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Ant and friends

Ant and friends
Photo Information
Copyright: Alli Hemingway (annagrace) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 527 W: 18 N: 851] (2996)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-09-05
Categories: Insects
Camera: Olympus C4000Z
Exposure: f/2.8, 1/650 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2005-09-09 14:46
Viewed: 3036
Points: 12
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
We were visiting my parents at their mountain house on Sunday. I was attempting to shoot photos of some hummingbirds (what a nightmare!!) so I gave up and took photos of this beautiful wildflower called Goldenrod. I noticed this ant and a couple of small friends enjoying the yellow flowers.

Common Name:

Scientific Name:
Solidago sp.

Provides for:
Many species of insects

One of the last big flower shows each year is provided by the goldenrods. They are perennials with large clusters of small yellow flowers that appear from the end of summer until frost. The leaves of goldenrods are simple, lance or egg shaped and usually have a toothed margin. Most species propagate by a spreading root system in addition to seed. They can be a troublesome addition to a wildflower garden for that reason.

Just about every insect with an interest in flowers may by found on goldenrod in autumn. The predators of those insects will be found there also. Wheel bugs and flower crab spiders, in particular, like to lay in wait for prey on goldenrod clusters. Often the visiting insects will use the occasion to get acquainted with each other and breeding will be observed. The yellow and black goldenrod soldier beetles will frequently be seen in pairs on goldenrod.

Goldenrod gets mistakenly blamed for the agonies of hay fever sufferers in autumn. It blooms at the same time as ragweeds (Ambrosia sp.), which are the real culprit. Ragweeds are pollinated by the wind. Using the wind to fertilize your flowers is a very chancy business. Only by releasing billions of pollen grains into the wind can they ensure that some will find their way to the female flower of another ragweed plant and produce seed. Because they are not pollinated by insects, ragweed does not need visually attractive flower parts. They are an inconspicuous green color. People suffering from allergies in September look for a flower to blame and goldenrod gets the rap because it is so visible and abundant. The pollen grains of goldenrod, as is true of all insect-pollinated flowers, are comparatively fat and sticky so that they will adhere to visiting insects and be transferred by them to another flower. In order for a person to be affected by goldenrod pollen, they would have to stick their nose right into the flower just like a bee would!

A casual observer will notice swollen lumps on the stems of goldenrods. Some will be round and others will be football-shaped. These are called galls and they are the homes of two different types of insects that are parasites on the goldenrod. Gall-making insects may be found on a wide variety of plants, but each species of insect is specific to a given species of plant and their galls have a characteristic and recognizable shape and location. The insect larva receives protection from most predators by living within the gall and it uses the inside of the gall for food. (gpnc.org)

novaman, scottevers7, dew77, marhowie, liquidsunshine has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To marhowie: Hi Howard!annagrace 1 09-12 15:12
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Alli.
Beautiful photo and very intresting notes.

Hi Alli,
Excellent composition and great notes on this shot. I would say it just needs a little more DOF. I think Goldenrod is beautiful and would like to see more of it. I have no allergies, so I personally like it. Keep shooting those hummingbirds, I finally posted ny first shot after about 100 duds.

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2005-09-12 4:34]

Hello Alli!
Very nice flower with bonus insects.Colors,lighting,POV and composition are wonderful.TFS...:-)

Nice shot Alli with great colors and light..Excellent note on the Goldenrod. To critique ;-) On the one hand the limited DOF works, focusing attention on the ant if that is the subject..If the flower is the subject than you need more DOF here IMO. LOL, Howard

Hi Alli,
Nicely captured and well composed. Nice bright colours, possibly a touch OE.
I'll send you a mail soon, just having a nightmare with workload at the moment.
Thanks for posting, your friend from the land of Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa Laa and Po...

Hi Alli,

This photo attracted my attention because of the gold yellow : the blurred flowers are beautiful

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