Mixed blessings

I had a post in draft form wherein I mentioned that I was keeping my eye on the egg case of the Chinese mantises (Tenodera aridifolia sinensis,) figuring it was due to erupt at any time. This morning, that post was ruined.

I was just about to head off to meet with a student […]

Happy Halloween, again

Yes, I have to do this: This is actually the first specimen I’ve found this year, which was a slight frustration since there was a particular image that I wanted and couldn’t find a model. Just in case it wasn’t immediately apparent, this is a southern black widow, Latrodectus mactans, distinguished from the northern […]

Not quite over it yet

I know this is a poor showing for National Wildlife Week, but hey, I think every week is National Wildlife Week, so chill. I been busy.

Anyway, in poking around today after staging a few shots for a presentation, I came across this little lovely, in a very typical place for such: on a […]

What do nature photographers do at night?

I bet you’ve asked yourself that dozens of times, haven’t you? Admit it. Well, the answer is, “Pretty much the same thing other people do.” Now that I’ve resolved that burning issue for you, you can remember me in your will.

But, from the more egocentric universe of this blog, on occasion, nature photographers (meaning me) venture out and try to find things not visible or possible during the day. This may include long exposures by moonlight (I’ll have a post on that later on), starfields, or nocturnal critters. A few nights ago, I strolled around my property with an LED headlamp to see what I could find. The days had been very hot and humid, and the night was only slightly less so, but this meant the dew was slow in coming.

The first interesting thing I found was something I’d heard about before, but never witnessed very often. Having a light source fairly close in line to your eyes (in this case, emanating from approximately the center of my forehead) can show some distinctive reflections that aren’t visible if the light is farther away. I’ve used this before to find alligators at night, back when I lived in Florida – their eyes produce a brilliant orange reflection almost as bright as a highway marker. Tonight, the effect was dimmer but a rich blue-green color, a tiny star on the ground.

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