Wednesday, November 20, 2013


A Little Better


Every interesting natural history photograph has something special. Sparkling sharpness.  Detail.  Rarely seen lifestyle activity
  New information about wild things. Something "special".

Here are some stock pictures you might find interesting - not to mention certain images difficult or impossible to find elsewhere.



Surprise!  An Ichneuman Wasp, (Troisis pennator), emerges from the chrysalis of a Black Swallowtail Butterfly, (Papilio polyxenes), after hatching from an egg inserted into the butterfly larva before it pupated and then hatching and devouring the larva to  finally emerge as an adult wasp.  Note exit hole near top of chrysalis case.





A gynandromorph is an individual exhibiting morphological characteristics of both sexes
  
This Pink-edged Sulphur butterfly (Colias interior) has the left wing of a female
and the right wing of a male.




Passenger Pigeons (Ectopistes migratorius), female and male, once the most abundant bird on the face of the earth, became extinct when the last one died on April 1, 1914 at the Cincinnati Zoo. 

In 1866 one flock in Southern Ontario was said to be one mile wide by 300 miles long and took 14 hours to pass by.

Passenger Pigeons were much larger than the similarly-plumaged Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura).  The birds were an important food source from the Caribbean to central and eastern Canada.

Over-hunting and habitat destruction are believed to have caused the disappearance of the birds.

The above computer generated images were produced after careful research of paintings and some photographs of old, faded museum specimens. 




At 415,000 square miles, the Canadian Province of Ontario is almost twice as large as Texas and about 4.5 times the size of the United Kingdom.
  
Settled only in the 18th century, Ontario quickly became a major agricultural region
and so remains today.
  
Yet only one covered bridge, over the Grand River at West Montrose, still exists.

***************************************************************************************************

If you need certain special or hard to find stock photos, please drop me a line.  I may have something for you, or may know a photographer who does.  My network of stock photographers is a good one and there is never a charge for this service.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

There Were Some Monarchs In Canada This Year

Friend of mine is one of the country's foremost lepidopterists and spends a lot of time searching for and documenting butterflies in Eastern Ontario, not far from Ottawa.

He has documented three Monarch butterflies this year - two in the wild, and one he raised to maturity from an egg.  It took only 34 days from when the egg was laid till the adult Monarch was released!

(He likes to say that, to see butterfly eggs, you have to drive really, really slowly.)

On that note, I've had several Giant Swallowtails around my house this summer, and I'm still searching for either an egg, larva or chrysalis.  No luck so far.  And I have miles of Prickly Ash just across and down the road from the house.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Restoring Russian Wildlife

Reading a National Geo post today - "The birth of a Przewalski's horse—the first in the world to be born via artificial insemination—is giving the once decimated species new hope. The filly was born July 27 at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute(SCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia."  link, I'm reminded of the time some 30 or so years ago when Canada gave a small herd of young muskoxen to the Russians to help them start replacing the animals that had been eliminated there by overhunting.

I remember how cold it was around midnight on the tarmac of Dorval Airport while we both declined to sign voluminous Russian paperwork that had little or no meaning to us and demanded guarantees we were completely incapable of providing.  I remember also the great consternation of the Russians when Canadian television cameramen followed the animals into the bowels of an immense Russian transport aircraft as the crated animals were loaded by forklift.  Never did know what they were so concerned that someone might see in there.

The animals and the gesture got good publicity in Canada - must wonder how the Russian herd is doing today.  Be an interesting story to follow up.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Plus ca change?

   The chicken little, "climate change" (read temperature warming disaster about to occur in a week or so) folks would have us believe a few days of old-fashioned summer weather and a couple of thunderstorms are symptoms of great disaster almost upon us.
   'Tain't so.  According to a piece in the National Post the other day, reporting on comments made by Roger Pielke Jr. before the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, nothing has changed, or looks like changing in any measurable way for a long time.  Mr. Pielke is professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado.
   Global weather-related losses as a proportion of GDP have not increased since 1990.
   Hurricanes have not increased in the US since at least 1960.
   Floods have not increased in the US since at least 1950.  Flood losses as a percentage of US GDP have dropped by about 75% since 1940.
   Tornadoes have not increased in frequency, intensity or normalized damage since 1950.
   Drought for the most part has become shorter, less frequent and covers a smaller portion of the US over the last century.  Globally, there has been little change in drought over the past 60 years.
   The inability to detect and attribute changes in these phenomena does not mean that climate change may not be real or of concern.
   It does mean that many people who should know better have made false claims that confuse and could lead to poor decision making.
   Some research indicates that various extremes may become more frequent and intense as a consequence of human emission of carbon dioxide.  But the research suggests it will be many decades, perhaps longer, before the signal of human-caused climate change can be detected in the statistics of weather phenomena.

Friday, July 19, 2013

No Monarch seen this year in Ontario

Was speaking with one of Canada's foremost lepidopterists this morning.  It seems there has been no sighting of a Monarch butterfly in Ontario so far (July 19) this year.

Where Are All The Insects?

It's July 19th and I haven't seen a Monarch butterfly yet.  I live in the woods.  Put my UV light out a couple of nights - not a single large moth.  No silkmoths.  No hawkmoths.  A friend, who is one of Canada's leading insect scientists, is experiencing the same thing.  Spoke with him recently - almost no insects this year.

Must wonder what's going on.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Making Pictures of Creatures That No Longer Exist


It's a great pleasure to produce interesting images of creatures that are now extinct, extirpated or severely threatened. It's a passion - and a project I'm currently very much enjoying.
The Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Campephilus principalis, long endangered and probably now extinct, lived in the virgin swampy bottomlands of East Texas, southeastern US and Cuba.  It is the largest woodpecker in North America, at about 20 inches in length and 30 inches in wingspan.   

Folks like to see what these creatures look(ed) like. Children, especially, are interested and should know what happened or is currently happening, and why. 
   Young people can prevent the repetition of serious errors made in the past.  As someone no longer young but always young at heart, I enjoy great pleasure in producing realistic imagery to help us all understand. It's a project I continue to pursue with the help of computer editing.

 Passenger Pigeons, Ectopistes migratorius, female and male, once the most abundant bird on the face of the earth, became extinct when the last one died on April 1, 1914 at the Cincinnati Zoo.
   In 1866 one flock in southern Ontario was said to be one mile wide by 300 miles long and took 14 hours to pass by.
   Passenger Pigeons were much larger than the similarly-plumaged Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura.  The birds were an important food source from the Caribbean to central and eastern Canada.
   Over-hunting and habitat destruction are believed to have caused the disappearance of the birds. 
 
Following are more of the images now in my stock library
- all available for use in textbooks, magazines, brochures and advertising.

This spectacular insect, the Homerus Swallowtail, Papilo homerus, is the Western Hemisphere's largest butterfly, now found only in a remote area of Jamaica.  Numbers are so small that captive breeding efforts are needed to save it from extinction.  

The Xerces Blue, Glaucopsyche xerces, is an extinct butterfly in the gossamer-winged butterfly family, Lycaenidae.   It lived in coastal sand dunes of the Sunset District of San Francisco and is believed to be the first American butterfly species to become extinct as a result of loss of habitat caused by urban development. The last one was seen in either 1941 or 1943 in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. 
 
Among current projects I have under way is one to produce a good photo of  Xanthopan morganii praedicta,  Morgan's Hawkmoth, with a proboscis of up to 14" in length (35 cm) adequate to fertilize the orchid Angraecum sesquipedale of East Africa and Madagascar. 
  From his observations,  Charles Darwin surmised in his 1862 book Fertilisation of Orchids that there must be a pollinator moth with a proboscis long enough to reach the nectar at the end of the orchid spur.  In 1903 the moth was discovered on Madagascar and incorrectly thought to be a subspecies of Xanthopan morganii found on the mainland.  It is the same insect. 
   While this animal is neither extinct nor threatened (to my knowledge) it certainly is rarely enough seen to warrant inclusion in my "special images". 
   Other projects may include images of extinct, endangered, or threatened amphibians and mammals.  If readers of this newsletter have special needs for pictures of such animals I'd be very happy to hear of them and, if I can, produce photos for you.

 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Little Better


Every interesting natural history photograph has something special. Sparkling sharpness.  Detail.  Rarely seen lifestyle activity
  New information about wild things. Something "special".

Here are some stock pictures you might find interesting - not to mention certain images difficult or impossible to find elsewhere.



Surprise!  An Ichneuman Wasp, (Troisis pennator), emerges from the chrysalis of a Black Swallowtail Butterfly, (Papilio polyxenes), after hatching from an egg inserted into the butterfly larva before it pupated and then hatching and devouring the larva to  finally emerge as an adult wasp.  Note exit hole near top of chrysalis case.





A gynandromorph is an individual exhibiting morphological characteristics of both sexes
  
This Pink-edged Sulphur butterfly (Colias interior) has the left wing of a female
and the right wing of a male.




Passenger Pigeons (Ectopistes migratorius), female and male, once the most abundant bird on the face of the earth, became extinct when the last one died on April 1, 1914 at the Cincinnati Zoo. 

In 1866 one flock in Southern Ontario was said to be one mile wide by 300 miles long and took 14 hours to pass by.

Passenger Pigeons were much larger than the similarly-plumaged Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura).  The birds were an important food source from the Caribbean to central and eastern Canada.

Over-hunting and habitat destruction are believed to have caused the disappearance of the birds.

The above computer generated images were produced after careful research of paintings and some photographs of old, faded museum specimens. 




At 415,000 square miles, the Canadian Province of Ontario is almost twice as large as Texas and about 4.5 times the size of the United Kingdom.
  
Settled only in the 18th century, Ontario quickly became a major agricultural region
and so remains today.
  
Yet only one covered bridge, over the Grand River at West Montrose, still exists.

***************************************************************************************************

If you need certain special or hard to find stock photos, please drop me a line.  I may have something for you, or may know a photographer who does.  My network of stock photographers is a good one and there is never a charge for this service.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

With Oil Seed at $30+ How Long Can We Afford To Entertain This Lot?


The View From The Kitchen Window - 2-2-13

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Environmental Damage Or Regeneration Opportunity?


This photograph shows damage by a four-wheel drive truck to a bush road accessing a hunting camp in central Ontario.

One’s first impression is of serious environmental damage. But is it truly damage?

Or, possibly, might it be an opportunity for the regeneration of grasses, fruit shrubs and other small plants that would have been choked out by uncontrolled climax growth of those same plants. Not to mention unchecked growth by less desirable invaders such as alders?

In the meantime, this “damage” also provides fresh access to food supplies for game birds such as Woodcock and Grouse, along with Gray Jays and smaller critters.

Beware of first impressions. They can be deceiving.

Many more images of environmental matters, game birds, insects and wildflowers can be found on my online stock photo catalogue. Here’s a link.



Wednesday, January 23, 2013

BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR...

It's cold out there!  -28C, -40 wind chill.



Lots more snowy, frosty, icy images at my online stock photo catalogue.

All available to license for advertising, magazines, textbooks, blog uses.

613-256-4056