Once out of doors it becomes easy to momentarily forget anything weighing in any balance other than the bounty that is expressed in a back yard in November in Austin, Texas.
First up? This is a shot of what is called a hummingbird moth. When I saw photos of these on other people's blogs I wondered at how uniformly the reported response to seeing one of these was "I thought I had some new or different kind of small hummingbird working in my garden".
Because when you look at a static photo of a hummingbird moth, especially up close, it really looks like a moth that only kind of looks like a hummingbird.
It is only when you first see it working the blossoms that you come to appreciate how hummingbird-like the motions of this nectar feeding moth really are.
It became obvious to me that anybody accustomed to seeing a certain nectar loving tiny bird work a patch of blossoms, upon seeing that characteristic darting about followed by diving in and then darting about again? Any such person used to seeing hummingbirds feeding will see that activity and automatically register "hummingbird".
It is only once you get closer that you realize two things.
1) That hummingbird sure is working the flowers a lot more consistently than you are used to seeing. Most hummingbird sightings are fairly brief, especially when camera wielding humans are closing in.
2) Then you also realize: oh, it's got antennae. Ta da! Moth.