They always start out innocently enough, my obsessions. I see a butterfly, it is gorgeous. Watching it makes me stop whatever I was doing. Later I want to share what I saw but it is clumsy communicating deeply moving experiences when your descriptive language is limited by ignorance. Eloquence and inaccuracy are uneasy partners at best.
|Eastern Tiger Swallowtail/Papilio glaucus|
|Red Admiral - Vanessa atalanta|
I go out into the garden just to look some days. I see more butterflies. I take my camera out routinely now, and get many images, some of them very pleasing. I find out some of my butterflies are actually moths. I wonder if I can get a good photo of a bee, so I try.
|Sweat bee/Agapostemon surrounded by Carpet Beetles/Anthrenus lepidus.|
|Uh oh. Soldier beetle, probably Cantharis pellucida.|
|Forest tent caterpillar/Malacosoma disstria|
|Carpet beetles (making some area rugs)/Anthrenus lepidus|
|Western grapeleaf skeletonizer (Harrisina metallica)|
|Confession: I don't do anything about these dangling from the oaks but I do enjoy watching the birds eat them.|
|This image from last year (Aztec spur throated/Aidemona azteca). Immature nymphs show up later in the season but I've already spotted at least one of the duller brown adults hopping off at my approach.|
Occasionally in the process I end up mauling the very blossoms I'm out there trying to protect. Pleasant or not, I feel this population control response is a necessary part of being a good steward to the plants I've introduced into these spaces.
I can sum up my philosophy best with this borrowed and slightly altered phrase from medicine: "Better the planter than the pest".
|An ongoing ID nemesis - some sort of Skipper, subfamily Hairstreak|
|Anolis carolinensis on San Francesco d'Assisi|