Sunday's Insect Safari

Sunday post:
Today I went over to check the goldenrod and flowers at a park. The park has a creek that runs through it along with some remnant silver maple forest that hasn't been destroyed by development. It's a good spot for wintering ducks and migrating warblers in the spring and fall.

The insects here are what I used to practice my macrophotography. The usual suspects were around: bumble bees and honey bees, cabbage whites and slippers, a swallowtail butterfly, some skippers, the usual flies, paper wasps, weevil wasps, and beetles.

Goldenrod flowers are always a sure bet for finding insects. Though now I keep coming up with the same species that feed on the flowers and wish I could find some new species...maybe I should start turning over old logs?

Here's the scene: some goldenrod and spiky introduced burdock, and some thistle too.



There were tons of honey bees here, enough to hear them in constant sweet buzz.
A skipper was kind enough to stop for a photo. This is a Peck's Skipper.


Peck's Skipper (Polites peckius)

It's markings on the wing set it apart from other Skipper species. I'm not a big butterfly guy but that's how it was IDed on iNaturalist. It's one of the common species in the area.

I think the flash from my camera 'stunned' it because it let me get pretty close. Usually insects that aren't feeding won't let me do that...


The humble honeybee 🐝


Knapweed flower (Centaurea sp.)

The flower of some knapweed on the ground caught my eye. I enjoy the wild vortex of skinny petals in all directions.

Of course, there were some wasps around too. My favorite subjects. This one is the Fraternal Potter Wasp.


Fraternal Potter Wasp (Eumenes fraternus)

The elongated first tergum into the large fat 'tail' pretty cool. This is a species of potter wasps in the subfamily Eumeninae. They build 'pot' nests that they lay their eggs in and then stock with paralyzed caterpillars so their larvae can feast on fresh food. Once the nest is stocked, they seal it up like a little pot.

The adults feed on nectar and high-protein pollen.

Then I came across another Skipper! This time it was a Zabulon Skipper (Lon zabulon). I tried to get another real close-up shot of this one too. So I went closer...


Just chillin' on some burdock...


And closer...


This would have been a good opportunity for a focus stack in the field!

I really do think the flash bewildered it and let me approach so close. I felt like the lens was just a few centimeters from it's face 😂 It flew off unharmed after it's headshot.

That was my insect safari for today. I'm going to try to scrounge up some new faces for my next outing...we'll see! Guess I'll start flipping logs or bring another lens for dragonflies.

Thanks for reading and checking out my post!


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