Shades of Gray from Grayson Co, TX #775 – SPEEDY “HAWK” MOTH

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While on patrol around the grounds looking for something to photograph, I came across this Hummingbird moth. I found they are also called Hawk moths and that seemed muy macho a name.

I have made images of these marvelous creatures before but I always used my macro kit and speedlights that resulted in a lot of motion even when I managed to get the little creature in focus. So I took a different approach. Cranked up the ISO to 1000 and went to shutter prefered exposure with the shutter set at 1/5000.

It made for a much more interesting image and he even looks kinda hawk like. You can read more about the Hummingbird moth here:  http://www.naturesmart.com/articles.php?articleID=105

See the world a little differently today! …†… monos in theos…jim

IMAGES OF SMALL THINGS FROM THE BIGGEST COUNTY IN TEXAS #556 – White-lined Sphinx Hummingbird Moths

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There was a bevy of moths and butterflies around the yard yesterday. We had three of these hummingbird moths show up to feed on our lantana. They are a real challenge to photograph, as they are fast and they never hover in one place for too long.

I spent a peaceful two -three hours (how long is that in sphinx moth years?) capturing and watching them dart in fluid motion that certainly rivals the movement of hummingbirds. Hummingbirds at least perch for a breather every now and then. These guys appear to be in perpetual motion and you gotta love the pink and brown coloring –  two of my wife Susan’s favorite color combos.

“Sphinx Moth larvae change underground into adult moths, who then dig their way to the surface. Mating occurs shortly thereafter, with females laying as many as 1,000 eggs on the underside of food plants. Eggs hatch within a few days. In the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts, there may be 2 broods, one in the Spring and another in the Summer. In the colder Great Basin Desert, only one brood is produced. Males and females die after they have completed their roles in the reproductive process.

Sphinx Moths emerge at dusk from their hiding places and begin feeding on the nectar of flowers. Their size, combined with their rapid wing beats, allows them to hover and feed in the manner of hummingbirds, for which they are sometimes mistaken.

This manner of flight requires a great deal of energy and creates a good deal of heat in the moth’s body. For these reasons, moths feed exclusively on nectar and seek flowers which produce large amounts of this water source which also contain high amounts of sugar. Such is the case with the Evening Primrose (Onagraceae) Family, and particularly the Dune Evening Primrose, which the White-lined Sphinx Moth is responsible for pollinating.”— A.R. Royo

Lay down your labors for the the day, “for my yoke is easy and my burden is light” Matt 11:30 ††† en theos †††jimwork

Images of small things from the biggest county in Texas #527 – Now I know why they are also called “preying” mantises! “

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Okay, I didn’t at all plan to post another praying mantis image so soon. But, you gotta roll with what comes at you. I was doing some grilling for lunch. Right beside the patio are these lantana that were just abuzz with these cute little skippers. I couldn’t resist and went into predator (almost a pun) mode, stalking these flighty little buzz bombs. One landed real near and sat still long enough (too long) for me to inch closer, focus and click off a couple of frames.

Then in a flash (pardon the pun) the little skipper disappeared. I figured he just got spooked and took flight. As I started to pull away I caught (okay, almost another pun) sight of the little yellow fellow. He was in the grasp of a previously unseen stealthy preying mantis. He was quickly being consumed for lunch. In the span of less than a minute there was nothing left but a couple of wings.  Evidently the mantis don’t like wings, he spat them out.

I swear I heard a whimper followed by a slight burp. Never heard grace said from the praying er preying mantis.

eat em where you find em ††† en theos ††† jim work

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #292

I don’t think it is the early bird that always gets the worm.  Nor is it the fastest, I have found it is the most persistent one that reaches his goals.

I am fascinated by these Cave Swallows (Petrochelidon fulva)  Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica) They show up early, late and all times of the day in between. They are very fast, but in watching them they don’t always catch their prey on the first pass, but woe is the bug that thinks they have escaped. A quick circle around and with renewed  concentration they get their bug on the second, third or fourth pass.

It took me three trips to the pond and a lot of exposures to catch this one almost sharp image. I need to re-circle and try again.

Be persistent on your journey†††††††nada te turbe†††††††jim