“It’s a Bird … It’s a Plane … No, It’s a …

This past Wednesday evening, I decided to go back out to a local prairie meadow that I’ve been following. As usual, there were tons of wildflowers blooming everywhere! Pale Purple Coneflowers, Prairie Beardtongue, Common Milkweed, Sunflowers (unidentified species), Wild Geranium, tons of Butterfly Weed, among many others! And the butterflies were absolutely thick, especially on the Common Milkweed and Butterfly Weed.

I was having a blast, photographing the butterflies:  mostly Fritillaries, with several species of Skippers and a few Monarchs. After about an hour, I was engrossed with trying to capture one of 2 Monarchs that flew in to a group of Common Milkweed plants, when I got “buzzed” by what I was sure was a large Bumblebee. But a second look changed that fear to a big smile … there in front of me was a Hummingbird Moth. In fact, I then noticed that there were 3 of them around me, all collecting nectar from some of the Common Milkweed blooms. I’m not sure of the species, but I believe them to be Clearwing Moths (Hemaris thysbe) … if anyone knows the correct ID of these, please let me know.

I photographed these beauties for about 5 minutes, until they flew a bit further into the meadow. Since daylight was nearly gone and I had about 1/4 mile through the meadow and some woods, to reach the parking lot, I reluctantly left them behind and headed home. But I will be back … SOON!

Hummingbird Moth collecting nectar from Common Milkweed

Hummingbird Moth collecting nectar from Common Milkweed bloom

Hummingbird Moth collecting nectar from Common Milkweed bloom

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