Monday, December 24, 2007

Ant's Jaws

I don't know to what particular specie belongs this ant, but looking at this older post of a wasp's jaw it's easy to understand that both ants and wasps belong to the same Superfamily: the Vespoidea from the order Hymenoptera.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

La Mola and Montserrat in one image

This picture from Montserrat's monastery comes from the combination of the two pictures you can find below. To get it I used a photoshop gradient mask to softly transition from one image to the other. This allows me to preserve the best exposed areas from both images.

This picture is taken at 1/100 and f7.4 and gets the monastery's details but burns all the clouds

This picture is taken at 1/320 and f13 and gets all the rich details from the clouds but underexposes the monastery

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Wind mills seen from Montserrat

In solidarity to this post I decided to put this picture from Montserrat were you can see at the end, between clowds, a wind mill farm delivering precious green energy.

To escape from green house effect we can't accept nuclear power as an alternative resource. Governments should penalize nuclear energy and promote R&D investment into solar energy and other green energy sources. Let's ask parties what they have to say on that topic.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Wild Clove Pink

Yesterday (Nov-11th) I was walking with my friend bufaforat (now we call anyone a friend) between Montcau and La Mola. We both got attracted by this small Clove that was blooming at the shadow of an oak. Through the oak some sun light was reaching the flower making it magically shine.

I read that this wild Clove blooms during spring and summer around the Mediterranean. So, can we call November a summer extension? Let's make us a favor: consume less!


Find flower location in google map below:

Mostra un mapa més gran

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Head or tail?

Nature is full of surprises. This curious caterpillars were ending with a wild rose, like a pest, they terminated with tho thirds of it's leafs. But what really draw my attention was the capacity they had to confound it's tail by it's head. It took me a wile to realize that what it seemed a threatening head it was in fact a floating tail.

Do predators get confused by this tail's shape and color? did this triggered a genetic advantage?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Mediterranean Tarantula

Lycosa tarentula ?
Tarantulas don't eat tomatoes. They don't wait for a pray there too. I artificially placed this beautiful specimen over this red pair of tomatoes. Is there something more Mediterranean?

Err... didn't tomatoes came from the new world? then why they are so linked to the Mediterranean diet?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Grasshopper, Walking Stick or something in between

This, even if it looks like a picture, in reality it's the combination of four pictures in one. Yes, I love pictures with a tight depth of field and this has a price to pay: most of my best shoots don't have some key details in focus. To solve this I typically take my best shoot and I crop some details from different pictures.

Is this a 'hideous fake' or a better way to reflect the photographer's vision?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

But still, some of them survive

This huge butterfly, maybe 10 cm tail to tail, I believe is a Papilio Machaon. The butterfly that comes out of the pupae made by the Caterpillar I've been talking in last posts.

Even with a huge base of predators some of them survive to pass the genes to the next generation.
Picture was taken in Cadí-Moixeró Natural Park

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Osmeterium, a caterpillar weapon

See in this picture the Osmeterium of the papilio machaon. We found by chance about this fleshy organ when with my brother we wanted to place the caterpillar of the picture on a fennel branch. The caterpillar quickly bended back and opened this antenna that include 'gland cells'. No wonder why it grows that much!.

I know the picture is really bad, but I didn't want to bother the poor caterpillar just that an amateur insect reported could capture a perfect shoot.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Wasp jaws

This wasp is from a different family than the one that made a gorgeous meal out of a poor caterpilar in previous post. But look at it's jaws!. Now I understand why it was so easy for the wasp to grab a pice of machaon's steak and fly avay so quikly.

The same wasp surprised me when it licked a rosemary flower. Where can it hide such huge tonge? and look at it's end, what are this antenna for?

Nature is amazing and we are destroying it all, so fast...


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Death in the fennel

I was following a beautiful Caterpillar of papilo machaon. I was fantasizing on finding it's pupa and view life it's butterfly's birth. I even took a high macro picture of one of its tiny spiracle that they use to breath. I was amazed when accidentally I found the osmeterium, the most bizarre defense organ I've eve seen. That Sunday, the osmeterium failed and a wasp that was scrutinizing the fennel up and down ended with my friend's life as well as with my illusions.
Master Free-Koh would bring 'Confucius' on board and talk about the rights of the wasp to exist. In any case, since that day that I took this picture I hate wasps!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Praying mantis cleaning its antenna

Mom found this beauty in the garden. Conscious of my recent passion for taking pictures of insects she kept it in a box so I could take it on stage and run a photo shoot.

I wonder about the black spot they have on the eyes. This spot moves depending were they look at. Does anyone know how this composed eyes work?


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What is this?

Is this a painting from Miró?

Who's this mouth with black lips?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Fight between a spider and a wasp

This could had been the picture of my life, a spider chasing a wasp or the other way around. Who knows. Anyway I got two amazing creatures in emotion action. I got the perfect ring with this white flower rich in details... But I failed with the focal plane that doesn't include the wasp. I keep saying to myself, -If at least I had the aperture to f12 instead of f5...
Why perfection is so unreachable?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Bombylius Major landing on a flower

This graceful creature is commonly called a bee fly, as it feeds on nectar and pollen. It's color and shape can resemble also a bee. But if you find any, there aren't many but it's not rare. You will see that it's gracious flight it's very different than the 'hurry up' type of flight of a bee. Bombylius flight is that of a weight less nymph that even when lays down seems like it doesn't touch the ground. You have to experience it. Can't be explained.

The picture was taken in the Parc natural del Cadi i Serra del Moixeró

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Beetle's love dream

Have you ever dreamed on making love laying over a white smelly flower bed?

Yeah, me and Ju always have fun like beetles for more than 40'.

Err... Uh... 10'?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Star Wars Beetle

This is a very small beetle I haven't yet identified, but the first time I saw it on the screen I thought that was wearing a helmet like the Imperial soldiers in Star Wars. -Lord Wader our army is ready to fight. Where's the next nuclear plant?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Playing with the Flash

This picture was taken in a sunny day.


-Yes, it was a sunny day but I was using a powerful Macro flash light. The light of the flash was so bright and so close to the insect that the background looks like if the picture was taken at night.


To take this picture I had one of the flash bulbs close below the insect and the other one on my camera. Here this nice artificial backlight.

Insect may be a Mylabrissp

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Caterpillar under both the sun and my flash

I've been practicing more with the flash, in this picture the flower was totally black. I played with the flash to get a lighting condition that pleased me.

Friday, July 13, 2007

My first butterfly

Here it comes my first butterfly. This beautiful lady is from Rubi.
The picture It's done with a 100mm macro lens together with a 'twin' flash. I really hate taking pictures with artificial light, but the results speak from themselves and I will need to keep on learning the technique of the flash. I hope master Fri-Koh can offer discounts to beginners.

The same image without flash has the backgroung with the same tone as the butterfly. An extra benefit of the flash is the increase of depth of field.

-Leptotes pirithous?? who knows!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Mother duck has five baby ducklings

Hello there, this weekend I went to the old ruins of empuries, the largest Greek colony in the Iberian Peninsula. The ruins are surrounded by protected dunes that lead to the coast. A beautiful area that, even under a strong human pressure, you can still find beautiful nature pictures like this one: a recently born ducklings following their mother. Look at the first on the row, what a martial step, did he train with the marines?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Self portrait through my dougter's eye

We were visiting France, my younger doughter was sitting in the trolley and her blue eyes were telling me: picture! take me a picture! then my ego put the focus on me.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Am I a delicious fish?

I always have seen seagulls when they are standing on land or water like this ones. They never looked at me with both eyes simultaneously, they always bend their head to looking at me predominantly with one eye. That is why I got surprised by this shoot were this flying bird is focusing both eyes straight to me. I thought to myself, am I a delicious fish?

I'm not, but I'm waving one on my hand!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Bye bye and accept my excuses

Dear Mosquitos, I have no words to express my sorry for what other animals from my specie had done to your home. You have to understand that we homo sapiens are not mature to rule the planet, how can we be mature to protect your nest?

But don't worry my friends the best minds are working on artificial intelligence and hopefully one day, a machine, will be ready to rule the world. A machine free from our weak genetic heritage, a machine with a really powerful mind that will treat us humans as what we are, smart monkeys that can't rule their lives without wars, without parasiting our own planet. That day evolution will make a key step. We will pass the baton and we will live a pleasant life in our cages without wars and without the chance to destroy the planet.

Machines will care.

Note that the picture is a fallen egg from a Columba palumbus nest that has nothing to do with my bee-eater friends, but expresses so well my feelings when last Saturday I brought all my family to see the birds and found that all the low forest was devastated and my friend were gone. They have abandoned their nest.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Spring at its best in the Pedraforca

This weekend we have been into the Pedraforca. Spring was at it's best, all green and with thousands, millions of flowers blooming. This picture is from Sunday morning I was driving to the mountain when I had to stop my car at the sight of a beautifully light ray that was illuminating the mountain. I was not fast enough to capture it but I was lucky to stop the car close to this first stage flowers that make the mountain look prettier.

See this other picture I found in flickr!

Saturday, June 2, 2007


I like this picture, but I can't say what kind of fly or wasp is standing on this violet.

OK, now I know it's from the family of flies, it's a baccha elongata, thanks to frikosal and his contacts.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

TreeHugger and Frikosal deep into mother earth

Yes, Frikosal, it is me. I'm TreeHugger, the annoying bug that had been placing comments into your fantastic blog.

Three months ago I tripped over your blog, and since then I discovered a rich world of insects and birds. I recovered my lost passion for photography. I learned how to make blogs and resulting to that I slept less hours. All this thanks to you.

I'm sorry to break the mystery. I'm a fan of Lost, the TV show. There are lots of unknowns and mysteries on that show, and every single time that a mystery is revealed I got deceived, because our imagination is far greater than any explicit reality. Now your imagination will stop guessing who the hell is TreeHugger and most likely will be deceived. But I had to tell you. When I saw you the other day and I had to put my hypocritical mask, that left me with a bitter taste and the determination to stop the game.

Spidergreen on duty

(click on image to enlarge)

Spiders are fascinating, here it comes Spidergreen descending from his net.

Spidergreen was peacefully taking a sun bath on his nice penthouse on top of an attractive Dacy. Spidergreen was happy because it was sunny, no clouds were showing and a munion of insects were flying around. But our friend did not realize that the most hideous animal on this planet* had spotted him. TreeHugger had a water spray on his left hand and his camera on the right one.

How can be raining? shouted Spidergreen while descending from his net. 'Click', got you! thought TreeHugger.

* Homo Sapiens, the planet predator responsible of the extinction of 800 catalogued species since 1500

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Recycling Nespresso coffee capsules

I hope that readers that may show in this blog are aware of recycling importance. The large scale of predation at which we are stressing our planet calls everybody to action. Reducing waste is a personal quest every single one of us must take seriously.

Here it comes my useless proposal: recycle Nespresso's coffee capsules:

All we need, besides owning one of this subsidized Nespresso's coffee machines, is:
  • Old Capsules that we have previously opened and cleaned
  • A paper filter that we have cut as it is shown in the previous image
  • Grind coffee from a trusted source. In my case I love the 'Supreme' brand, 100% Arabic, from a small shop I know.
The secret of my refilling technique consists on wetting the paper filter with water and stick it on the exit nose as shown in previous image. Then I slide a capsule filled with coffee taking care to align the three holes the recycled capsule has with the position were the machine will make the holes again. This is not a must, but enlarges capsule's life. Don't compress much the coffee, this machines don't have the high pressure they should.

E voila, here comes my coffee...

From 250 g of coffee I make 30 doses. This puts the price of my cup of high quality coffee, including filter, in~0,1 EUR.

I drink ~8 cups a week, that means it will take me 12 years to buy Canon's EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM...

Well I guess I need to increase by 12 my coffee consumption so I can save it in a year ;-)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Mosquito's are still at work

Hello there, in my last post about the Mosquito's I was afraid about how slowly they were carving their tunnel-nest. Tuns out that they have decided to abandon that soil and try better luck in a different nearby terrain.

Good luck my friends, I'll be watching you!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I like my friend "Estif"

Relations with other people had never been easy for me. Some individuals make me feel small when I talk to them. Others put me in defense as I don't trust them. But there are certain individuals that are special. I don't know why but they make me feel comfortable. They understand and care about what I say, I have this feeling of 'connection' that makes conversations and pauses flow spontaneously.

Steve is one of those nice people that makes me comfortable, cheers to you!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

A friend told me...

I have a friend that was living a gray life under the stress of day to day work in a polluted city. This friend suddenly found the blog of someone he knew. He got amazed by beautiful images uncovering nature's best hidden face. The power of the text coming with the images was a pleasure to read. So my friend started to comment on that blog using a nick name. In his ignorance started to make ironic comments that pissed the blog's owner. The owner of the blog deleted his comments and my friend got angry to a point to start an e-war.

That made no sense and luckily things moved to positive. Now my friend is addicted to the blog and tries to help with positive comments. My friend loves the 'out of the box' creative mind of the blog owner and feels admiration for his work and personal quests. He is now willing to uncover his real name but has doubts. From one side he will benefit from open conversation with the blog owner, but on the other side, like in good movies, once the 'bad guy' is uncovered the film looses all it's magic mystery and decays.

What would you recommend to my friend? continue with the hypocrite mask or destroy the mystery?

English, the free language of Catalonia

This picture is another more, of many, homage to human stupidity.

Catalonia, which I have in my hart, has two official languages. Catalan, the historical language of the land and Spanish, the language of the whole country.

Spanish, the language of Cervantes, spoken by 500 million homo sapiens in this planet is the third most known language of the world after Mandarin(1051M) and English(980M). I'm proud to be one of those 500 million.

Catalan, the language of Ramon Llull and my ancestors, is spoken by ~12 million homo sapiens . I'm also very proud to be one of those 12.

But we humans can't get read of our heritage. Our genes, once found useful to incorporate a treat that we can put like: "you are like me, you are my friend. You are not like me, you are my enemy".

Some australopithecus descendants living in Catalonia have carved this monument to stupidity. In Sant Miquel d'Ampuries you can find three plaques in memorial of the introduction of olive crops in Catalonia 2500 years ago. One in Catalan, one in Spanish and the last in English.

You can only read the English version, the other two had been vandalized. Destruo, ergo sum.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sunset looking for Mr. and Ms. Mosquito

Monday I was looking for my beautifull lovers when I had to stop at the sight of this magnificent sunset with Montserrat's mountain at the end.

I won't be able to see them again till next Monday and that pisses me off.


Monday, May 14, 2007

Love is in the air, bee-eater (II)

Today at noon my little couple of bee-eaters gave me a love lesson and proved what I've read: that males of this species hunt insects that then offer to their couples. Now I can assure you that this is true and the sequence of pictures I've posted proves so.

In this web you can listen to the sound of the Merops apiaster

Bad news regarding the nest, the soil may be too hard and since last Friday they haven't carved much, maybe 4 inch. Since I've read that those nests are 3 to 8 feet deep, it would take them 27 days to reach the 3 feet. Too much.

Due to the love they show I'm going to call them Mr and Ms Mosquito.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Bee-eater's nest close to Simplonia

The other day I saw this couple of beautifull blue birds. They were busy up and down. It's spring and this two I'm sure they were in love. -Look what I brought you Honey, a fat 'bombylius major' -mmm, thanks dear.
What took my attention is that they were busy doing something on a sand wall and returning to this top dead branch of a young oak tree. What are they doing? I thought to myself. Maybe the wall is full of insects and they are having a succulent lunch? Well... turn out they were starting to build their love nest.

My big surprise came when watching the blog of a 'flower covered beard hippy' called Marmorlu I found a bird just like mines, and learned that those birds are 'Abejarucos' (bee-eater).

I found the position of this nest very weak to predators and stupid tourists like me (just close to an unpaved road), so I'm going to pray to the god's of birds for this couple and make sure that I will keep you all posted from their evolution.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The yellow fly over the yellow flower

Can a photo be better than other? only for a single viewer at a single instant.

Today, for TreeHugger, this picture from frikosal is the best ever. It has nice separate colors yellow-white-green in excellent composition's geometry. The fly's body and eyes has perfect focus that starts blurring on its rear wing till daisy's rear petals. It's perfect. Then the subject of the image, the fly, its awesome, rich in detail. I love the hair on its body and abdomen, even look at the eyelid, looks like Sofia Loren!

I love when photos have both good layout and a rich content full of interesting details

Congratulations frikosal!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Mediterranean Gulls

Taking pictures of Gulls I realized about the red spot they have on their peak. Turn out to have a clear Darwinian reason to be, or so think I. Gull chicks are born with the inclination to peck flesh, which sounds a good survival instinct to have. Adult Gulls have a fantastic red Target for their offspring to peck against and beg for food. This urges the fathers to regurgitate and feed the baby.

Another thing I saw is that youth Gulls have black peak and different feather. I also guess it's good not to show the fleshy spot until it's really needed.

I wonder if nature is so smart or I'm being too smart and making mistakes in my ignorance.