One bush, eleven minutes, many bugs.

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery. Note that the SmugMug Gallery has additional photos not shared in this post.   

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the upper-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

On June 7th, I happened to be out on the patio refreshing the birdbaths when I noticed a lot of activity on one of the shrubs.

Bug activity. Well, shoot! I’d not done a bug safari in a long time, so I went in and got me the D7500, strapped the 105mm f/2.8 Macro, and went back out to shoot me some photos. Over 200, to be precise, in two sessions totaling eleven minutes. 

Why two sessions, you ask?

Because I forgot to set the camera to my preferred macro settings, so the first eight minutes produced photos with a shallow depth of field. That’s something good photographers like but — not being a good photographer — something I’m not very keen about.

So, that’s a butterfly . . . Specifically, an American Snout (LINK).

“You’re kidding!”

No, I’m serious; that’s its name.

Anyway, lots of bugs flying around this bush because it has multiple hundreds of these flowers in the process of blooming.

“That looks pretty big!”

Well, duh! It’s a macro shot, so, of course, it’s gonna look big. Here, look how big this mooning fly looks.

I kid, of course . . . it wasn’t mooning me; I just caught it in a compromising position. Here’s a profile.

In case anyone is wondering, it’s a blue-green fly or green bottle fly (LINK). Not the only fly feasting on the shrub, nor were flies the most common insect. For instance, there were lots of these guys . . . .

… er … let’s give those soldier beetles (LINK) some privacy. We’ll come back to them later . . . although that might explain why there were so many on that bush.

We also had bees . . .

. . . and other flies. I could not get a proper shot of either of the two bee flies buzzing around (although you can see what they look like in THIS<<link post), but I got a few photos of this hoverfly (LINK) . . .

. . . and I also got me a housefly (LINK) . . .

“Wait a second, Despair; I’m still not clear on the size of the flowers.”

It’s ‘Disperser’. OK, here’s what the shrub looks like:

The shrub is about my height . . . OK, OK, it’s a bit taller. All those little white dots bloom into tiny flowers.

“How tiny?”

Here’s a set of photos with an ant climbing over a flower. It’s a regular ant, not one of the extras from Them!

Here’s a solo photo of the flower in question . . . tell me it doesn’t look like a cute little face screaming . . .

It seems like there wouldn’t be enough nectar to make it worthwhile for bees and flies and butterflies to bother with . . . 

. . . oh, and soldier beetles when they’re — you know — doing stuff.

By the way, I got all excited when I saw those guys.

What? No, not that way!

You see, I thought at first glance they were fireflies and was looking forward to a magical evening. However, Melisa pointed out they didn’t look like fireflies . . . and they don’t. That’s why that evening there was only one firefly that was a real fast flier or two unsynchronized fireflies (typically, fireflies synchronize when in proximity . . . or so I read in an interesting article about patterns and natural frequencies).

And, yes, that was the end of the first session and I’d gone in to share some of the better photos with Melisa, and hence when I realized I needed to adjust the settings.  

Here are a few more photos of the American Snout butterfly feeding on them tiny flowers . . .

I think them be better photos than the ones at the beginning of the post, but what do I know?

Anyway, the rest of the photos are of the soldier beetle . . . and there are a lot of them. Why? Because one of them — after giving me a ‘get a load of this!’ look — sat there grooming itself. I could put them all up here — about 30 photos — but I’ll spare them who be easily bored. However, I will load them all up on SmugMug. I found them interesting, so a few others might as well.

I also came across a tiny Orchard Orb-weaver spider (LINK). He was actually on a nearby bush, but close enough that I was hoping to see him catch something (didn’t happen).

Not the neatest or prettiest spiderwebs I’ve seen, but then I can’t build one myself (don’t have a rear end so adapted) so I shouldn’t judge them who can.

I’m going to end with the soldier beetle because he (or she) put up a show for me and I want to return the favor. I actually caught it taking off, but the picture in flight was too blurry to be salvaged. 

The interesting thing is that after it flew to a nearby leaf, it came back to the one it had just left . . .

. . . I’m 100% sure it was so it could give me this other ‘look’. I think it’s the ‘Are you done!?’ look, and yes, I was.

Crap! I just realized I forgot to put my usual black border around the photos . . . no way I’m redoing this post, so this will have to be it, then.

Here’s a gallery of all the photos for them wanting to scroll through them real fast so they can say they looked at them.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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