The silvery spots (or “spangles”) of the Great Spangled Fritillary are just like shiny little mirrors. With the right angle, they will reflect the colors around them. These pictures are all of the same butterfly as he sampled the many flavors of zinnia in our garden.
Large and exotic, this fly is actually harmless to humans with neither a bite nor a sting. The female lays its eggs in carpenter bee nests, where the fly larvae seek out and devour carpenter bee larvae before they can mature and escape.
Everything butterfly-related is a running a little late this year because of the cold spring. Normally I would see these in July, but now they are here in August. I’m not going to complain.
Is this just a normal tree trunk? Or Is there something unusual?
A closer look…
Ahh, skippers. So many, so very hard to tell apart. In this case, I feel confident in my id.
Identification is tentative but probably correct or very close. It’s a wasp-mimic, but the eyes are distinctly those of a fly. It was strikingly beautiful in the field. It’s not a great photo, but its one of only two I got before it flew away. The colloquial name, while amusing, is not a pejorative but instead originates from the fact that the heads of these flies are always wider than the thorax.
An interesting fly in both appearance and behavior. Something like the “Brown Cowbird” of insects, it will lay its eggs in the nest of wasps. The unsuspecting wasp stocks the nest with provisions for its own larva, but this fly’s larva gets fed instead.
As the name implies, this is a moth that bears a passing resemblance to a hummingbird when seen with the naked eye. The wings beat very fast, just like a hummingbird, and I was fortunate to capture an image where they could be clearly seen.
My wife spotted four juvenile green herons at the end of the fishing dock on Bath Pond. Here is a picture of two of them. At first glance I thought they were American Bittern, but the body posture and the yellow around the eye confirm them as Green Heron.
These identifications should all be taken with a grain of salt, which is to say– the best that I could do.