What butterflies like

The weather has become so unpleasantly cold that I try not to open my eyes while walking outside, out of fear that my eyeballs will freeze. (I was told that this would happen by my teacher in preschool; she also told me that eating candies makes worms lay eggs in my teeth, and that if…

Life in the season of death

Winter in the Northern Hemisphere – is there anything more unpleasant? To most entomologists living in temperate climates winter is synonymous with the disappearance of everything they love: insect activity and the pleasant buzz of millions of wings, vibrant colors of plants, warm weather. Our beloved animals have long turned to dust, buried themselves into…

Stalk-eyed flies

I really don’t like when organisms that deviate from our narrow, anthropocentric perception of the natural world are described as “bizarre” but, let’s face it, flies of the family Diopsidae sure look that way. They are hypercephalic, which means that their head is extremely expanded in a way that places both their eyes and the…

Blue land crab

[An excerpt from the book “The Smaller Majority.”]

Getting low and wide – Part 2

A few days ago I posted the first part of an introduction to wide-angle macrophotography, and here is the conclusion. Illumination. In order for the illusion that you are a lilliput looking at the giant world to work, the background of a wide-angle macro shot should be well and evenly lit, and the frontmost, focal…

Getting low and wide – Part 1

Shortly after I had become a proud owner of my first real SLR camera (the wonderful Nikon n6006 – an unexpected Christmas gift from my wife), I decided that what I wanted to do with this magical piece of equipment was to document life that was two or three orders of magnitude smaller than traditional…