Home among the gum trees

May 31, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

Convolvulus Hawk Moth - Agrius convolvuliConvolvulus Hawk Moth - Agrius convolvuliAgrius convolvuli, the convolvulus hawk-moth, (hīhue in Te Reo Māori) is a large hawk-moth. It is common throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand, partly as a migrant. (Source Wikipedia )
Helping wildlife to survive urbanisation

Wildlife photography can start right in your own backyard or community space. I have captured quite a few insects, birds and small reptiles in my own backyard. The trouble with a lot of backyards is that they are quite sterile for many critters and reptiles to call home. An immaculate lawn from edge to edge isn't quite as inviting as if there are areas for them to hide.

There are simple ways to improve your own space and there are of course the elaborate ways as well. In this blog, I will go into a few simple things you can do to improve your chance to shoot that stunning backyard animal photo.

A simple and quite overlooked way is to keep edges of your yard as natural as possible. That doesn't mean it has to be untidy but maybe leave that fallen branch there. Maybe don't get rid of those old bricks or pipes or pieces of gutter. Keep it and make a shelter out of them but keep in mind not to use painted or treated materials as this is not suitable for animal habitats. This can be in a corner of your yard which you prepare not only for the wildlife you try to encourage to move in but with a bit of planning you can set it up to be ideal for your future macro photography. When building it, think of where the sun is throughout the day. If you plan it well, you will have the area in sun or shade through parts of the day. If you keep bricks and pipes and other items, why not covering it with some soil to make it look more natural (retaken by nature). Small bushes and hedges are also a great spot for small birds, spiders, grasshoppers and other animals to call home.

Hiding place.Hiding place.Old logs, broken bricks and offcuts make great hiding places for lizards and other small animals.
If you have space and love flowers, why not plant-insect attracting varieties or natives to your local area. Bees, bugs and spiders will thank you for it.

Another thing you could create is a so-called bug hotel. A bug hotel is a wooden frame with offcuts of bamboo, branches and even clay (see photo below). Blue-banded bees and other hole loving animals will soon move in and call your backyard home. All you need to do is hanging it close to beneficial plants, on a fence near bushes and flowers. Set up with your photography in mind and you have the perfect background to capture that shy beetle or bee.

  Insect HotelInsect HotelWith this simple 'insect hotel' you can attract many insects into your garden and give them a place to shelter. All you need now is your macro lens and some residents...

To increase your chance of having lots of lizards, bugs and spiders to photograph is, not to use any pesticides or herbicides in your yard. First of all, dead animals make not good subjects and on the other hand, the more the natural balance is reinstated the more beneficial animals you will have in your backyard. In spring, summer and autumn you will have the result and you will be able to benefit from your little sanctuary in your backyard. The photographic opportunity will unfold right in front of you. The work invested will be paid back in having no travel cost, easy access all day and all night and you can modify it to your own liking.


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