Reader’s wildlife photos

October 11, 2019 • 7:45 am

As I’m leaving in about ten days for five weeks lecturing on Antarctic cruises, I won’t be able to accept wildlife photos (or access much email) after October 20. If you have wildlife photos (or “photos of readers”) to send, please get them in within a week, and please remember not to email me between the third week in October and December 1. Thanks for your indulgence.

Today we have photos from two readers. First, Rik Gern sent some photos of berries (and a soupçon of wildlife). His notes are indented:

These are winterberries (Ilex verticillata) growing on a bush that I planted about ten years ago. This bush rarely produces berries, but about two years ago had a bumper crop. Birds enjoyed the berries, and so did this insect which I haven’t been able to identify, despite several Google and Bing image searches. I initially thought it was a large ant, but the long proboscis makes me wonder what it is. I’m guessing it uses the proboscis to pierce the skin of the berries and drink the fluids therein.


It’s been a while since we had photos from Diana MacPherson, but here is one of her patented chipmunk  photos:

Here is a picture of an Eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) who tends to sit on the deck contemplatively for a long time every day. I got a new camera (a Sony A7 III) and with an adapter, I used my Canon 300 mm prime lens with my 1.4x teleconverter. This takes an image very similar to that from my Canon 5D Mkiii,which I normally shoot with, except I think it is a little clearer when blowing up—probably because it has more megapixels. Anyway, all that was just to point out that the cute chipmunk was the subject of my shooting experiment.


11 thoughts on “Reader’s wildlife photos

  1. Hi, Dr. Coyne.

    I’m a bit confused about your rules.

    I haven’t commented here since late 2017 because you made a post at that time saying that we weren’t allowed to link to anonymous blogs (my username links to an anonymous blog).

    However, I recently went back to that post and I see it’s been updated to say that we’re allowed to have such links in our usernames as long as we don’t post links to *posts* on such blogs that we want other people to read.

    I’d like to abide by your rules while I’m on your blog. So, I was hoping you could clear up whether or not I’m allowed to comment on your blog.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Taken from Da Roolz! [linked in the left margin]:

      3. If you have your own website, you may put a link to your anonymous (or pseudonymous) website in your posting name. I like people to use their real names when possible, as I think this makes them more accountable for their words, but I recognize that there are sometimes good reasons for not doing so.

  2. Hope your trip also includes an opportunity to visit South Georgia.
    I’m very jealous. I doubt Hurtigruten or any of the other lines down there are interested in someone lecturing on Algebraic Topology (though many are more qualified than me anyway!). Maybe algebraic versus transcendental penguins.

  3. The broad headed bug identified by Greg is an older nymph. These insects are plant feeders, generally piercing into the fruit of their host plant to tap into the seeds. Younger nymphs are amazing ant mimics. They even scurry around like one.
    So it would be a fun challenge to look further on the cherry tree for any younger nymphs. You are looking for something that seems to be a carpenter ant. Those might be around too, only the ones you seek ain’t an ant.

  4. The winterberries look surprisingly like maraschino cherries, which makes me wonder how they taste. I should ask the Alice in Wonderland bug.
    Sony with Canon works well on the Chipmunk. Her expression says, “Don’t hurt me!”

  5. So are winter berries edible for humans? Pretty berries and foliage.

    Very cute and contemplative chimp. He/she also looks nice and healthy.

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