I’ve seen a few Gulf Fritillaries around as recently as last week. In September they were everywhere you looked. These images were taken on the Morris Island end of Folly Beach where they were cavorting around in the flowers growing in the sand.
Although they fly about independently, if one butterfly finds something good another will soon follow.
They seemed OK at sharing if there were two vying for the same spot, and can hardly push each other around the way birds might do.
September 9, 2017, Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve.
Seen at rest most of the time, these spiders can move with speed when lunch is involved, which is what caught my eye.
The web threads change color with the light, but this day they also had a yellowish coating that may have been pollen. It had just rained and there were a lot of wild flowers growing along the boardwalk.
Hanging on to her web from her hind legs she used the other legs to manipulate her catch. Other ensnared insects appeared to float in front of the web.
At one point she was dangling.
For reference, the entire web was about 3 feet across and that dangling fly was the size of a common house fly.
I spotted what I now know is a frond of Powdery Alligator-flag (Thalia dealbata) on a walk around the swamp last week. I took a few photographs because of the interesting color and texture. If I had seen the green insect at the time, possibly a member of the katydid family, I would have maneuvered closer for some additional shots.
I had revisited this plant after my May post with a visiting bee and continued to find it unremarkable throughout the summer. Evidently insects find it more attractive.
Quite a few of the Orb-Weaver Spiders have built their webs at an angle to the board walk headed to the swamp making side view photographs a possibility. It was fascinating to watch this one pluck a fly or bee from the web and then what seemed to be wrapping it in silk.
There were some other insects dangling from similar wrappings nearby. These spiders seem much larger than last summer’s crop, but that may be my imagination, or Ted’s, playing tricks on me.
We have seen very few butterflies this summer compared to last year. All insects are sensitive to changes in the weather and climate and in addition to global climate changes, locally the weather has been wetter and stormier than last year. It is hard to know how or if these factors affect what we observe with a two year comparison.
I watched the Swallowtail flit up and down the berm around an old rice field, always just out of reach of a shot. Then he landed in the road and took a stroll, with short and dainty steps. A photo of him on a flower or in flight would have been nice, but the plain background does set him off.
This was my first outdoor try shooting insects with Macro Lenses on my 18-200mm lens. There is nothing like actually doing something to find out the challenges: a slight breeze, flower stems that swayed when even the smallest insect landed on them, following the insect through the view finder at full zoom…
…the shock of seeing this beast when you were expecting a bee!
I have no idea what this is but it was huge. Appearing to hang on for dear life, it didn’t appear to show any other interest in the flower.
This bee appears similar to the one featured in my post “A Yellow Fur Jacket” at the end of May, this time on a prettier flower. There were many buzzing around and generally did not stay put long enough for me to focus and shoot.
Overall I was pleased. A second try last week didn’t work out as well with the insects even less cooperative on a day that was too hot to be trying something new.