Readers’ wildlife photos

Today’s photos come from reader Ivar Husa, whose captions are indented. Send in your photos, folks, as I go through seven contributions a week.

It has been a while since I dropped some pictures on you, and I read that your ‘tank was low’. I have many interesting things to share. Mostly birds and insects. Of them, mostly pollinators. The Monarch images was taken in Tucson, the rest in Washington State.

Nevada Bumblebee, Bombus nevadesis. The largest bumblebee in the US. I estimate this one to be 9/16”head to tail

Purplish Copper, Lycaena helloides.  About the size of a dime, wings folded.

Northern Harrier, Circus hudsonius.   Female.  This bird was guarding territory around her nest.  It was early and I may have been the first down this primary trail in a local wildlife area. The bird made perhaps 10 passes at me.  This was the first, and I never took my eyes off her again, not even to put a camera up to my face.  She was a clear and present danger. She got as close 25’ (as bulging eyes reported).

The harassment ceased when I was ¼ mile away. It harassed me as I sped back through her domain. I revisited two weeks later.  Approaching the area, I saw her circling over ‘her’ field so I just went back to my car.

Photo Notes: The Harrier image a composite with no change in focal length. That is, each image accurately depicts the size and orientation of the bird as it approached me in her dive.  Looks like I missed a frame. A hesitation, do doubt, as I pondered “Do I want my scalp or the photo?”  Shot with Canon 5D SR, 100-400mm lens, 1.4 multiplier. Image ISO 1000   f11  1/1600 sec

Peleteria, a Tachinid fly:

Monarch Butterfly, Danaus plexippus:

RiverJewelwing, Calopteryx aequabilis:

And just because I can’t help myself, I’ve thrown in my picture of comet NEOWISE with the summit of Mount Rainier in the ‘foreground’, as it were.


  1. jezgrove
    Posted August 7, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Great photos, Ivar. I can’t say I blame you for missing a frame in the composite Harrier picture!

  2. Dtaylor
    Posted August 7, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    I’ll never hear the word “harried” again, without envisioning your composite picture of the harrier air attack. You must have nerves of steel! Also enjoyed the monarch photo. Our monarch visitors are entirely missing this year–very worrisome.

    • rickflick
      Posted August 7, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      I read that the name came from their determined pursuit of rabbits in dense bushes.

  3. Posted August 7, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Well! This is a lovely and varied set. That harrier sequence is especially creative. Congratulations!

  4. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted August 7, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Nice set!

    I particularly like the compositional approach for the harrier … approach
    … now if certain tech companies could make a button do that in one click….

  5. David Fuqua
    Posted August 7, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Great picture of the harrier!

  6. Posted August 7, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    You had amazing presaence of mind to think of making that harrier multiple exposure, and to carry it out. That is a wonderful picture.

  7. Posted August 7, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Very nice! Looks like the comet/Rainier shot is from one of the ridges east of the Cascade crest. Taneum Ridge or Manashtash Ridge, maybe?

    • ivarhusa
      Posted August 13, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Good eye! Bethel Ridge RD, not quite to the radio tower. Yakima County

  8. Posted August 7, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Nice pics! The bumblebee in the picture seems kind of small for being a member of the largest bumblebee species. Perhaps a young one? Or am I overestimating the size of the ones that used to scare me as a child?

  9. rickflick
    Posted August 7, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Love the harrier pics.

  10. Posted August 7, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    This is great! The river jewelwing is spectacular.

  11. Posted August 8, 2020 at 2:32 am | Permalink

    Very nice – & I love Tachinid flies (& their spikes) which are parasitic in the larval stage…

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