Friday, July 24, 2009

Insects and Cameras - A Fun Combination

On the night before last, as I was wrapping up my gardening and coming in to make dinner, I noticed a hawk moth feeding at the summer phlox (Phlox paniculata). Not being in the mood to cook, I decided to see if I could capture a few photos.

None of these shots would make it into a magazine spread, but I've enjoyed looking at them. I love how the camera freezes enough of the movement (but not all of it) that I can see how the moth, a white lined sphinx moth (Hyles lineata), uses its wings and proboscis while hovering and nectaring.

I love, too, how I can literally identify the markings of the moth, even though it was constantly moving, by the photos that I took. When possible, this is a much more pleasant way of identifying insects than catching them, freezing them, pinning them (and spreading their wings), drying them, and then identifying them.

All in all, a satisfying way to put off making dinner.

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