The last few weeks our weather has turned a bit wintery and although I long to get back in the water to my “studio,” I have found an alternate that is almost as enticing. I have always been fascinated by the little critters, especially some of the more unusual ones. Happily, there are plenty of odd little bugs to photograph on land. Here are some of my favorites:
Juvenile Praying Mantis
I found this little praying mantis one day walking up my arm. I had been outside thinning the peach tree, and I guess he hitched a ride. I carefully put him back on the tree where he graciously posed for some very flattering portraits.
Cairns Birdwing Caterpillar
Sometimes we get all creeped-out by insects. It is hard to believe that the spikey-creepy-crawly caterpillar above becomes the beautiful Cairns Birdwing butterfly which is endemic to Australia. These papilions can have a wingspan of up to 11 inches. One of the photographs below is of a male, the other female. Can you guess which one is which?
Cairns Birdwing Butterfly
In contrast to the huge butterflies above, is this little velvet moth that was just over a quarter of an inch long. It landed on my bathroom mirror one morning where it almost got clobbered by the flat of my hand until I saw it’s brilliant red wings and decided it was photogenic. It stayed on the mirror all day, and finally flew away in the evening.
Okay, so on to a REALLY creepy bug. The creature below is a walking stick. Don’t ask how that thing eats with a mouth like that, because I have no idea. He was about three inches long and moved slowly up the branch like he was stalking me.
A Bumble Bee comes in for a landing
One of the most common fliers is the bumble bee. They are surprisingly difficult to photograph. That is partly because they are always moving, and partly because this photographer is wary of being stung. These guys were busy collecting the first of this year’s pollen.
A Bee gathers pollen from a poppy
As I was photographing the flowers and bees, this little fly stopped by to rub his back legs together. He only visited for a moment, but I caught him!
The bug below is a common nuisance. When I was a kid, we called them fire-bugs, but my dad called them Box Elder bugs. He was right, that is the common name. You have probably stepped on these outside your front door.
Last but certainly not least; the creepiest of all creepers in my opinion, is the spider. I believe this one still resides in Hana, Hawaii, guarding the seven sacred pools and protecting visitors from the horde of flying bugs that torment tourists.
I have to admit that I have a love-hate relationship with the insect world. While they fascinate me beyond reasonable measure, they also give me the heebie-jeebies and I wouldn’t want to find one crawling down my back. Yet, I can’t help being visually stimulated by them. How about you?