Snowberry Clearwing Moth: Kennebunk, Maine, USA, July 2022 — As I mentioned in yesterday’s Day Poem…when I went out for my eTrike ride the other day I was dumping my “old’ water from my water bottle in the hanging plants out front when I saw this Snowberry Clearwing Moth working the blooms. We have two possible Clearwings here in Southern Maine…the Snowberry and the Hummingbird…and I always have to look them up to refresh my memory after seeing one. Maybe one of those times the differences will stick in my head. (You can google it.) Both look, when working flowers, like tiny hummingbirds. Though references say the Hummingbird Clearwing is the more common of the two, I have definitely seen more Snowberries. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications and multi-fame noise reduction (definitely not needed in this situation…but the camera was still in that mode when I grabbed it for the Clearwing…and by the time I got it to the correct mode…the moth was gone 🙂 Nominal exposure ISO 200 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Leaf-cutter Bee: SMMC Kennebunk, Kennebunk, Maine, USA, June 2022 — This is most probably a Leaf-cutter Bee, which I found working the flowers around the drainage ponds at Southern Maine Medical Center in Kennebunk. (Less probably it is a Mason Bee, which apparently looks and acts very much like the Leaf-cutter…but which builds mud nests). Both are solitary bees, great pollinators, but not honey makers. In looking them up this morning I found that there is a whole Leaf and Mason Bee culture out there, with firms that will sell you starter sets to establish the bees in your garden or farm or orchard, to help with pollination, and lots of instructional material on-line about keep them. Who knew. Not I. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. (This is a heavy crop, enlarged with Pixelmator’s ML Enlarge tool.) ISO 100 @ f8 @ 1/1250th.
American Lady Butterfly: SMMC Kennebunk, Kennebunk, Maine, USA, June 2022 — It seems to me that there are fewer butterflies this summer than last…I have seen only a few Swallowtails, and this is, so far, the only Lady I have seen. Maybe I am just not getting out enough. 🙂 I have to look up how to tell a Painted Lady from an American Lady every year. We have both in Maine, as is true of most of the US. The two large eye-spots on the underside of the wings are the tell for American Lady. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f5 @ 1/1000th.
I flew into Costa Rica a day early, so I could be there when my tour participants arrived. This year we were back at the Hotel Bougainvillea, my favorite place to stay near San Jose…mainly because of its amazing gardens…acres of mature gardens with a huge variety of plants, birds, and butterflies. The rains that filled our first two days of the tour did not start until that evening, so I had a sunny afternoon in the garden to photograph the many butterflies that are attracted to one particular patch of flowers. Here we have the Orange-tip, a Zebra Longwing (Heliconius), Crimson Patch, Julia Longwing, Banded Peacock, and Banner Metalmark…and they were all within a few feet of each other. I literally stood in one spot and photographed all but the Crimson Patch. (Does anyone know why this is not the Orange Patch? I tried to look it up this morning but could find nothing.) Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. All but the Crimson Patch at ISO 100, that at ISO 250. All at f4. 1/500th, 1/640, and 1/1000th.
Red Admiral: Kennebunk Plains Preserve, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — This appears to be a fairly fresh Red Admiral that I caught among the low growing Asters which currently cover the Kennebunk Plains. The Red Admiral is apparently found throughout Maine, but I am not totally certain that I have ever encountered one here before. The Admiral (which, according to the Wiki, was originally called the Red Admirable) was very busy and would not sit still, so I never did get the full wings shot I was after, before it lifted up and disappeared over some tall trees growing the little gully that leads down to Day Brook Pond. I glimpsed it once more flying high on my way back. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos and assembled in FrameMagic. ISO 200-250 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
American Lady Butterfly: Kennebunk Plains Preserve, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — It is short aster season on the Kennebunk Plains here in Southern Maine, with at least 3 species of small asters in bloom, and large areas heavily carpeted. I found several fairly fresh looking American Ladies working a stand in the sun. They did not want to sit still for photography but I did my best. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos and assembled in FrameMagic. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/1000th, 1/1000th, 1/640th, and 1/800th.
When I visit the Wells Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farms in Wells, Maine, I park my trike on the grass beside the bike rack beyond the Handicapped Parking signs. As I passed carefully between the signs yesterday there was a nice fresh Monarch chrysalis hanging, right at my eye level on the trike, from the underside of one of the signs. Too good an opportunity to miss, and before I road away after my hike, I set my iPhone up with the Sirui 10x Macor lens and took a number of shots. It is a fascinating structure, and there were still water drops on it from the rain overnight. Altogether a thing of beauty. It is a rather exposed spot and I can only hope it survives to be a butterfly. iPhone SE with Moment thin case and Sirui 10x Macro lens. Standard Apple Camera app with Smart HDR engaged. Processed Apple Photos.
Monarch Butterfly, Muskrat Pond, Medomak, Maine, USA — It is the season of the Monarch in Maine, whether I am in Kennebunk around home, or, apparently, further north in Medomak. There are large stands of goldenrod and the invasive Himalayan Balsam between the road and the edge of Muskrat Pond, and the Monarchs were working it on the overcast morning we visited. The color contrasts make the shot. Just another Monarch? Perhaps not in this setting. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 125 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Monarchs and Northern Blazing Star, Laudholm Farms, Wells, Maine, USA — I stopped by the National Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farms the other day while out on my eTrike. The staff have planted a native species garden near the entry kiosk and they have a few Northern Blazing Star plants which are exceptionally tall and full, probably because they get watered every day. They are attracting Monarchs. (They also have a field of Milkweed down below the farm buildings so they are working both ends of the Monarch cycle 🙂 Because there was only the one stand of Blazing Star there was a lot of interaction between the Monarchs…that swirling chase they do…and they were often on two sides of the same plant…making for a great photo op. Nikon B700 at ~ 1125mm equivalent. Program mode with some custom tweaks for birds and wildlife. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f5.6 @ 1/250th.
Wood Nympth on Northern Blazing Star, Kennebunk Plains Preserve, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — By far the most numerous butterfly on the Kennebunk Plains during August and Northern Blazing Star season is the Wood Nympth…but then the Wood Nympth is probably the most numerous butterfly in southern Maine all summer. They come out early in spring and are present well into fall, and always in good numbers. This year, as in most creatures in southern Maine, seems to be bumper year. There were hundreds of them in the Blazing Star. They are not the most attractive of butterflies, but it appears to be working for them. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/500th.