Gene Simmons Would Be Green With Envy (Miley Cyrus, Too)
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When I photograph insects I very often am not completely certain what I’m photographing as I compose the shot and take the picture. The subjects are very small, the viewfinder does not magnify them, and my aging vision doesn’t pick up small details really well. So, often, I only discover what I really have when I get home and put the images up on my computer screen.
Such was the case one day a week or so ago when I photographed this bee feeding on a Prickly Pear flower. In the viewfinder I could make out the bee’s face as a dark spot, without detail. I had the camera focus on the face and I hoped that I’d get some fair detail from the shots.
I was blown away when I looked closely at what I’d photographed. The little bee has an enormous tongue, an organ at least 1/2 the length of its body.
In this first image the tongue is visible as a dark orange red object extending downward into the center of the flower from the bee’s face.
Here’s a closer look.
And, here’s yet another image. In this image the tongue is visible for nearly its entire length — simply gigantic in comparison to the bee.
I’ve often commented that if we want to speculate what alien life forms on other planets might be like we could do worse than to study the many billions of insects that inhabit our world. From our perspective they are both exotic and astonishing. The adaptions that these creatures manifest are seemingly without limit and would challenge anyone’s imagination. Of course insects have been around in one form or another for about 300 million years, so they’ve had a lot of time to evolve into forms that are fantastic.
Possibly, certain pop stars who might be envious if they saw the equipment on this bee.
Images made with a Canon 5DS-R, 180 f3.5L Macro Lens assisted by Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite, stabilized by monopod, M setting, ISO 160, f16 @ 1/160.