Sunday, September 16, 2007

Screen Critters

We all know that the reason for window screens is to keep the creepy-crawlies out. In my world, there's another reason: to provide a landing place for various flying creatures, so that I might photograph or examine them (or both.) As a certified night owl, I have my lights on at least until midnight so the catch should be good. But our rains have been sparse this summer and the critters have followed suit. Nonetheless, an interesting handful now reside on the hard drive.

Number one is a hawk moth. This is the fellow who hovers like a humming bird and unrolls an unbelievably long tongue to sip nectar, preferably from night-blooming flowers. However, this week, I've seen this moth at almost all times of day as well as at dusk. Probably means his season is drawing to a close. Too bad I didn't use the flash -- the pretty colors might have shown up (pink and black.)

This was a medium-sized moth whose colors popped quite nicely. No idea what he looks like on top, however; that's one problem with window screen photography -- you see the undersides of a critter.

Once in a great while, one of those huge moths puts in an appearance. About a 4-5 inch wing-spread, I'd say. Quite spectacular.

Usually toward the end of the rainy season, mature praying mantises gather on my screens at night. This year, there's been a grand total of one. However, I did find a first cousin -- a walking stick -- on the screen one evening. On the inside, yet. Must have come in when I called the cat!

Bug Photos Galore: Wow! I've just visited Cindy's Bug Safari. She's got some beautiful photography and interesting posts. Do take a long look!


Olivia Kroth said...

I had to laugh at your expression,
" I am a certified night owl", Julie.
I am a "certified lark", getting up at six in the morning.

Granny J said...

Olivia, it's not that I dislike the morning. Actually, it's pretty cool (esp. in the summer in AZ). However, for most of my life, I've had a real problem getting up early, unless there was a very special reason (i.e., catching an airplane or some such.) I think that really, I was meant for a 26-28 hour day.Anybody else out there with that feeling?

sheoflittlebrain said...

I think you're born one way or the other. My two oldest children, born 18 months apart and raised the same, were opposites in this respect from birth. My son at four would put on his pjs and go to bed when he was tired, often as early as seven-thirty or eight o'clock, while his sister thought midnight was too early a bedtime. If I'm up in the night for a glass of water I can look out my kitchen window to see the light shining from hers and know that she's cleaning house or reading into the night again.

Catalyst said...

Nice picture of the Walking Stick, GJ.

I have a friend who gets up to e-mail or clean her house whenever she wakes...usually before 4 in the morning.

Granny J said...

Brain & Cat-A -- what bothers me is that all those Studies (i.e., "scientists say...") usually imply that there's something seriously Wrong (i.e., immoral?) with night people and that morning people are just the cat's pajamas & pure as the driven snow.

Olivia Kroth said...

Oh no, Julie, not "pure as the driven snow", but rather driven out of bed by insomnia. I wish I could sleep longer, I just can't.

Granny J said...

Olivia -- insomnia is not a good thing. It happens to me once in a while; as a result, I sleep in even later than usual.

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