Not a great shot, but about the best I could get with this bug. I found him flitting around the garden, and planted myself in front of a twig he seemed to visit frequently. I’m pretty sure it’s a Blue Dasher dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis). I’m also pretty sure it’s female, because the body of the male has a lot more blue.
Milkweed is going to seed and it’s the time of year to find lots of critters enjoying the milkweed. These are Oleander aphids (Aphis nerii) feeding on a milkweed leaf. The smaller ones in this picture are no bigger than the head of a pin. Milkweed contains a toxin that these cartoonish little aphids absorb. The toxin is harmful to spiders and whatnot that feed on the aphids causing, for example, ladybugs to develop deformed wings and spiders to weave strange disrupted webs.
It’s going to be bugs for awhile… Unlike the last one, I do know what this insect is. It’s a robber fly (a Diptera in the family Asilidae). This one has caught and is eating a small moth. The fly is about an inch in length. The robber’s proboscis is used to stab and inject victims with a toxic saliva and enzymes that breaks down the insides of the prey. The robber then sucks on a liquid meal!
I think I’m back – at least on the weekends. I finished up the system implementation that was consuming my time and I changed jobs. I’m managing a new system project that is projected to take three years. I may retire before then.
Anyway, I’m still working on my naturalist certification course, and the subject now is insects! It allows me to combine nature and my love for macro photography. As with flowers, the human eye isn’t very good at looking at small things and details go unnoticed. This butterfly is just under a half inch from top to bottom. It’s a hairstreak butterfly of some sort. I’m hoping someone can identify it more specifically.
For the small handful of people who read this blog, I apologize for my recent inactivity. I’m finishing up a big system implementation at work that is commanding 110% of my attention. Not that I’ve stopped taking pictures – I just don’t find time to look through what I’ve taken and find something that’s blog-worthy!
This one surprised me. I wish I could say it was intentional, but it was a macro shot in low light that was blurred. However, I liked it quite a bit. It reminded me of any number of impressionist paintings. It’s like a 100% crop of something by Monet. I particularly like the definition on the flower edges, and I like the leaf composition at the top.