Friday, August 28, 2009
Cool Furry Beetles
Unknown Furry Beetles. Found these cool beetles scooting around the sand at the Tijuana Estuary Sanctuary a while back. From a distance, it looked like one fast beetle but looking through the telephoto, it turned out to be two beetles! No idea what they are but really quite beautiful up close.
For the photo-curious, the circumstances surrounding this picture were a little amusing. These little beetles would move really fast and then stop and then fast and then stop. From a distance, they looked liked a sand crab or some other more typical beach denizen. Upon getting closer, it looked like "a bug" of some sort but "it" just wouldn't stay still, especially when you got close and "it" was pretty small. Meanwhile, I'm lugging around this 500 mm lens down the beach... The focal distance is perhaps 5 ft? Imagine shooting a pea with an elephant gun. So, if they weren't hard enough to see as it was, I'm trying to snap this picture of these tiny little bugs from 5 ft away! Albeit, some of this is because I refused to lug more than one heavy SLR and one heavy lens down the beach and the macro was far far away at home.
However, the pictures turned out pretty decent considering the big lens, no tripod and tiny "bug". Ironically, I didn't figure out that it was "two" bugs, little less two beetles having the joy ride of their lives, until I got home and popped it open on the computer.
I dare say that the camera and the computer in combination have opened up my world to new details that previously I would have never seen or paid attention to. There's a whole hidden world out there, partly hidden by our general lack of desire to stop and pay attention in our busy little worlds but also hidden by, in the case of nature photography, the foibles of movement, size, light and the human eye. Freezing them in time reveals all kinds of really cool new details...as with these beetles.
Weird, thought provoking question for the day. Why do you suppose these beetles are really furry? I'm guessing that it has to do with their living on sand. The fur would prevent them from sinking in the sand kind of like snowshoes. That being said, they're probably light enough that perhaps they wouldn't sink in sand even without the hairs!??? Your guess is, of course, as good as mine.