I can’t say I’m focused on a particular organism but I do love the obscure. It is why I love moths, bees, wasps, and flies. Most people don’t notice them. Even fewer can identify them. If I can find something I’ve never seen before I’m happy. It doesn’t matter how small it is. Give me the weird and the wonderful. There is little better than what comes from finding something you didn’t know existed.
I don’t know that it’s strong enough to be called a bias, but I’ve developed somewhat of an interest in photographing leafhoppers. Try getting out in the grass–lawn grass, though monoculture lawns may not produce as well, don’t know–some sunny day and see the variety!
I’ve noticed that bird-to-odonata shift, too, but only to adult dragonflies and damselflies. It’s rare to see someone go from birds to nymphs.
Well, in that case I’m doing everything backwards as usual. Odes are my passion; I started photographing birds seriously last winter because there weren’t any dragonflies!
I’ve managed to get a bunch of tenerals this spring, but otherwise guilty as charged. Part of that is that I don’t have the right equipment (like a dip net), and part is that IDing nymphs to species can make differentiating bluets look like a cakewalk.
I actually just concentrate on the exuviae of Anisoptera and don’t bother with the live nymphs nor with damselflies. And if I’m being honest, I mostly look only at river dragons; the exuviae of bog odes are very hard to find and lake/pond ode skins are a pain to key out. Plus, when I was doing this for the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, many of the state-listed odonates were riverine and we needed a better idea of their distribution and abundance.
Odonate nymphs are a whole 'nother game. If you’re photo’ing birds, the adult (imago) odonates can be captured using the same equipment, often during the same effort, and without getting into the water. I still can’t ID odonate nymphs but I’m fairly good with the adults.
Well, one of my favorite animals have always been any and all birds.
I befriended a turkey belonging to my grandparent’s neighbors when I was three. I named him Mr. Turkey, and the day after I met him he stood under my window at my grandparents’ and gobbled his head off. I loved that bird so much, and I still have one of his feathers, which I will treasure forever. I remember as a seven year old, taking a sketchbook onto the balcony and drawing birds I saw. Later, also sevenish years old, I was given a Peterson’s Field Guide to North American Birds, and a stuffed Audabon’s bluejay. I still have both, and I loved them so much! (for awhile, I just looked at the pictures in the field guide, but that proved useful since little kids are very visual learners.) *Also, if anyone is interested in the toy bluejay, I named her “Bluegianna” and carried her everywhere. With audoboun bird toys, you can squeeze them and they will make their bird call, so I had a lot of fun with the local bluejays, as one could imagine.
So, birds in general fascinated me, and when I got older I started keeping quail and learning about wild quail. As I learned more about quail, the more I loved them. They are round, fluffy, and overall cute, and also have such fascinating behaviours! My love for quail spread to all grassland wildlife. I also started looking at the diverse lizard species with interest. The more I read, the more I was interested.
In short, my favorite organisms are ones found in vernal pools and grasslands, especially birds and herps. I also like anoles.
I love me a leafhopper too! Just go into a wild area, and look closely at any plant at all and chances are you’ll probably find one. Along with the host plant, the diversity in their colours make them quite nice to ID (at least to genus), especially with macro lenses. They tend to stay nice and still as well!
We must photograph different kinds then; they can be pretty skittish for me sometimes!
I said “tend” for a reason. ;)
I used to be almost entirely interested in birding.
I don’t remember if iNaturalist got me interested in other animals too or if this interest preceded my first use of iNaturalist, but either way it’s fun! Now I’d photograph any animal lifer that can be identified down to species.
The thing about plants, though, is that in Hong Kong the original forests were destroyed in the Second World War. And just as introduced birds are not that important in one’s bird list, so plants that didn’t get to Hong Kong by natural means won’t get much of my attention. However, even when I was in England, I didn’t look too closely at plants.
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