Thursday, May 03, 2007

Ninebark (Physocarpus opifolius)
May 1, 2007

Ninebark shrubs were blooming, attracting a variety of flies, bees, butterflies and moths. A species of attractive Leaf Beetles (Chrysomelidae: Calligrapha spiraeae) live on Ninebark and the plants can tolerate their feeding on the leaves. Butterflies included Eastern Tailed-Blues (Everes comyntas) and Painted Ladies (Vanessa cardui).

Two diurnal moths - an Eight-Spotted Forester (Lepidoptera Noctuidae: Alypia octomaculata) and a Mournful Thyris (Lepidoptera Thyrididae: Pseudothyris sepulchralis) – were also nectaring at the ninebark blooms. The Mournful Thyris sat for a number of photos, but every time I clicked the shutter, the Forester bolted. At first I thought the flash was spooking him, but he kept taking off with each shot even after I turned off the flash. I eventually got a single decent shot, but I kind of liked this mistake. The moth was sitting still on the flower when I pushed the shutter, but he flew the instant the flash went off.

Although I rarely photograph anything other than insects, I like this image of a Pileated Woodpecker that flew overhead while I was photographing a dragonfly.

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