Sunday, August 29, 2021

Trying to Bee Funny

Here's a two-spotted bumblebee looking lovely in a purple flower. Do you know what a bee says when it's in a sauna? "Swarm in here!" Click to enlarge.

Here's a honey bee in a pink rose. It lives in the United States. It's a USB. 

My favorite bee, the golden northern bumblebee -- big, pretty, and furry. If you hold one of these in your hand, do you know what you'll have in your eye? Beauty. Because beauty is in the eye of the bee holder.

This is a big common eastern bumblebee with sacs full of yellow pollen on its rear legs. If you went to a beekeeper to buy some bees and the beekeeper threw in some extras at no charge -- they'd be freebies.

Golden northern bumblebee again. Can't believe this blog.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Butterfly Season

I spotted a lot of big butterflies this week. Like this monarch.

This eastern tiger swallowtail.

A couple of spicebush swallowtails. Click to enlarge.

And a variegated fritillary -- a name I like to say out loud.

We focus on the beauty of butterfly wings, of course, but their bodies are often lovely, too. Check out the polka dots on the monarch.

And this!

Sunday, August 15, 2021


"The quiet August noon has come, 

A slumberous silence fills the sky, 

The fields are still, the woods are dumb, 

In glassy sleep the waters lie."  

   from A Summer Ramble by Wiilliam Cullen Bryant

The weather is too hot and humid for me right now, but the insects don't mind -- like this cabbage white butterfly hard at work in the noon day sun. Click to enlarge.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Hummingbird Moth


This hummingbird moth hovered for a rare split second as I watched through the camera lens; I usually photograph hummingbird-moth-blurs as the fast-moving things fly away. Note the detail of this one's lovely long curled proboscis. That thing can snake out and retract like a birthday party noisemaker. Click to enlarge.

People often mistake this big insect for a small hummingbird and it's easy to see why from the body shape, posture, and rapidly beating wings. But on closer inspection you will see that the moth has a pair of antennae, two pairs of wings, and six legs. And that proboscis. To me, seeing one of these is just as exciting as spotting a hummingbird. 

The hummingbird moth belongs to a larger group called sphinx moths or hawk moths that mostly fly by day and hover in front of flowers to feed. This one is in the sphinx moth genus, Hemaris, sometimes called clearwing moths because they have scale-free transparent areas on their wings. Look at the pictures again -- you can see right through their wings. Now that's a cool moth!

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Summer Garden


This is a good time of year to take a walk in a community garden. The zinnias are lovely around here right now. Click to enlarge.

You might see cantaloupes growing on the vine, not like we usually see them in the supermarket.

Or pretty grapes on a weathered wood fence.

Or trendy veggies like this Tuscan kale. It's called dinosaur kale, too, for its presumed resemblance to bumpy dinosaur skin.

Sometimes there are interesting insets to see like this harlequin bug. 

Here's a closer look. The name harlequin comes from a character in 16th century Italian comedy who always wore a multicolored costume. Apt, except that this colorful bug is no joke in the garden where it can be very destructive.  

Harlequin bugs were having a big party on the kale the day I was there.

And look at all the Japanese beetles on this zinnia flower! 

Yet the gardeners seemed to be holding there own against the insets, producing an abundance of lovely summer plants. Good job, gardeners.