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July 25, 2012 / Rae Spencer

It’s Definitely Not a Bee

I took a walk in Red Wing Park today, looking for butterflies. I found butterflies (there will be photos later), but I also found something I had never seen before. I believe these are Snowberry Clearwing Moths. (Which might be the same as a Bumblebee Moth?)

I was so excited, when I first noticed them, that I forgot my camera. And I’m pretty certain I was talking to myself. All alone, in the middle of a dappled path, mumbling things like “ooh how pretty” and “what odd bees” and, at last, “it’s definitely not a bee.”

Once I remembered my camera, it didn’t take long to realize that the moths moved too fast for me. They hovered to drink, never perching. A quick sip of nectar, then on to the next bloom. Most of my images could be labelled “a moth was here when I pressed the button, but flew away before the shutter clicked.”

I starting having success when I learned to focus on a clump of flowers and wait for a moth to zip into frame. This technique was a stretch for me, because I’m terrible at waiting. Perhaps, after today, I’ll be a tiny bit more patient with my life.

I’m tempted to wish for better photos, but the truth is that I’m lucky to have gotten any useful images at all. Most of my efforts look something like this:

4 Comments

  1. lynnwyvill / Jul 25 2012 10:41 PM

    Wonderful pictures! Your patience paid off. Some luck, maybe, but skill too on your part. Lovely!

  2. Gillian / Aug 7 2012 7:30 PM

    I once found a Snowberry Clearwing Moth perching on a leaf and got some terrific photos of him. I loved the clear wings, they look like paper-thin windows! My Hummingbird Clearwing Moth photos, however, look a lot like these. I’m still waiting for a decent photo of one. The second-to-last photo is terrific – you can see the antennae, which definitely separates these from the bees!

    • Rae Spencer / Aug 8 2012 12:01 AM

      I kept hoping these would stop to perch, but no luck. Maybe next time!

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