Continuing my project of reviewing my favorite photos of little folk for 2011, here are what I believe will be the final nine. At least one more post will follow, presenting larger fauna—birds, mammals, and one amphibian.
During a picnic lunch with family in New Zealand, I noticed a tiny hatchling mantis on a flower in a bouquet on the table. After everyone else had left, we two did a slow dance with each other over the course of an hour or so. The mantis apparently grew so accustomed to my cameras being so near that it decided to investigate them first-hand.
These two winged leafhoppers were resting on a twig next to my seat on an elevated wooden deck (still in New Zealand).
During the summer in northern Minnesota, this spider had captured what appeared to be a robber fly. My, what long chelicerae you have!
There is a lovely little trout stream in northern Minnesota that I visit whenever I can, and one of my frequent companions is the beautiful River Jewelwing.
Usually right around the 4th of July, our very best friends, the giant Hagenius sp. Dragon-hunter nymphs make their way onto shore and somehow manage to negotiate all the pine needles and other forest floor litter to climb onto an out-of-the-way surface to settle in, dry out, execute their miraculous metamorphoses to the voracious mosquito-hunting adults, an event that I look forward to with great anticipation every year. (This is an earlier stage of the process for the same Hagenius that I included in Part 2.)
The spiny oak slug moth reportedly has some very irritating protective hairs that can cause a nasty reaction, so it’s best appreciated from a respectful distance. Was my distance respectful? I hope so!
Back at home, the tiny jumping spiders are among my very favorite little folk to watch, to follow, and to stalk with my cameras. I love it when they look back at me!
Finally, a harvestman resting on a purple cone flower (Echinacea). There was almost no breeze, so I took the extra step of bracketing exposures and running them through my HDR program. If there had been no breeze, my final image might have been a bit sharper, but I still like the end result. Four sets down, and (I think) one to go!