Well, I’m between baseball card trades, still working on my latest Spookymilk Challenge submission, but as it turns out, this is a great time of year for insect watching and photography.
As the high temps we’ve been having start to head down (at least to normal high temps), the early fall insects are beginning to appear alongside the summer holdouts. Skippers are a-plenty (especially Fiery Skippers; normally Sachem Skippers are the typical ones I would see), and the large showy butterflies are now flitting across the back tree line.
Spicebush Swallowtail Papilio troilus
Monarchs, Swallowtails, and Buckeyes are common right now, and their fidgity nature makes them frustrating to try and get a quality photo — they not only don’t tolerate close proximity for long, but they also don’t hold still, either.
Eastern Amberwing Perithemis tenera
This has been one wild year for dragonflies (and damselflies). We had swarms of large clubtails around the beginning of July, and daily I can find Blue Dashers and Eastern Pondhawks patroling the yard. The little Amberwing above was a surprise to me, and was just timid enough not to let me get close enough to it in the grass to get a clear shot. I’ve only seen these at Lake of the Ozarks.
Common Buckeye Junonia coenia
With the butterfly bush and hyacinths in full bloom, it’s a pretty fragrant invitation to the butterflies and hummingbirds.
Silver-spotted Skipper Epargyreus clarus
Of course, I can’t end without a photo of our other neighborhood watch member, the mantis. While this photo of the young ‘un looks like a Chinese Mantis, I believe it is a Carolina Mantis, descended from the one which patrolled the lantana plant the previous year (and laid oothecas on the front door and step).
Carolina Mantis Stagmomantis carolina