect gallery, Things that Creep, marks the final gallery that I need at this point. All of the insect images were made with a telephoto lens and hand-held, which isn’t the best technique for yielding sharply focus photographs. When spring finally arrives, I intend to get in the habit of using a tripod for this kind of shooting, and will also see if I can use a real macro lens more frequently. I have a really nice Canon EF-S 60mm Macro lens, but I don’t like changing lenses out in the field too often because it increases the likelihood of getting dust inside the camera and on the sensor. Carrying a second camera with the macro lens mounted, in addition to my primary camera with the long telephoto, makes most sense.
Our weather has had some extreme variations over the past several weeks, and there may be an upside to this. Our grasshopper population has been very strong for the past several years, which we commonly blame on mild winters that are not harsh enough to kill off a large number of dormant grasshoppers. However this year’s multiple weeks of subzero temps, broken up by a significant thaw, followed again by this plummet of the mercury, may actually put a dent in their population. Early warming periods can cause a premature hatch of the dormant eggs, which, if followed by an extreme cold snap, will result in a higher mortality rate. I think I will pray for this to happen a few more times over the next couple months!
The only positive aspect of grasshoppers that I see is that they make good photography subjects!
As a child and through much of my life I remember truly experiencing and appreciating the natural beauty of wildlife, flowers and landscapes given to us by our Creator. Somewhere along the way, despite living in the nation’s most scenic state – Montana, I nearly lost my ability to appreciate the scenic beauty all around me. Perhaps is was the mad rush of a hectic work schedule. Maybe simple complacency because I saw it everyday. Whatever the reason, it seemed that I traveled the countryside with blinders on, only focused on the destination.
A couple years ago, after many years of being chided for not having any hobbies, I purchased a digital SLR camera. At the time I didn’t really have a particular subject in mind that I intended to shoot, but a number of years earlier I was mildly enthused with photography and thought this might be something I would enjoy again. At the time I had no idea what I was getting into!
Some of my first shots were of the family pets; dogs, cats, chickens, goats, deer,…okay, they’re not normal pets for most people, but for us they are as normal as the sun rising in the east.