Monday, August 13, 2018

Bugs and Snakes


Mom and I took our walk again yesterday morning. We saw lots of interesting insects, like the lubber grasshopper above. They're all over the place at this time of year, flopping around in the woods like big clumsy drunkards.


We saw this eastern amberwing dragonfly, which cocked its twitchy head to keep both eyes on me...


...and this tiny orange butterfly, which I think is known as a pearl crescent.

But yesterday's most exciting insect sighting was...


...a hummingbird moth, which I don't think I've ever seen before. Sorry the picture is so terrible -- we saw it on the way back from lunch and all I had with me was my iPhone, and that little moth was not slowing down. (A reminder, once again, why I should ALWAYS CARRY MY CAMERA even though it weighs almost as much as Olga.)

In flight, this amazing little creature really does look like a tiny hummingbird -- maybe two inches long.


And finally -- because I'm in Florida and I couldn't leave without bringing you a picture of at least one snake -- Mom and I watched this black racer climb a maple tree. This is another sight that I'm not sure I've ever seen, though I know snakes DO climb trees. It went almost to the top before executing a somewhat hasty turnaround and descent. Maybe it was looking for a lubber grasshopper?

I'll be taking off today to return to London. It's been a good visit, and we got a lot done, but now I have to get ready to go back to work on Thursday!

Oh, and remember my Goodwill finds from yesterday's post? Well, I went back for the West Virginia Penitentiary shirt. I just couldn't let that one get past me. Maybe if I wear it while walking Olga we'll look intimidating?

18 comments:

Alphie Soup said...

I'm so pleased to know you bought the WVP shirt. Maybe it was Red, urging you on, that tipped the scales? You'll get some laughs (and looks) when you wear it.
Great intro (for me) to Florida's wildlife this trip.
Thanks
Alphie

Yorkshire Pudding said...

No. You will not look intimidating in that T-shirt Steve. You will just look MORE intimidating than usual. Have a safe flight back!

Michael said...

I once watched a black snake slither up a tree in Virginia. The snake was huge. I will never forget that moment as I hate snakes.

Ms. Moon said...

I haven't seen a snake all summer, much less one climb a tree which I don't think I've ever seen.
Goodness!
I have seen hummingbird moths though. They're confusing, aren't they?
I hope you have a smooth, uneventful trip home.

laurie said...

wow,, amazing photos,, have a safe trip home,, you had a great vacation!

Linda Sue said...

Wonderful photos, Steve. The cocking head insect is so cute! As children we gently caught humming bird moths just to feel them flutter, tickling our hands. We let them go, cheap thrills! Glad you will be going back home to London soon.

ellen abbott said...

I haven't seen any snakes so far this year which is unusual even though I have heard that for some reason they are out this year. well, I did see one little garter snake in my garage but it scurried away before I could get a picture of it. the year I got bit I startles a huge rat snake out from under a shrub and then watched it climb the gingko tree. must have been at least 5 or 6 feet long.

robin andrea said...

Love seeing that hummingbird moth. We used to see them when we lived in the Sierra foothills. Beautiful little creatures. Florida has very interesting wildlife! Have a safe trip home.

Sharon Anck said...

I love all these photos. That one of the grasshopper is especially nice.

Catalyst said...

Yes, great photos though you could have left that one of the snake out!

Lesley UK said...

Intimidating? Would that be you or Olga?

Peace Thyme said...

Lovely photos. I will never forget the first time I saw a hummingbird moth in the mountains. I think he was lost.

e said...

A bloke with a staffie and prison garb? In certain parts, they'd put out the welcome mat...

Vivian Swift said...

Yes! You can't let that West Virginia T-shirt opportunity get away! My motto, when shopping, is: It's better to have it and to want it ay more, than to want it and not have it.

I saw a hummingbird moth once in my life, in France, in 1994. It's called a Hummingbird Hawk Moth over there and it was WEIRD. I knew it wasn't an actual hummingbird, because it was slightly slower and more daring (it totally ignored me while I watched it feed, about a foot away), and it was in Chamonix and I was pretty sure there were o hummingbirds in the Alps. It's still a fantastic memory. It makes me think tow contradictory thoughts about nature: that it is endlessly ingenious, and that it is also redundant. Hummingbird moths are very cool, but then again, we already have hummingbirds...can't nature think up something new and different?

Red said...

I think you'll have lots of fun with the penitentiary t shirt.

James and Brigitta said...

Too funny, we actually were at the WVP last summer and took a tour. Interesting history and apparently it's haunted!
Saw my first (and only) Hummingbird Moth in Lajitas, TX. A (cheap) thrill for sure! This coming winter we'll be (somewhere) in Florida, looking forward to the wildlife!

jenny_o said...

That grasshopper looks like it's made of rubber! Sort of reminds me of the colours in the bottom of some sneakers. lol

NO to snakes. Just NO. I just can't handle the slithering! Thank god we don't have any big ones here. I suppose that's one more thing that will change with global warming. *shudder*

Safe travels!

Sabine said...

Thanks for all these amazing creatures!