Readers’ wildlife photos

Today is Potpourri Day, assembling the photos from readers who sent only one or two. The first is by reader Tim Anderson from Oz (all readers’ notes indented):

This is a picture of the Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud (the nebula is identified as NGC2070). The picture comprises sixty images each of red, green and blue filtered light, that were then “stacked” to intensify the photons and combined to create a colour picture. For anyone interested in the technicalities, I used a 126mm triplet refractor telescope, and an ASI1600 monochrome camera.
From Florian Maderspacher, we have several mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus; apparently all bucks) that invaded his back yard:

Not sure if this qualifies as a reader’s wild-life photo (only in so much as I am a reader and this is wild-life), but I only had my iphone with me when I went to the garden the other day to check on my tomatoes. They had been vandalized by these three rambunctious teenagers. Sadly, bow and arrow were not at hand… [JAC: That’s an invidious comment!]

Greetings from Utah, where safe spaces are being threatened and student bodies triggered by Ben Shapiro this afternoon…

From reader Snowy Owl, we have “spider web season”:
From Susan Heller, whose email was called “Not a prayer”:
I was on a trip to the San Juan Islands (Washington State) and for ?? reason praying mantises were everywhere.  This one landed on my shirt and took up this defensive pose.  I finally got him on a stick for a formal portrait. I haven’t seen one of these in years…
From reader Carl Sufit:
I can’t provide the photo quality of most of your contributors, and if you don’t need these, I won’t be hurt if you don’t show them.   However, if you’re truly desperate, here are samples of the two most common dragonfly species which are constantly in our pool yard (San Joaquin Valley) every summer.   I’m no naturalist, but based on googling, they are the Flame SkimmerLibellula saturata, and the Blue DasherRhionaeschna multicolor. 
And from Roger Latour, who sent a photographic plate from his upcoming book:
I thought I’d share this botanical plate I just finished. I shared it on my Facebook page and on Twitter and it raised quite a lot of interest.  Of course such images don’t go viral (catnip WITH a cat would be better for that!) but it is good to see the response.
It shows pretty much all maple species growing in Montreal. Natives and exotics, a few of which are now naturalised. Done in the span of ten years… This is one plate of many for the maple chapter in an ebook i’m finishing. Anyway, if you think it is of interest to your readers… please share!
When I asked him about how this was done, he replied: “They are all scaled digital macro photos done in the studio, with exact same flash lighting for consistency, followed by cut out in Photoshop.”


  1. Posted September 28, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Beautiful stuff! The mantis looks to be the European mantis, which was introduced in the U.S. The false eye spots that this one is displaying are an indicator. At least I don’t know of another species around here that has that feature. The picture is wonderful, and I wish I could get one to threaten me like that! So far, my manti are not afraid of me.

    • David Coxill
      Posted September 28, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      I was going to ask about the eye spots ,we don’t have Manti here in the UK ,but with climate change i might see one here before i die .

  2. Mark R.
    Posted September 28, 2017 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    I liked the variety. Surprised how many maples are in Montreal- great photos too. The orange on orange of the Flame Skimmer was cool. Thanks all.

  3. ploubere
    Posted September 28, 2017 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    All good work. I like the nebula especially, and appreciate the considerable amount of work.

  4. Diane G.
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 2:55 am | Permalink

    Tim, that is a stunning picture of the Tarantula Nebula! Thanks for sharing it. Are you lucky enough to live in an area with very dark skies?

    Florian, wow, such visitors! We have white-tails here in MI, and I can’t remember ever seeing three bucks together like that. Did they actually eat the tomatoes or just trample them?

    Snowy Owl, that is a beautiful shot of a beautiful construction.

    Susan, cool shot! And thanks to Mark above for the ID. I did not know there were mantids with eye spots, let alone in that location. What a great startling display!

    Carl, lovely dragonflies; such a contrast in body shape and colors.

    Roger, I for one would appreciate it if you let Jerry know when your book is available. What a helpful plate that is. Should I assume you’re doing similar treatments of leaves, bark, etc? 10 years! Must be a labor of love. 🙂

%d bloggers like this: