… hoverflies …

(Don’t forget to click the images …)

Hoverflies are difficult to photograph.
Patience is needed

A pocket size camera doesn’t frighten them as much as an SLR with macro lens.
The autofocus of the Canon Ixus HS230 is a disaster … always focussing on the far away background.

A piece of paper fools the camera.

The photographer has to be
patient
and fast
and very careful.

He can’t make any sudden movement.
The gigantic eye sees everything, even backwards!

On picture_03: ‘trying to taste the finger’,
you can see one of both “gyroscopic” stabilizers
that make these animals
so agile and free to move —
backwards, forwards, up or down.

— — — — — — — —

Our minds are like the hoverfly
jumping around all the time,
interpreting perception
acting according to
the ‘feeling lucky’ option
of the ‘google-in-our-head’.

Try to calm your mind,
as much as that animal,
that could sit
on my finger
for minutes.

Or try to be as patient as the photographer:
the sharp intensity of focus
and patience together
keeps the mind so busy
that no more noise is produced
by that ‘google-in-my-head’.


Pictures by bvdb (whoisbert) July/August 2013 – @home / @Oye-Plage(F) – Canon ixus HS230 – IMG_3874/3876/4217/4218

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25 thoughts on “… hoverflies …

  1. Flower-flies are wonderful. If they are thirsty and you offer them a moist spot on your hand, you can see them drinking with a stamp-like long tongue. It is very cute to observe. However, because flower-flies resemble wasps, people are afraid to let them drink and -this way- miss out observing the drinking.

    • I wonder whether it tickles or not .. and how steady does one have to be? I noticed the difference between wasps and these smaller flies around my twenties. Realizing that a wasp does not have a straight body. They say that some elves ride along on the hoverfly’s back … but the larger fairies only hitch hike on dragonflies 🙂

  2. Compassion (karuna) is the desire to remove harm and suffering from others and, focussed on one’s own understanding of the situation, ‘purifies one’s mind, avoids evil-induced consequences, leads to happiness in one’s present life…’ Kālāmā Sutta (AN 3.65) ‘The four directions’.

  3. “interpreting perception, acting according to the ‘feeling lucky’ option of the ‘google-in-our-head’”. This it, the whole thing about perception is pretty much hit-or-miss; it’s how the hoverflies evolved – humans too?

    • Evolution is hit and survive or miss and be forgotten. Our mental capacities are probably built on this principle. I’m however in the unknowing on the totality of who i am. There is an indication that we are more than just genes. And this is also the case for the hoverfly or the cows on the meadow. Empathy might still be partly in the genes, but compassion goes far beyond.

      • It could also be appled to how certain ideas manage to survive while others disappear and what is it about these ideas that causes them to survive? ‘Interpreting perception’ suggests there’s flexibility in the way we perceive. The ‘who i am’ thing is not so important, maybe for hoverflies it’s not important at all and the cows are happy enough in the meadow – we could follow their example…

        • This reminds me of the word ‘memes’ and also of the linux operating system – both evolving often through the same laws that govern natural selection. In the end, the ideas itself are not so important. The problem is that we so often identify ourselves with them and conform to them.

          • Maybe I don’t mean ‘ideas’… In the context of the Buddha’s teachings, which are directed towards the cessation of suffering, what are the conditions that cause the evolving meme to be the way it is? Can we say natural selection, survival, is based on Greed, Hatred, Delusion (lobha, dosa, moha)?

            • Perhaps there is evolution in mental and transmental capabilities. Perhaps greed and hatred are part of the survivalist mind of the individual, while compassion belongs to something far beyond that individual altogether. Perhaps for me it is better to remain in the unknowing concerning these questions. Most of the time, thinking about this makes me sad.

    • Hey, great to see you here 🙂

      … how much is little patience … ??

      Six 50 minute documentaries on the BBC often take 5 years to create by a crew of many film makers and photographers.

      These 4 pictures are the result of 50 shots that all together took about 1 hour in two different locations. But it didn’t feel like patience, more like an interesting adventure. When the curious hoverfly started investigating my left index finger, awe and excitement made time completely disappear.

      Yesterday I waited in the car for a family member delivering a parcel. Those 45 minutes felt at least 10 times longer than taking these shots. Although I thought I kept my impatience hidden under the veil of politeness, my mood swing was noted and had to be taken care of by consuming some brownies.

    • 🙂
      I used to be afraid from hoverflies till well in my thirties, thinking they were some kind of wasp. The children in my life forced me to investigate what is dangerous and what isn’t. Gadflies are still unwelcome these days, although many of them have beautiful colours.

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