Use a Light Weight Tripod for Nature Videos

Thread Waisted Wasp photoTo get good nature video close ups you  need to use a tripod, and lugging a heavy one over uneven ground is a killer!  If your videocam is light like mine, a relatively light and inexpensive tripod, with a light weight video head will do just fine.  I tried shooting video with a ball head for a while, but it was impossible to follow a moving subject that way, so I sprung for a video head.

A good part of nature photography and filming is being prepared for something to happen, and often it doesn’t!  Then, there are days when you just get lucky.  This morning I set up my videocam next to a waterfall in Brandywine Park.  I saw some lovely yellow flowers beside the stream, and thought I would zoom in on them to blur the background of the moving foam.  No sooner did I focus on the flower than two insects, a bee and a wasp, flew in to gather nectar.  The wasp stayed within my frame for a long while.  I learned later that he’s a Thread Waisted Wasp, so named because of his very thin abdomen.

Thread Waisted Wasps live by themselves, not in colonies.  They feed on spiders and insects, pinching their necks with their strong jaws, and stinging them, which causes paralysis.
The victim’s body is then placed in a mud cell and the mama wasp lays an egg on it.  The hatching baby wasps then feed upon this store.

If you click on the “watch on YouTube button” and then on the four-little-arrows full-screen icon in the bottom right corner of the YouTube video window you will see the wasp much better!

 

taken in Brandywine Park, Wilmington, Delaware
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