I signed up for a course on Native Plants of Central Texas at the LBJ Wildflower Center last weekend. The course covered a variety of topics including plant identification and conservation. It was sponsored by the University of Texas extended education program. I found the course very interesting and I learned quite a bit. We spent about half the time in the classroom and the other half walking around the Center with a very knowledgeable staff member. I took a camera and a lens so I could photograph wildflowers during our field trips. I ran across this Double-banded Bycid (from the longhorn beetle family) hanging out on this Wild Carrot (Daucus pusillus) flower head during one of our outings. The number and variety of wildflowers at the center was impressive. I will share additional photos in the days ahead.
Longhorn beetles (Cerambycidae) are quite interesting creatures. Imagine having antennas on our heads that are twice as long as our body length (that would be about eleven feet long)… The family is quite large, with over 26,000 species worldwide. Some of these beetles are very destructive as their larvae bore into trees and wood. This beetle likes mesquite trees and their larvae can often be found among those trees.
This image was taken with my Sony Alpha A7R II using my Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro Lens. The camera was set on Manual mode with the aperture set at f/7.1, shutter speed at 1/1250 and the ISO set at ISO 1000. I had to hand-hold the camera because I did not bring a tripod. I was also struggling to use the autofocus so I switched to manual. Plus, it was windy. All things considered it’s not a bad shot but I think I could have used a smaller aperture (maybe f/11) and gotten more of the flower in focus. This is a single image processed in Lightroom.
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