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Today's sharpening tools are amazing! Using a raw file on my Sony a7rIV (ILCE-7RM4):
Image #1 is slightly processed with no sharpening. The trees atop the cliffs are not in focus.
Image #2 had Topaz Sharpen AI applied to it. Things look pretty sharp, and for most slightly out-of focus images, this would be all that's needed.
Image #3, in addition to Topaz, had Luminar Neo SuperSharp (universal, high) applied. Wow!
A jumping spider (f. Salticidae) in the North Woods of Central Park in late May. This particular one was being a picky eater. It would grab one bug, pause for a moment, then drop it. It repeated this behavior for about 20 minutes before it finally settled on one that it actually wanted to eat.
A green lacewing larva (f. Chrysopidae) eating an aphid in Central Park in late May. Lacewing larva are a bit terrifying, but the adults are nearly harmless.
An aphid of some sort. Note that this one extrudes white lacy stuff. That helps to disguise it, and also if something does try to eat it, they may end up with the extrusions rather than the aphid.
An unidentified butterfly or moth caterpillar in Central Park (late May). From a distance these look 'fuzzy', but up close you can see that the hairs really are big spikes/needles. Hopefully no one was silly enough to actually touch it.
According to seek these are chincatana leafcutter ants. However, I'm skeptical b/c this picture was taken in New York City instead of Mexico, Arizona or the surrounding regions.
Note how much smaller the male is than the female. Late May in Central Park.
A fifteen-spotted lady beetle (Anatis labiculata) on a yellow leaf. These are darker colored ladybugs and their bodies can be nearly entirely black. As mentioned in previous posts, ladybugs and their larva are voracious aphid predators.
A tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) in Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Note the visible brood patch in the center of his chest. In preparation for incubating eggs birds will sometimes pluck some of their feathers so they can better transmit their body heat to their eggs.
A house wren (Troglodytes aedon) hunting in Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in late May. These make their nests in holes, like those left in trees by woodpecker nests. They breed in the northern half of the US, and winter in Mexico. They're also present in Central and South America year round.
This is a common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina). They are the state reptile of New York, and this one was chomping through reeds. It was about the size of a large pizza.
The one of the larval stages of Campyloneura virgula. This is a true bug and is predatory. You can just about see the sucking mouth part being extended.
The larva from a green lacewing (f. Chrysopidae). These are one of the bugs where the larval form is terrifying but the adult is surprisingly weak. At least this one isn't wearing the corpses of its victims as camouflage.
I think this is an Opilio Canestrinii, which is supposed to be from Europe. So, either they're invasive in New York (and a lot of the US east coast b/c I remember them from when I was a kid), or I've messed up the ID.
This is probably the nymph form of a Pennsylvania ambush bug (Phymata pennsylvanica). Normally, these are so well camouflaged that even when you're looking directly at them, and know what you're looking at it's hard to get your brain to register what it is. However, this one decided to sit on top of a black wire fence instead of a flower or leaf.
Since I've run into a few people who don't know what these are, this is one of the larval phases for the spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula), which are invasive and destructive. Feel free to squish these.
For those that don't know what lady bug larva look like, here's a Harmonia axyridis larva (also know as the Asian Lady Beetle). As you can see they eat aphids, so if you don't like aphids, let these guys eat them.
I think that this is a Larinus turbinatus, which is one of the 'true weevils'. Members of the genus can useful to humans b/c they eat the flower buds of noxious weeds.
Don't drive on the beach. This is a piping plover (endangered) hanging out in a tire track.
These are small birds that shelter from the wind in any cavity in the beach. They aren't the only ones that do this.
One of the things that we noticed about the piping plovers on a May trip to the beach was that they they like to hang out in footprints and other indentations in the sand. This one is hanging out in a footprint.
I think this is a male known as 'Clark Kent', mostly b/c he's got red and blue leg bands.