Blue dragonfly and water lilies

This is a quick reminder that my 2015 nature photography calendars are now available for saleYou can choose from five different nature themes: a year in Southern California, bees and other insectswater lilies, flowers and blooms, and water. These 2015 photo calendars make a unique Thanksgiving or holiday gift to give a teacher, a friend, a colleague, or a family member. I thank you for your purchase and your support.

If you like what you see, please subscribe to this blog to receive updates of the new photos I post, usually 3 to 5 times a week.

I love dragonflies but they’re quite hard to find and photograph since they don’t like to sit still. Did you know dragonflies are the fastest insects in the world? They can even fly backwards, hover and make U-turns at full speed. I guess those two sets of wings come in really handy when they’re hungry. And they do eat a lot of bugs, which is convenient for us.

It was my lucky day a few months ago when I spotted this blue dragonfly standing on a dead leaf over a pond covered with lily pads. I was even luckier to have some beautiful water lilies to include in the background of my pictures. I first captured the blue dragonfly with a pink water lily in the same shot.

Blue dragonfly and pink water lily
Blue dragonfly and pink water lily
Close-up of a blue dragonfly and pink water lily
Close-up of a blue dragonfly and pink water lily

Then I just had to point my camera a bit to the left and capture the same blue dragonfly with a white water lily in the background. How nice is that?

Blue dragonfly and white water lily
Blue dragonfly and white water lily

I can’t put even a finger on a dead leaf without breaking it, but it seemed like a nice stand for this dragonfly.

Close-up of a blue dragonfly on a dead leaf
Close-up of a blue dragonfly on a dead leaf

Black Friday: my 2015 photo calendars are 65% off

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and enjoyed the time with your loved ones. I’ll be back next week with some new nature photos to share.

If you’re looking for great Black Friday deals, I’ve got one for you. My 2015 nature photography calendars are 65% off today! Simply use code ZAZBLACKDEAL at checkout in my Zazzle store.

You can choose from five different nature themes: a year in Southern California, bees and other insectswater lilies, flowers and blooms, and water. These 2015 photo calendars make a unique Thanksgiving or holiday gift to give a teacher, a friend, a colleague, or a family member. All calendars are made to order in the USA so you support the US economy with your purchase. I thank you for your purchase and your support.

Click on the calendar links below to purchase the calendars of your choice. Thank you very much for your purchase and your support. 

Buy this 2015 12-month calendar – A YEAR IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA – VIEW individual photos in a large slideshow

2015 San Diego calendar - front cover
2015 San Diego calendar – front cover

Buy this 2015 12-month calendar – WATER LILIES  – VIEW individual photos in a large slideshow

2015 water lily calendar - front cover
2015 water lily calendar – front cover

Buy this 2015 12-month calendar – BEES AND OTHER INSECTS  – VIEW individual photos in a large slideshow

2015 bee and insect calendar - front cover
2015 bee and insect calendar – front cover

Buy this 2015 12-month calendar – FLOWERS AND BLOOMS  – VIEW individual photos in a large slideshow

2015 flower and bloom calendar - front cover
2015 flower and bloom calendar – front cover

Buy this 2015 12-month calendar – WATER IN SAN DIEGO  – VIEW individual photos in a large slideshow

2015 water in San Diego calendar - front cover
2015 water in San Diego calendar – front cover

How to save 50% on my 2015 photo calendars this week

Happy Thanksgiving week!

My 2015 nature photography calendars are available for sale and this week you can save 50% off by using code ZWEEKOFDEALS at checkout in my Zazzle store.

You can choose from five different nature themes: a year in Southern California, bees and other insectswater lilies, flowers and blooms, and water. These 2015 photo calendars make a unique Thanksgiving or holiday gift to give a teacher, a friend, a colleague, or a family member. All calendars are made to order in the USA so you support the US economy with your purchase. I thank you for your purchase and your support.

Click on the calendar links below to purchase the calendars of your choice. Thank you very much for your purchase and your support. 

Buy this 2015 12-month calendar – A YEAR IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA – VIEW individual photos in a large slideshow

2015 San Diego calendar - front cover
2015 San Diego calendar – front cover

Buy this 2015 12-month calendar – WATER LILIES  – VIEW individual photos in a large slideshow

2015 water lily calendar - front cover
2015 water lily calendar – front cover

Buy this 2015 12-month calendar – BEES AND OTHER INSECTS  – VIEW individual photos in a large slideshow

2015 bee and insect calendar - front cover
2015 bee and insect calendar – front cover

Buy this 2015 12-month calendar – FLOWERS AND BLOOMS  – VIEW individual photos in a large slideshow

2015 flower and bloom calendar - front cover
2015 flower and bloom calendar – front cover

Buy this 2015 12-month calendar – WATER IN SAN DIEGO  – VIEW individual photos in a large slideshow

2015 water in San Diego calendar - front cover
2015 water in San Diego calendar – front cover

Tiger swallowtail butterfly (Papilio glaucus)

I want to start by reminding you that my 2015 nature photography calendars are available for saleIf you’re looking for a unique Thanksgiving or holiday gift to give a teacher, a friend, a colleague, or a family member, this is a great choice. I thank you for your purchase and your support.

You can click on each photo below for a larger view. If you like what you see, I encourage you to subscribe so you can enjoy the new photos I post a few times a week.

Butterflies are cool looking insects and they do a great job at pollinating flowers. But I find them challenging to photograph, especially since I don’t have a super fancy zoom lens or a tripod. Unlike bees, they won’t let me get too close without taking off, and they don’t always keep their wings wide open long enough while resting on flowers. Oh, and they love to stay on flowers that are out of reach, so I can’t photograph them from a good angle.

Still, I was pretty lucky to find this beautiful, yellow tiger swallowtail butterfly (more formally known as Papilio glaucus) a few weeks ago. Somehow, it landed on the same kind of bright pink flowers I photographed that bee fly the same day, even though those bushes were in different areas of the botanical garden. Those flowers must be tasting delicious. The first flower cluster this tiger swallowtail butterfly picked didn’t make for a great picture, but he did help me out a bit as he kept hopping from flower to flower.

Tiger swallowtail butterfly on pink flowers
Tiger swallowtail butterfly on pink flowers

This was much better already than the first picture I took.

Yellow tiger swallowtail butterfly drinking nectar
Yellow tiger swallowtail butterfly drinking nectar

This tiger swallowtail was nice enough to display its beautiful wing markings for me to take one last picture of it quickly before it took off.

Close-up of a tiger swallowtail butterfly on pink flowers
Close-up of a tiger swallowtail butterfly on pink flowers

Are you a butterfly fan, or do they creep you out?

Macro Monday: the bee fly (bombyliidae)

This is a quick reminder that my 2015 nature photography calendars are now available for saleIf you’re looking for a unique Thanksgiving or holiday gift to give a teacher, a friend, a colleague, or a family member, this is a great choice. I thank you for your purchase and your support.

Today I’m taking part in the Macro Monday photo challenge. You can click on each photo for a larger view. If you like what you see, I encourage you to subscribe so you can enjoy the new photos I post a few times a week.

I recently took photos of a number of flowers at a local botanical garden, and bees were busy visiting them for nectar collection. But this flower bush below (don’t ask me what type of bloom it is, I have no idea; but if you know, please tell me!) displayed something a bit different: a bee fly. From the Bombyliidae family,  bee flies are quite larger than your regular house fly and they include many different types of flies. They all collect nectar and pollen and can even be useful pollinators. I’ll tell you, they’re not as pretty as bees but they are awesome when it comes to posing for photographs because they don’t seem to be bothered when you stand close to them. Oh, and another great advantage over bees? They don’t sting.

Some bee flies can be as colorful and as fuzzy as bees. This bee fly just looked more like a very large fly, but since this is the first time I’ve photographed one, I’m not too picky.

Macro Monday: the bee fly (bombyliidae)
Macro Monday: the bee fly (bombyliidae)
Close-up of a bee fly (bombyliidae)
Close-up of a bee fly (bombyliidae)