Midmorning Walk – August 20, 2015

Last week I posted photos taken on a walk on August 18th last summer.  I took another walk with my camera the very next day and there was something very different about that walk compared to others.  I did not have my Sigma 105mm macro lens; instead I had hooked up the Nikkor 80-400mm AF-S zoom to my Nikon D7100.

I learned from this and subsequent outings that the Nikkor 80-400mm AF-S zoom lens is not one for just causally walking around for an hour or two and snapping pictures of things that interest you.  The lens weighs 3.5 lbs (1.6 kg) and combined with my camera the total is 5.2 lbs (2.4 kg).  Five pounds may not sound like much, and in the grand scheme of things it isn’t, but imagine a five pound bag of sugar attached to a strap around your neck.  Now imagine that bag shaped like a camera with an eight inch lens throwing the bag’s center of gravity off so that the bag is constantly wobbling around as you walk about.  I’m not trying to make this sound like some unbearable Sisyphean task, just pointing out this lens is more of a destination lens than one for just walking around with.

I saved 12 photos from this outing.  Six of the photos are flowers and the others are of a couple of monarch butterflies.  I think the monarchs are feasting on the goodness of zinnias.  I’m going to show the monarchs in this post and next week I’ll share the flower pictures.  So here are some non-macro photos for a change.  I guess they still qualify as close ups even though the closest I can get to a subject with this lens is 5.7 feet.

I call the monarch in the first three photos the perfect monarch.  It’s not because I think it’s perfect (I have no idea what a perfect monarch butterfly would be) but because the other monarch is imperfect; it has a notch in the back if its right wing.  These are empirically derived descriptions and are in no way to be construed as judgmental.  (Sadly one sometimes needs to say stuff like that to shut people up before they they claim they’ve been offended.)



Digging deep for the good stuff.


This is the imperfect monarch with the notched wing.  Again, no judgement here.


Note the honey bee coming into the monarch’s flower.  I don’t know if I’m just imagining this but it seems to me that pollinating insects tend to “share” flowers as the summer wears on and it seems especially noticeable during September and into October.  Is it that they are willing to share in June and July but don’t, and it’s only noticed in the latter months because there are so many fewer flowers so they kind of have to share?  But I don’t think they understand the concept of “share” or even possess the capacity for anything near understanding.  Their life is probably just one of stimulus and response requiring no understanding.


At first the bee and the monarch were getting along just fine but somewhere along the line something happened.  Maybe the bee wandered too much into the monarch’s personal space.  Maybe one of the bee’s antennae accidentally touched the monarch’s leg.  Whatever happened it caused the monarch to start flapping it’s wings so hard I could hear them (you can see the blur from the flapping) and the bee took off.  Stimulus and response.


Thanks for stopping by.


All photos taken with a Nikon D7100 and Nikkor AF-S 80-400mm zoom lens.

4 thoughts on “Midmorning Walk – August 20, 2015

    • Amazingly with that big lens I can hand hold it and get nice sharp shots. I don’t think I could do it though without the VR. But I have lost shots holding the lens waiting for the insect to turn only to tire out and lose the shot resting my hands/arms.


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