Snowberry Clearwing

When is a bumblebee not a bumblebee?


It’s not when it’s a snowberry clearwing moth (Hemaris diffinis).

IMG_2224 crop

They are a day-flying moth. Their range includes southern California and east to Maine and Florida.



Widow skimmer dragonfly


 The combination of colors, shapes and the backlighting creates an interesting abstract design.

Evening Light

I just found out from my son that I goofed on the identification of this insect. It’s a mantis fly, not a praying mantis. I didn’t even know there was such an insect. The abdomen shape differs between the two. The veining of the wings of a mantis fly’s wings is square and is long in a praying mantis’).

I usually see green or brown praying mantises,

… and this one turned out to be a mantis fly.

IMG_2087 crop

This one doesn’t fit in either color category.

IMG_2090 last

It looks like it molted recently and is waiting for its exoskeleton to dry.

The Gathering

 Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on milkweeds, like the common milkweed below.


Daddy longlegs gathered on it this morning.


Another one stayed near the buds at the top of the plant.


I wonder if they each staked out a territory and are ready for the flowers to bloom and the insects to come?

IMG_1596  crop

This one didn’t like the attention and quickly backed to the underside the leaf.

Indigo Bunting

I looked out the picture window while on the computer, and there perched an indigo bunting on a trellis I made years ago.


Theoretically, the composition of this picture shouldn’t work. There are too many elements without one standing out more than the others. They just combine to make a pleasing, eye-catching arrangement.


This is one of the copper trellises I made years ago for my gardens. The main pole is 1/2-inch copper tubing over an electric fence pole. I used it for the main structure of the trellis and then used 1/4 inch copper to fill in the free-form design.



After months and months of this picture popping up on my screensaver, I finally found the picture in my computer.


I hadn’t been able to identify them either. Then I found their picture in a small book “Mushrooms and Other Fungi of Land Between the Lakes”

Microstoma flocossa.

They grow on partially buried  sticks and twigs of oak trees. The small cups (to .8 centimeters) produce the spores.

Original Magnifying Glass


A light rain fell earlier today. Buffy and I were walking a loop around the yard when I found this line of drops on a honeysuckle leaf.

IMG_1065 crop

Closer observation showed how the drops magnified the leaf’s vein underneath them.

IMG_1056 crop

So, maybe the magnifying glass was developed from someone noticing water drops on an object.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 220 other followers