I spent most of the summer rambling around the coastal terrain near the village called Liznjan, about five kilometers from where I live. Although the place was often the same, each day revealed something else, so the repetitive ritual of hiking, searching and photographing, was always exciting and surprisingly new.
Here you can see a solitary bee and a moth, caught in a series of six consecutive shots.
The shutting started when I noticed the medium-sized moth resting quietly on the thistle flower.
While I was photographing the moth, searching for an ideal camera setting for the scene ...
... a bee landed on the flower ...
... and started collecting the nectar, pretty frenetically.
... in the blue distance, far from the thistle plant, small boats were sailing in and out of the bay.
Very soon another bee of the same species entered the scene.
Sitochroa palealis is the scientific name of the moth. Bees are the Halictus scabiosae. And the thistle in question is the Cirsium vulgare.
This plant, the Cirsium vulgare, provides plenty of nectar-rich flowers for various pollinators ...
... but on the 19th of August 2021, when these photographs were taken ...
... I saw mostly bees.
Plenty of Halictus scabiosae bees.
While the bees were enjoying the nectar of the flowers ...
... another interesting creature was enjoying the protection provided by the thorny stems and leaves.
This grasshopper is perfectly camouflaged on the thistle.
A minute later, when I turned my focus on the sea ...
... I saw two speedboats ...
... speeding across the bay.
It looked like a chase. Like the scene from some action movie. Since I was a kid in the 80', Miami Vice, the TV series was my first thought.
Acrida ungarica mediterranea is the name of the pretty peculiar grasshopper, barely visible on green vegetation, that was introduced in the post a moment before the speedboat action.
If you enlarge this enlargeable photograph, you may notice a small, orange-colored Ichneumon wasp near the hindleg of the grasshopper.
Not all grasshoppers of this species are green.
Not far, in the tall, dry grass around the thistle ...
... I found a version of Acrida ungarica mediterranea better adapted to that less colorful environment.
The Halictus scabiosae bees nest on the ground.
Females dig vertical tunnels in the ground, with a circular entrance surrounded by a cone of earth. In most cases, a single female uses a single nest, but sometimes the Halictus scabiosae have a primitive social organization, with multiple females reproducing in a common nest.
Sometimes, in this rudimentary social organization, smaller females act as workers.
All the gracile, elongated bees that you saw since now in this post are males. Females are more robust.
At one point, I saw the female feeding on the thistle. While I was approaching and getting things in focus, the male landed ...
... so I ended up photographing the mating of this species.
There is always some action around these juicy flowers.
On some Cirsium vulgare plants in the area, the flowers had already turned into tufts made of fluffy seeds ready to be propagated by the wind.
Groups of Carpocoris purpureipennis shield bugs were feeding and crawling on those plants.
Here you can take a good look at the line of scattered clouds the were changing and dissolving above the scenery. In this photograph, under the clouds, you can also see the dense growth of blackberry shrubs that cover large stretches of the coastal terrain.
In this shot, some small butterfly from the Lycaenidae family - don't know the exact species, is feeding on the blackberry flower. If you enlarge the following photograph ...
... you may notice a minuscule bee on the same flower. The butterfly looked like a giant when compared with that bee.
This is the Hylaeus variegatus.
I can't tell you much about these small bees.
I photographed them for the first time back then, in August 2021, and today, while preparing this post, I didn't find enough information on the Internet. I mean, besides the scientific name, I found practically nothing.
After leaving the blackberry shrubs ...
... I walked towards a third of the trio of plants that constitute the narrative backbone of this post.
The Maniola jurtina butterfly in this photograph ...
... was photographed on the Eryngium amethystinum plant.
A friend was there with me.
She was chasing the same kind of butterfly ...
... that was feeding on another Eryngium amethystinum plant, about ten or twenty meters from me.
Maniola jurtina are commonly known as Meadow brown butterflies.
You can see only the female in these photographs.
At one point the Plebejus argus butterfly landed near the Meadow brown and started feeding.
Maniola jurtina is a very common species in this coastal environment. These butterflies are present in big numbers. While the adults feed on nectar from a wide variety of flowers, the larvae feed on various grasses.
This is the young, wingless nymph of the Carpocoris purpureipennis bug. You saw the adult version of this species earlier in the post, on the Cirsium vulgare plant.
Here you can see the same nymph, photographed with the flash on. When the scene is lit this way, you can see some parts of the insect shining.
Here you can see a cute, furry fly feeding on the Eryngium amethystinum flowers.
This is the Bombylius minor, a fly from the Bombyliidae family. Flies from this family are commonly known as Bee flies.
If you enlarge this enlargeable photograph, you may notice some minuscule black wasp flying behind the fly. I wasn't aware of that insect while photographing. I noticed it only today while preparing the photographs for the post.
When I was ready to leave all that interesting flora & fauna and go home ...
... I took a look at the horizon. I saw four minuscule white dots in the distance, so I zoomed in. Now, through the camera, I was looking at four sailboats directed towards me.
And that's it. Hope you enjoyed this summer excursion with a focus on small, macro stuff. As always here on HIVE, the photographs are my work - THE END.