Last Thursday I wasn’t feeling terribly well, but I’d been in the office all day and hadn’t taken my photo-of-the-day for Project 365. Some days when this happens I just trudge outside my apartment and take photos of my neighbors’ flowers, but I was feeling slightly more ambitious. So I decided to go down to Nine Mile Run, which I’ve been doing a lot lately (macro photos can be really addicting!). Since I wasn’t feeling like walking, I decided to follow the old nature-photography adage that often the best photos come to you when you just pick a spot and stay there. After a little while you become part of your surroundings and the creatures don’t notice you enough to keep their distance.
So I picked a spot with a lot of blooming milkweed plants and stood there for about 45 minutes. Here are some of the small citizens of Nine Mile Run that I encountered in my milkweed patch and along the trail as I was headed home.
A grasshopper that was not terribly shy about my being in his face:
A brown butterfly (which, unfortunately, I can’t ID!):
A damselfly that was even more elusive than they usually are:
A curious-looking moth with a blue body and a red proboscis that I think may be a yellow-collared scape moth:
A ladybug just hanging around:
Right around this time I spotted a hummingbird, which unfortunately was a little too fast for me (there’s a picture of a big gray blur that represents my best effort). Still it was exciting to watch. I think it was somewhat scared off by this very active Eastern tiger swallowtail, which was flying at the same flowers:
Luckily, the next best thing to a hummingbird flew right into my focus point moments later: a clearwing hummingbird moth. I LOVE these guys.
Then something started making quite a racket, and I looked up and saw this bird. I’m not sure what type of bird it was, but I also saw a great blue heron right when I was taking up my perch in the milkweed.
I assumed this was another kind of grasshopper, but after poking around trying to identify that moth, I now think it might be a katydid.
I believe this is a viceroy and not a monarch because it has an extra band of black on its wings.
This skimmer must not have detected me, because I can hardly ever get this close to them.
A bug I’m going to intelligently identify as “orange guy” (edit: a soldier beetle, perhaps?):
A red spotted purple whose wings really complemented the stream color (and unfortunately, the color of the trash):
The last thing I saw was (I think) a pearl crescent.
Spotted any interesting bugs lately? Maybe you should enter a picture of them in our photo contest! (Wink wink, nudge nudge…)