Tower Grove Park – September 1, 2015 (Part 1 of 4)

It is September 1, 2015 in my blog timeline and I’m at Tower Grove Park.  This is St. Louis’ 2nd largest park and I think this is my third time going here for photos.  I went to the park with my 80-400mm telephoto zoom with the intent of getting shots of some dragonflies.  Why a telephoto and not a macro for insect photos?  I’ve been here before and my experiences have been that the majority of the dragonflies are found on the the lily and lotus plants in the little ponds around the east side of the large pond.  At best they are three feet away which means I can’t use the macro function of my macro lens; instead I’d have to use it as a 105mm (157mm effectively) and lean out over the water.  Instead I’ll use a real telephoto to get close ups and avoid the water hazard.

Normally I show the photos in the order taken but sometimes I’ll group them by subject for multiple posts.  That’s what I’m going to do with this and the other posts.  The groups and order of appearance are:  bees, lotus & water lily plants, dragonflies, and ducks.  Below are the bees.

I would say with certainty that these are all carpenter bees but the abdomens on the first four are shiny brown rather than the shiny black I’m used to seeing.  At first I thought I might have done a tweak somewhere in post processing that altered the color a bit but I checked the raw files and they are brown too.  Maybe these aren’t carpenter bees but are bald bumble bees, or maybe I’ve discovered a new species.





The bees in this next set of photos have the shiny black body characteristic of a carpenter bee.


If anyone can tell me what type of flowers these are in these last five photos I’d appreciate knowing.  They grow right at the water’s edge.






Thank you for stopping by.  Next week it will be the lotus and water lily plants.


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

14 thoughts on “Tower Grove Park – September 1, 2015 (Part 1 of 4)

  1. Very nice. I have problems getting bees with my telephoto, hard to find them and hard to catch them. You got them in flight, and in focus,very nice work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks topcat. I’ll admit that for every keeper of the BIFs I probably have one or two throwaways. While sometimes I try to track them and take the shot I more often try to anticipate where they are going and get there first so they fly into view. That too is easier said then done but it’s a fun challenge for me. Fortunately it’s digital and I don’t have to worry about film consumption


    • Thanks John and I agree on the handiness of the long zooms. Sometimes, depending on subject or environment, or maybe just the mood of the photographer a close up shot is just as effective or as good as a macro shot.


    • Thank you for the compliment and info Debra. I think it might be Thalia geniculata but I’m not positive. I surprise by the low quality of photos for both the dealbata and geniculata I’m finding on the internet which makes identification hard. Usually the flower photos I find are excellent and make identification pretty easy.


      • Identifying wild plants using the internet is really tricky. Not just because there are errors out there but also because with wild plants there can be a lot of variation even in the same species. I find it can sometimes be more helpful to learn the specialized jargon used in descriptions than to use visual cues. I am not terribly surprised that you are having trouble finding good photos. It is often overlooked in the wild and rarely included in public gardens. It really should be planted more often. Alligator flag is one of my all time favourite plants. If I had a pond it would be the first thing I’d plant.

        Liked by 1 person

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