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It’s not like me to be prepared in advance for pretty much anything, so I surprise myself that, more than two months before we see the year out, I am proud to present the 2023 bug calendar. The timing also marks the end of the 2022 insect season. As the weather turns towards winter, insects become more and more scarce, either hiding themselves away for the winter or, sadly, reaching the end of their short life cycles.
With an overwhelming amount of non-photography related work and projects to complete throughout October, I was fairly absent from my usual haunts as the insect-hunting season waned. However, one early morning jaunt to a favourite nature reserve confirmed that, at that location at least, the season was well and truly over.
The calendar is now available to buy, so grab a copy, as I only produced a very limited run. A modest, yet practical, size, being A4 (including the picture and calendar), it’s perfect for a kitchen, office, or even bedroom of any insect enthusiast. The calendar is a perfect stocking filler, so the calendar is well-timed for helping fill those stockings for friends and loved ones.
I’m going to explain the story behind each photo in the calendar, where I took it and where (if you are lucky). All photos are fairly extreme close-ups (with the exception of May where you can actually see the whole animal!) and very definitely fall within the category of high magnification macro photography. With May’s demoiselle again being the exception, all other photos use the technique of focus stacking.
Focus stacking is the technique of taking multiple exposures of the subject, the total group of exposures being called a ‘bracket’. Each exposure in the bracket has a slightly different part of the subject in focus. This is necessary in macro photography, as when in high magnification the depth of field i.e., the amount of the subject that is in focus is shockingly small, the depth of field may be a few millimetres, if you are lucky. Therefore, a well-captured bracket will have a good transition of focused pictures all the way from the front to back of what the photographer wants to end up sharp in the final image.
Back in the studio, software is used to stack the frames and the software carefully selects the sharpest areas from each frame, combining them into a final composite image. This can be done in Adobe Photoshop, but much better results can be achieved with bespoke software, such as Helicon or Zerene Stacker. I use the latter, and it really is a remarkable piece of software.
Focusing with static subjects can be done as slowly as required, carefully adjusting focus manually in between frames, or possibly with the assistance of a sliding rail. The latter works on the principle that focus can be adjusted by either adjusting the focus ring on the lens, or by physically moving the lens, so that its area of focus moves across the subject.
However, with a live, moving subject, both of these methods are far too slow to have any practical application. Your subject will either fly away, or at the very least move enough to ruin the bracket. That leaves us with a solution – the dark art of handheld focus stacking. With the camera on high-speed drive mode, a bracket of photos is quickly fired off, whilst simultaneously moving the camera towards the subject, akin to a focus rail, mentioned above. It’s a technique that requires a great deal of practice, and my technique is by no means perfect at this stage. Due to the unforgiving depth of field, the amount of movement required for a total bracket of, say 30 frames, would be barely noticeable to an onlooker.
Whilst stunning photos can be achieved with single shots, focus stacking, and the depth of detail it reveals can be slightly addictive once you get into it.
The camera equipment I use for my macro work is as follows:
Sony A7iii camera
This popular mirrorless camera copes with the task of macro photography and focus stacking admirably. When combined with a fast memory card, it can rattle bulky brackets of photos off with no problem, and it’s not necessary to push the ISO too high to get properly exposed photos. 24 megapixels is starting to be considered low these days, so I would love to get my hands on a ~40-megapixel camera, or higher, and see how it compares. In all honesty though, I think without much superior focus stacking technique, all that would be revealed is areas where sharpness is not quite 100%.
Sony 90mm f2.8 Macro G lens
Sony’s full frame macro lenses come in either 50mm or 90mm, and both offer 1:1 magnification. Lenses in the ~100mm range are the standard for close-up insect work, so the 90mm was the obvious choice. In future, I’d like to acquire some other macro lenses. Firstly, magnification of greater than 1:1 is obviously appealing. Laowa lenses by Venus Optics are the obvious choice, making a diverse range of macro lenses, up to 5:1 magnification. They also make a 15mm ultra-wide macro lens, which can give some really unique perspectives of insects in their habitats.
Back to the Sony 90mm macro lens…it is a superb lens, and gives great for insect photography. In addition, it’s f2.8 aperture can give wonderful bokeh effects, and I have also used it effectively as a portrait lens.
Raynox DCR-250 Macro Conversion Lens
Believe it or not, a 1:1 macro lens doesn’t actually get you enough magnification for the kind of shots typically seen in the bug calendar. For that extra punch, I use an extra attachment lens, the Raynox DCR-250.
It actually works by reducing the minimum focusing distance of the macro lens, rather than giving additional magnification. But the result is effectively the same. Nonetheless, a lot of these images still require further cropping in post. The subjects are very small, after all.
Raynox also do a 150 version (pictured), which doesn’t give you quite such a high level of magnification. Your preferred choice will depend on your desired outcome, of course.
At such high levels of magnification, and as narrow an aperture as you can get away with, light obviously is being severely compromised. Therefore, macro photographers introduce and control the light being cast on their subjects. Step 1 in the process is adding a flash to your setup. The Godox v860ii flashes are widely used by macro photographers.
Step 2 of lighting is controlling the light. Flash on its own would create ugly results, with harsh highlights and uncontrollable shadows. The answer is to use a diffuser, to produce even, natural-looking light. Cygnustech diffusers are the work of one man, Brendan ’Cygnus’ James. This man is a hero in the macro world, and his cottage-industry, handmade diffusers are shipped worldwide from his workshop in Australia. Unsurprisingly, he’s also a top close-up photographer. Check out his work on Instagram at @cygnustech.
The Photos in the 2023 Bug Calendar
Front Cover – Emerald Damselfly
The cover girl for the calendar is this rather beautiful emerald damselfly (lestes sponsa). I discovered that these large damselflies reside at Bostraze Nature Reserve near St. Just, not too far from my home in Penzance. I first set about exploring this place as it turns out to be the only locality where the small red damselfly (ceriagrion tenellumis) found.
In a generally forlorn effort to find the small red damselflies, this became a regular haunt for me throughout the latter part of the summer and early autumn. Despite many visits, I only encountered a small red damselfly once. You would think with its bright red colour it would be easy to spot, but it blends in perfectly with the reddish-brown grasses and reeds in the boggy world it inhabits.
Ironically, this one-off encounter led to it actually landing on my finger. But before I could relocate it for a more natural-looking photo, it decided it had had enough of my nonsense, and flew away. I did get one acceptable stack though. I look forward to hitting Bostraze bog early next odonate season, to hopefully have more than a once-a-year encounter with those little beauties.
As well as small reds, and the perennial common blue damselflies, and a host of dragonflies (keeled skimmers and southern hawkers), Bostraze is also home to the beautiful emerald damselfly. Again, I only had a few encounters with these kings of the zygopterids, and have few photos to show for it.
Whilst the more common damselflies are easy to find in the cooler hours of the day (i.e., night time until the sun properly rises), every other odonate I’ve been searching for seem to be much more elusive at night. A torpid odonate is a sitting duck for the photographer, allowing one to get as close as you like to them, and even move them to a more photogenic location, that’s not very useful if you can’t find them when they’re asleep.
Such it has so far been with the emeralds. The ones I found, I did find in the early morning, but they were very much wide awake. They weren’t particularly skittish, and they let you get reasonably close. But, and quite understandably, they don’t let you get as close as needed to get the ridiculously close, front-on perspectives you can get with common damselflies. It’s the damn diffuser. It must, to them, look like a giant white mouth, and it’s hardly surprising that when it’s close enough to basically engulf them, they final say “Enough is enough,” and fly away.
Thus, some side-on angles were all I could manage with the cover girl. However, she does look beautiful in profile, so I guess it all worked out well. She was a poor damsel in distress however, as one of the front sections of her legs was missing. What mishap had befallen her for this to happen we can only guess at. A near-miss with a predator, or a suitor whose bedside manner was a bit lacking, are the most likely scenarios.
Speaking of suitors, it’s the male emerald damselfly that I’d really like to get more photos of. Their colouration is simply out of this world: electric blue bodies and eyes. Again, I’m looking forward to next odonate season where hopefully I can hit the ground running to improve my chances of sighting, and photographing these little treasures.
January – Common Darter Dragonfly (sympetrum striolatum)
I really don’t know if dragonflies or damselflies are my favourite insects, but odonata are definitely my favourite group! But, in general, dragonflies are much harder to find up close to photograph than damselflies. It’s blind luck if you ever find one asleep, as they normally sleep in dense vegetation, or will even fly far (for a tiny insect) from their hunting grounds to perch in trees when the temperatures cool and their day’s hunting is done.
I’d love to crack their code, and find out how to find them asleep, but I guess their 320 million years of existence is partly due to them being able to effectively hide from predators during the hours of the day when they rest and enter torpidity, when they can hardly move, even if they want to. My favoured spot for stalking odonates is a reservoir close to my house, Boscathnoe Reservoir. I’m not sure it’s the best place, but it certainly is convenient.
It seemed to take the odonates a few months to get going, and some visits early in the season had me doubting there were any dragonflies there at all. But, by mid-summer, it had proven itself as a reliable spot. Being surrounded by tall trees, and thus sheltered from the wind, as soon as the sun comes out, the air is teeming with dragons and damsels, all frantically going about their business.
Common blue damselflies abound, and common darters are everywhere, perching on rocks, stalks, and even the pathways, patrolling their territories. I had more-or-less given up on photographing them up close. They are so quick, and generally flit off as soon as you block their sunlight, or make anything approaching a sudden movement. I therefore spent many sessions trying to capture them in flight. Insects in flight is another incredibly difficult discipline of photography.
Nonetheless, as with all nature photography, it’s all about patience. The summer stacked up huge numbers of failed approaches on these common darters. For starters, most sit near the water’s edge, so a front on approach is not possible unless you’re swimming. Few seem to perch in a useful position, you know it’s a waste of time before you even try. But still, you keep searching…
And on this day, such unbelievable luck. This is male common darter was in tandem with a female at the time, as is the correct term. That is to say, they were mating. You would think that a mating pair of dragonflies would be somewhat distracted and easier to approach, but in general no – they still have half an eye on the world around them as they fly about the place in their distinctive wheel, and fly off just as readily as a solo dragonfly.
But, after a few hours (I said patience was key!) of stalking darters, my approach was as well-honed as it could be. At to make the situation even more perfect, the couple were resting on a leaf at about head height, making it easy to get slightly underneath this little guy to get the best angle of his head and mouth parts.
I approached slowly, like a cat, expecting them to fly off at any moment. I slowly raised my camera (settings having already been checked), still they had not flown off. Unbelievably I managed to take several stacks before they did finally get spooked, and flew off to continue their copulation undisturbed.
This photo typifies everything I love about close-up photos of odonates. As well as capturing the incredible detail, especially in their eyes, they really do appear to have personality. Although having little in common with human facial features, their do superficially appear to have human-like eyes – we can imagine a pupil in the compound eye, although there is none. And their mouth parts do very much look like they are smiling. As a result, they are at once the most bizarre looking animals you could meet, but at the same time so very cute!
February – Backyard Beetle
Fieldcraft is a key component of insect macro photography. Before you have to worry about the technique of taking a close-up photo of an insect, you first have to find it. This can entail hours of stalking wild areas, and specific approaches may be needed for your target species – where do they live, when are you most likely to find them, and how do you approach them without scaring them off?
So, it’s a welcome change when the insect comes to you. This beetle I found, in fact, in my backyard. I have a humble home, and my outdoor space is far from an insect paradise. Yes, I’d love to have a meadow attached to my house, along with a big pond to attract odonates, but in reality, I have a small yard. It’s a practical space for storing and moving equipment associated with my work and is totally devoid of any plant life. Thus, it’s hardly ground zero for insect activity.
But occasionally, something wanders in and quickly becomes the subject of a manic photo shoot. Various woodlice and spiders have been snapped, and I curse myself for my very lax approach to a little zebra jumping spider I found. By the time I had got my camera gear together it was nowhere to be seen. I’d just figured that if there was one about, there’d probably be more. But alas, I haven’t seen any jumpers in my yard since.
If found, beetles can often by quite cooperative subjects. They can often be quite chilled and in no hurry. They’ll happily sit still whilst you snap away at them. And such was the case with this little fellow. With over 4200 species of beetle in the UK, I’m afraid I have no idea what species this one is.
Often a pleasing background can make all the difference between a good macro shot and a lesser one. As we’re using flash photography, unless the background is very close, it simply won’t show up, and a completely black background will result, such as with the emerald damselfly on the cover. This can be very effective, but for variety a colourful background can really enhance a photo. In addition, it can give an idea of the environment the creature lives in.
That’s not really the case here. There happened to be an old blue rag in my yard, and I hurriedly grabbed it to from a backdrop. The beetle was placed on a small fragment of granite I’d found in a local tin mine, and voila, we suddenly have a little studio environment to take a few shots in. The Beetle had a natural blue tint to its carapace, so the cloth worked really well to bring this colour out.
March – Common Blue Damselfly (enallagma cyatherigum)
It was seeing super close-up pictures of damselflies that aroused my interest in insect macro photography. These cheeky little characters are undoubtedly the cutest insects out there. To me, they look like little Jim Henson characters, and wouldn’t be out of place on Sesame Street or in the Dark Crystal! And some of the most classic shots of insects feature them covered in dew drops. The dew drops add some many more layers of texture, refracting light, and as well as reveal just how different a world they live in.
It’s absolutely commonplace for many invertebrates to become cocooned in a shroud of dew drops every single night they are alive. In addition, many insects, damselflies included, enter a state of torpidity during the night. Most insects are essentially solar powered. Hence, as temperatures cool, they slow down, almost to the point of becoming incapacitated. When the sun rises the next day, they will gradually come back to life.
This is the key to damselfly photography. Unlike other types of odonates, many damselflies sleep in quite easy-to-spot places, perching clinging to a blade of grass or reed. The main obstacle here is getting up early enough to catch them in their torpid state. Once they are awake, you’re lucky to get anywhere near them, and a close-up of this magnitude is all but impossible. Hence, alarms as early as 5am are very common when stalking damselflies is on the agenda.
But, once you find them in this state, bingo! They’re not going to move. I’m not even sure they could move if they wanted to. This also means it’s possible to pick them up and re-locate them to a better leaf, or even a flower, to make a pleasing backdrop.
It’s very entertaining watching insects wake up. They’ll start rubbing their eyes awkwardly with the forelegs to remove the most annoying dew drops. And in now animal is this more fun to watch than with a little damselfly. Hopefully you’ve managed to get your best stacks before they remove the majority of the dewdrops. The final stage of an odonate waking up is when they start buzzing their wings. They’re limbering up and getting ready to take to the skies and look for breakfast. When it gets to this stage, probably any sudden movement will be enough to rouse it into flying away.
The damselfly featured for March was clearly one of my best finds. He was in such a torpid state, and so entombed in dew, you’d have thought he had perished in the night. As is typical, he was clinging to the underside of a blad of marsh grass. This position is not very conducive for a close-up photo, so I relocated him to the end of the stick, so I was able to get lower-angled shots which would include his little smiling face. Note also, the refracted bracken leaf visible in some of the dew drops. Refracted flowers through dew drops are a whole field of macro photography in itself, so that was a really nice bonus.
April – Hornet Moth (sesia apiformis)
This photo is the only photo in the calendar that was not taken in west Cornwall. It was taken a Stanton Country Park in Gloucestershire. I went up there to do a 1:1 workshop with a UK legend of macro photography, Rory Lewis. We had a brilliant day, it was great to see a master of the craft at work, and for him to share his techniques with me. It was also impressive to see the areas he hunts in. They were indeed abundant with insects, and we were both finding all sorts of things. I found a lovely ruby-tailed wasp, but Rory was finding things left and right, including this creature.
Low to the ground, on a leaf, this chap was actually coupling with a female at the time. It was only when Rory looked at it up close through his camera that we realised that it wasn’t a hornet, as we’d first thought – it was a hornet moth. I must confess, I’d never even heard of it at the time. The hornet moth demonstrates Batesian mimicry, whereby it has evolved to take on the appearance of an animal that predators would avoid.
It was an incredible find. Described as nationally rare, who knows if or when I might see one of these again? Rory and I took it in turns to get our stacks in. The male seemed not to care at all, he was hell-bent on mating with his partner. However, the female did show signs that she was not into us voyeurs, so we had to proceed with a little bit of caution.
May – Beautiful Demoiselle (calopteryx virgo)
These appropriately named odonates are simply gorgeous little creatures. Classified as zygoptera, they are damselflies. They are much larger than most UK damselflies, and are easily recognisable by their vivid, iridescent colours and their distinctive fluttering way of flying.
I discovered a spot in a tony stream in a valley near St. Just where beautiful demoiselles were abundant, a little spot I now refer to as ‘Demoiselle Corner’. Macro photography is admittedly a weird pastime, and must look very odd to an onlooker. Case in point as I’m wading barefoot in this tiny stream pointing this weird diffuser (which your average person has no idea what it is) at things that probably cannot be seen at all by people any distance away.
But, you can’t let that hold you back. So, many sessions were spent photographing demoiselles in this spot. However, they seem to behave much like dragonflies. Despite some hellishly early starts, I’ve yet to find a demoiselle in its sleep-like state. And as such, have not yet been able to get the savage close-up I’d like.
That being said, I did manage a reasonably close, front-on stack, but it was only after I’d removed the diffuser from the camera. Proof that it’s this relatively large object that many insects object to having too close to them. Unsurprisingly, that was not a photo I’ve previously shared, as the lighting is really not conducive to a good photo.
They don’t look as cool as damselflies close up though, their all-black eyes conveying less personality. Nonetheless, my quest will continue next year for more demoiselle photos. I will find one covered in dew and fill my camera’s frame with its eyes!
June – Common Carder Bee (bombas pascuorum)
This photo is one of my favourite macro photos to date. This is ironic, as it was compensation for a disappointing session where, apart from this bee, I found nothing. And it was such a promising location.
These brings me to one of the greatest ironies about my journey as a macro photographer. It would not surprise me to hear that other macro photographers experience the same thing. That is, when I’m out and about without my camera, I spot all manner of exciting insects. However, as soon as I turn up with my camera and purposefully look for insects, the number of creatures I find is only a fraction of what I’d find if I actually wasn’t looking.
This bee was found in a section of coast path near Praa Sands, an area I am in on a very regular basis for work. Here I have seen numerous species that are coveted by macro photographers across the UK, including emerald wasps, green-eyed bees, and even the rapacious beewolf. Yet, when I’ve been here with a camera, I’ve not yet seen any of these animals.
And so it was on this day. Hoping for a green-eyed bee, or some other delight, I was finding very little. I resorted to trying to capture some bees in flight, as they were busying themselves on some late-flowering bushes next to the coast path. If you like disappointment, then trying to capture an insect flying is a sure-fire way to get lots of it!
But then I spotted one bee that was behaving differently form the others. He was barely moving, and I thought he might even be dead or dying. At the end of the photo session, he did fly off, so I think he was simply having a rest.
But, for a time, he was simply burying himself head down in a flower and not moving. He was docile enough to let me coax him onto a small stick, and holding it in front of one of the purple flowers he and his friends were supping on, I fired off a few brackets. The results are great, with a greta combination of detail, as well as lovely composition and colours.
July – Southern hawker (ashnea cyanea)
As well as an abundance of common darter dragonflies at my local reservoir, one species of large dragonfly dominates the skies – the southern hawker. They are a large dragonfly, up to 70mm in length, and have beautiful markings: the males have bright green and blue markings, whilst the females are mostly green.
Like a lot of large dragonflies, they live life at a hectic pace. During their active hours they rarely land. Instead, they are constantly on the wing, patrolling their territories restlessly. Occasionally they’ll fly into each other’s airspace. If it’s two males, a brief scuffle will occur, which may lead to one even being knocked out of the sky (I did find a dying one in the pond, and it had clearly been the loser in a bout with a rival). If random brings a male and female together (as that seems to be all it is with dragonflies, from my observations), then they may go into tandem and remain coupled and the new generation of southern hawkers will be on their way.
Having essentially never seen a southern hawker land, I had given up on trying to photograph them up close during the day. Instead, I was doing my best to try and photograph them on the wing. With only some luck to date, it’s something I hope to improve on next year.
One behaviour of the southern hawker is very entertaining. When you first arrive at their pond, they very often will come and check you out, and will hover very close to you for a few moments. This would probably be the perfect time to snap them on the wing. Once they’ve sussed you out, they will lose interest and may ignore you for the remainder of the time you’re in their territory. Although, a sudden movement from oneself when they are at distance, but looking in your direction, may prompt a reinspection.
So, against all the odds, on a session stalking the muddy shore of the reservoir, I saw a southern hawker come in to land and perch on a leaf, not too far from me. I could scarcely believe it. As ever, I was expecting it to depart the next instant, but nevertheless I slowly approached and tried a stack. Miraculously, I fired off a complete stack, and it was still happily perching. I gradually fired off several stacks, managing to get a bit closer every time. Once I had got satisfactory results, I went all in and tried to get above it for the front-on eyeful shot. That was too much for the hawker, and he departed before I got into position.
August – Common Blue Damselfly
This shot was an early success in my macro career with a good combination of overall sharpness, as well as a wonderful composition and colour palette.
In trying to find some other spots to go hunting for odonates, I did an early morning recce to Drift Reservoir. As the shore there is either no very accessible, or poorly vegetated, it didn’t become a regular spot. And on that one session I didn’t find much, but I did find this one common blue. “But it’s green!” I hear you say. Indeed, it is, and that will be due to its immature state.
Finding just one specimen and coming away with a good photo makes it all worthwhile. But it’s a fine line between heading out and finding nothing at all. And trust me, that has happened enough times. That’s particular annoying when you’ve gotten up extra early to head out.
September – Common Blue Butterfly (polyommatus icarus)
Butterflies are especially tricky customers as they are so skittish. Whilst many insects will hop or fly just a few feet away, often allowing you to continue stalking them, butterflies to tend to fly large distances away if you come anywhere near them. Thus, stalking them is often impossible.
…Or, you have to find them when asleep. Once they are perching with their wings tightly folded, even the most colourful butterflies can be very hard to spot. But occasionally you will find one asleep in the early morning. This common blue was found in my favourite damselfly meadow (which is next to my favourite damselfly reservoir).
The blue is one of the British Isles’ most common and easily recognisable butterflies. In fact, its geographical range is immense, being found all the way across Europe and Asia, as far as north China. It has recently been found in Canada. Despite this, its population in the British Isles is thought to have declined by 15% since the 1970s. Even more alarming, there is thought to have been a 74% loss of butterflies overall since 1901, largely due to loss of habitat.
October – Four-spot Orb Weaver (Araneus quadratus)
For the Halloween month, it was obligatory that we went from six legs to eight. Hence, we have this four-spot orb weaver, one of the UK’s most common and easily recognisable spiders. The example here is almost certainly a female. Spiders tend to exhibit sexual dimorphism, i.e., the male and females are physically distinctly different. In this case, the females are up to twice as big as the males. And this lady was too juicy to resist taking some snaps of.
Spiders can be hard subjects to photograph. Despite their reputation, they are usually timid creatures, and with their highly-developed eyesight, their preferred choice is to hide away when any potential threat is near. After all, despite being highly effective predators themselves, they are also prey items for a wide variety of species, including other spiders.
Most spiders, if they don’t disappear altogether, will at least tuck themselves into a corner, or hide under a leaf, or some other situation, where taking a decent photograph of them is impossible. This quadratus was coaxed onto a stick, and after some moments of frantically scurrying around, finally settled down allowing me to take this stack.
November – Six-spotted Burnet Moth (zygaena filipendulae)
Generally classed as the poor man’s butterfly, moths really come into their own when viewed up close. With over 2500 species of moth in the UK, the six-spotted burnet is one of the more common species, and with its distinctive colouration, is both easy to spot and recognise.
I found a pair of these early in the morning near ‘demoiselle corner’ (see above). There were now sleeping demoiselles about, but these moths warranted my full attention. Of the pair, one soon took umbrage to my photographic advances and flew off. A grand distance of a couple of feet. However, the other remained totally docile, so it was this one that I was going to focus my attention on.
With a subject that is this docile, you quickly realise that the only limitation you face is your own technical skills – getting a good bracket with good focus, front to back, good lighting, and a nice composition. I decided to go for a profile, rather than head on, to include some if its distinctive wings. I must admit, the wider macro shots, that may include the whole animal, as well as allowing one to appreciate it in its environment, can also be very appealing. But usually, I simply get drawn in to trying to capture it as close up and in as much detail as possible.
In the future, I definitely want to develop the wider, maybe more artistic side of macro photography. I also suspect it has a broader appeal, whereas the super close-up stuff is maybe just the reserve of the genuine aficionados? Answers on a postcard, please!
December – Common Blue Damselfly (enallagma cyathigerum)
We round off the year with yet another close-up photo of a damselfly. The colours and composition here are maybe as close to the Christmas colour palette as anything in my portfolio, so I thought it would be a good choice. I can also picture this little chap wearing a little Santa hat. I’ve clearly spent too much time with damselflies…
This was one of a multitude of damselflies I found on my workshop with Rory (see hornet moth, above). The location was a lake in a holiday park in the Cotswolds. The background was formed by the plastic housing of a life buoy on the lakeshore.
A limited run of these calendars is now available in the shop. Grab yours before they’re gone!