Saturday, January 3, 2009

Camera Critter Meme #39

It's 2009 and that means a new year of nature photography for me.

I always look forward to a new season of shooting, as I am always trying to get that perfect shot.

But I have had good shots in the past, and for Camera Critters this week, I present my top 10 shots from, not 2008, but 2007. I selected 2007 as that is the year I really began to get serious about my photography.

Next week I'll present my best of 2008, but for now, check out my top 10 favorites from 2007.

You might ask why I like this Yellow Warbler photo. Well, the simple fact is, I like it because the critter is framed nicely in the branches and is looking off to the side, giving me a nice profile of his head.

This Roseate Skimmer was the first one I had seen during a trip to Texas that year. It was gorgeous and I had to get a good shot of it. I followed it around and when it landed on a weed with a small stream as a background, I knew I would get a good shot of it.

I was seeing Flame Skimmers throughout the area where I took this shot. But most of them were too far away and to get closer meant trudging through some mucky ground cover which I wasn't keen to do. But then this one landed 10 feet away and gave me not only a nice profile, but a nice background also.

These Flower Beetles are nothing special, and the photo is nothing special, but I like it. The yellow of the Cactus Flower, the darkness of the background and the bugs combine to make it something special in my mind.

This Gulf Fritillary was sunning in the perfect shaft of sunlight for a photo. The upper wing surface was well lit, while the background ranged from green to dark, highlighting the subtle colors of the critter.

I was leaving my yard, heading off on another photo safari when this Juba Skipper landed on one of the dark Irises in our garden. I couldn't help being struck by the color contrast and took this photo. I still pause and smile at it every time I see it.

I had just arrived at my favorite spot of Fireman's Pond when I noticed something strange happening to one of the cattails near the water's edge. As I approached, this green Sweat Bee came around the side, digging like crazy, tossing particles everywhere. I tried to capture the moment as it was happening and even though this photo doesn't do it justice, I like the shot.

I had seen large Thread-waisted Wasps in the Dry Canyon of Redmond, Oregon many times, but was never able to get a good shot of one. So one day, I decided I would go in search of this elusive creature and found a patch of sage where six or seven of the critters were working over. Though not the best shot, I like it mainly for the way the wasp stands out from the background.

I was walking along the badlands between a road and the old golf course in Redmond, when I noticed this Tule Bluet flying nearby. It suddenly streak in near me, made a quick course change and darted off to the end of nearby dead twig. As I approached, I saw the reason for the critter's rapid movement as it was enjoying a meal it captured near me. I was able to get a lot of shots of the bluet eating and this is one my favorites.

Finally, this Braconid Wasp looked out of place in this golden field of sage...so much so, I had to prove it by shooting the scene.

If you liked my critter photos, head to Misty Dawn's Camera Critter page and check out some of the other entries. And if you have the time, join in on the fun!

25 comments:

Jedediah said...

Those are gorgeous shots. I like the first one best, the colours are lovely.

Juliana RW said...

Omg....all COOL shots

My CC entry this week : in HERE. Hope you have time to visit . Thanks

Bruce said...

Outstanding photographs.

Carletta said...

Lovely images - especially the first one. I love the composition on this one.
I've had a little point and shoot but got a Rebel for Christmas and find it is time to 'get serious' about my own photography. You certainly give me something to strive for. Great work.

Tom said...

What a beautiful dragon the Roseate Skimmer is!

Tom

Nikki-ann said...

You've taken some wonderful shots there :)

Here's to another year of shooting photos! All the best for 2009!

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

Thanks for reprising your 2007 photographs, Ashrunner. They are wonderful! I'd be hard-pressed to choose a favorite.

I hope 2009 is as successful a photographic year for you.

lv2scpbk said...

Wonderful shots. Love the little yellow bird. Great picks for CC.

Lapa37 said...

I can see why those are your favorites they really are great captures.

Karen said...

Very nice!! Love the colours...

Teena in Toronto said...

It's waaay too cold here for these critters.

I played too :)

Grammy said...

I love all your photos. But the Yellow Warbler photo is amazing. It would make a great framed print or a post card.

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Ten wonderful photos from 2007. I can't choose one to call my favorite, they all are. Can't wait for next week's top ten of 2008. Lisa

Mamapippa said...

I love the orange butterfly. It's a great picture !

fishing guy said...

Ash: A series of beautiful captures.

kayleen said...

Very nice photos. Glad you included the Thread-waisted Wasp, because I took a photo of one and was never able to nail an id on it.

Mimi said...

Wow, you are really talented!

Wishing you a great 2009!

Misty Dawn said...

I agree with Granny - the first photo should DEFINITELY be framed... hmmmm, I'll let you know if I'm decorating any of my rooms with birds (teehee - inside joke).

BUT - I can't pick a favorite - you just can't make me! I LOVE the warbler pic (it's absolutely gorgeous)... but you knew dang well when you were creating this post that I would go nuts over that Skipper on the PURPLE Iris! (Don't even pretend that didn't cross your mind while you were creating this post). AND I DO love that Roseate..... *sigh* I can't choose a fave - I just can't.

I DO however know of some of my faves from your 2008 photos! Oh YEAH - you know EXACTLY which one is at the very top of my list of Bear... I mean Ashrunner Fave 08 Photos ;-)

OK, OK, I'll quit rambling and shup now!

babooshka said...

You are a magnificent wildlife photographer. These would make a beautiful calender.

i beati said...

color penetration is out of this world sandy

Reba said...

These are all very nice, I can see why they're your favorites. Woofenderful!! The two I like best are the bug on the iris, and the bird in the branches. But you gotta know... I am just a dog. Hope to see you over at my dog blog.

Ice Pony Goddess said...

Lovely!!

Ladynred said...

These are all gorgeous but my fave is the skimmers.

Arlene said...

All are beautiful shots, Ash, but i love the top one best. It was captured very nicely. I can catch that dragonfly if no one will shoo it away. :)

Meowww new year!

floreta said...

i've always loved dragonflies! i've never seen a pink one before. how amazing.