One of my little hobbies is 'catching' insects. Not in the nasty way, but on my camera. It's the challenge of getting close enough to get a decent snap - I don't have a butterfly net, but I do have a fairly good macro lens. Last night on my evening walk I spotted this gorgeous White Plume moth nestling in the low grass. Amazingly it stayed put while I lay on my back on the dirt track, scriggled about and got my camera up and under it, about two inches away.
The other evening we saw these two Small Tortoiseshell butterflies courting, eventually settling down on for some more intimate action. The blurring is an indication of how fast they were moving. This time I took the shot from about a metre away, but my zoom did the trick.
I admit to being quietly proud of this one; a Common Blue damselfly (I think) perched on hawthorn blossom. Again I used my zoom but I was close enough not to lose quality. I was holding my camera rather precariously over the river though.
Finally, not quite as pretty, but handsome in his own way - a Staghorn beetle we found crawling across the lane. He did not like being poked onto a leaf at all and he will never know how close he came to being squashed; a minute later two huge tractors with broad, heavy, beetle flattening wheels came roaring along the lane and not even his thick armour would have saved him.
Angels and demons come in many shapes and guises - but I think it's a little unfair to be so unkind about Mr Beetle, as he's just a bit of a rough diamond. (Edit - my apologies to Mr Beetle who is probably a Mrs, due to her smaller pinchers and many thanks to wonderful wildlife painter Mike Woodcock for pointing that out and correctly identifying the Blue Damselfly as being a Banded Demoiselle).