Yesterday morning, I spent some quality time at a local, Missouri prairie. The last time I was there was a couple of weeks ago and it was obvious that the Missouri Conservation Department had conducted a prescribed burn late in the winter at this prairie. I was ecstatic to see this as between all the spring rains and cool temperatures and the burn were making things looking great for a wonderful year on this prairie! When I entered the upper meadow this morning, I was not disappointed! All said, I must have seen at least 20-25 species of wildflowers in bloom, with more wildflower foliage actively growing. Along with all this beauty, I found a flurry of activity from many, small, prairie insects.
One of the common insects I found was the Green Lacewing (of the Chrysopidae Family). None of these beauties seemed the least bit worried that I was there with my macro photography equipment, photographing them as they wandered around the wildflower blooms in search of a tasty meal. Here are a few of my favorite images from yesterday morning:
Green Lacewings are small, from about 3/8″ to 5/8″ long. Their body is a pale green, and have compound eyes that are either a brilliant golden to coppery color. Their wings are clear, with green veins and are at least 1/4 longer than their body. Their habitat is meadows,gardens and along forest edges, and are found throughout North America. Their food source is small insects, particularly aphids and nymphs of scale insects (as a gardener, I much appreciate the benefits of this lovely insect). I understand they lay their eggs on slender, white silk stalks that hang on the underside of leaves … guess I need to start checking out the leaf bottoms!
By the way, if you live in the Kansas City area and would like to do a 1/2-day workshop (~3 hours) on this prairie with me, right now is the time. Plenty of wildflowers. Plenty of macro subjects. I will do some morning or evening workshops (as my schedule allows) to photograph at this prairie, based on interest. I will work with you on macro photography techniques, answer questions, and show you how I capture my wildflower/macro images. If you have an interest, please contact me by e-mail (email@example.com) and we’ll try to set something up. :o)
Photographic Equipment Used:
- Canon 7D body
- Canon EF180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
- Gitzo #1258-LVL carbon fiber tripod, with Kirk Ent. HD ballhead
- ISO 500
- Aperture f/8 to f/11
- Shutter 1/100 sec. to 1/500 sec.