Big and beautiful

This big and beautiful polyphemus moth was fluttering around the parking lot at work on Friday. Of course I had to take his portrait. More detailed shots of this lovely fellow are below.

Big moth on parking lot stripe.
Big moth — This fellow measured nearly 6 inches from tip to tip.
Closeup of moth wing markings.
A tight shot of the beautiful markings on the moth’s wings.
Closeup of antennae.
A closeup of the polyphemus’ antennae, which looks like a skeletonized leaf.

Winged beauties

The last few weeks in the Ouachitas have been a treat for the eyes.

In the details

Sometimes, there is beauty in the big picture. Sometimes, it is in the details.

Late summer color 2012

A wave of late summer cold fronts and the remnants of a hurricane provided enough water to power a last pre-autumn burst of native color here in the Ouachita Mountains.

NECTAR DANCE — Hummingbirds maneuver for a spot at the feeder in a cloudless late summer sky.
SUNRISE — Sometimes a sunrise is worth abandoning the morning java and running out of the house into the street to get a better shot. This taken Sept. 14.
IN THE PURPLE — French mulberries in their full late summer livery.
IN THE GARDEN — The white blooms and green foliage are a nice background for a gulf fritillery butterfly.
PERSIMMONS — Persimmon tree manages to produce its pale orange bounty despite a summer of drought.
SUNFLOWER — The return of rain has allowed some summer wildflowers to produce another flush of blooms.
GROUND HUGGER — A cluster of tiny pink flowers, maybe a type of vetch, stick close to the ground.
BLUES — A spike of blue flowers reaches toward the blue sky.
SIPPING STOP — Fiery skipper sips nectar from the garden.

*Not being insect or flower experts, if anything here is misidentified please let us know!

Butterfly paradise II

The saltbush is beginning to fade while the goldenrod comes into its own, so with warm, dry weather, we may yet receive visiting monarchs. Until then, gray hairstreaks, clouded sulphurs, pearl crescents, fiery skippers and American ladies will keep the virtual shutter clicking.

TIGER AND HIS TAIL -- Eastern Tiger Swallowtail gleans nectar from blossoms outside the office window.
FIERY -- Single fiery skipper visits saltbush flowers, his unfurled proboscis buried deeply into the blossom.
ON FINAL -- Wasp joins two fiery skippers in the saltbush.
OPEN WINGS -- A pearl crescent butterfly rests in the afternoon sun.
BLACK AND ORANGE -- Fiery skipper stands out against the shadows.