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Some 'Flies & Friends
Lens: FA 100 Macro, others Camera: K20D Photo Location: East Tennessee 
Posted By: mole, 07-24-2013, 05:10 PM

Record-breaking rainfall here in East Tennessee has made for low numbers and low diversity of butterflies. But the few and the hardy are easier to approach when they are avoiding the showers! Here are a few recent samples.

Have tried for several years to get a good shot at a Silver-Spotted Skipper. Usually the bright sunlight on the silvery spot blows out all the highlights. But damp and shade made it easier to catch the subtle tones... (This one is enjoying some Common Milkweed nectar)

This Red Admiral looks a bit battered from storms. It's perched on the larval host plant - Stinging Nettle.

Something ate a crayfish at the edge of one of our home park's creeks. This Red Spotted Purple is licking the residue off of the bits of crayfish shell!

Eastern Tiger Swallowtails have probably been our commonest butterfly recently. Here's a recently emerged female (black phase) drying its wings on a boxelder tree trunk, and a very fresh male (more typical color) "hanging out" in the drizzly damp woods.

And now for a few butterfly "friends."

We've seen a good hatching recently of these big moths known as Tulip Tree Beauties. This one was perched on the wall of a bath house at the home park, very close to a large grove of Tulip Poplar trees (their larval host plant).

Have only seen a few Clearwing Moths this summer. This one was working the Common Milkweed blooms...

Oops, I left out one butterfly. We've seen plenty of one of our smallest native butterflies this summer. Perhaps the Least Skippers are better at dodging raindrops?

Speaking of little things, here's a female Fragile Forktail (damselfly) that is in the midst of a "delicious" meal of fresh-caught gnat!

And here are two creatures that thrive in the cool and wet. First is a Giant Millipede (our largest natives species here) that was kind enough to pose on a convenient tree trunk.

Second is one that did not want to pose. This young Northern Watersnake would not hold still for a good portrait - probably too busy hunting for young green frogs.

Forecast is for continued heavy rains (wish we could share some with our drought-stricken friends out west!), and for more chances to enjoy the Great Tennessee Outdoors! Hope you enjoyed these 'flies and friends, and will share your comments & critique!

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07-24-2013, 05:46 PM   #2
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Another great series, m'friend! VERY difficult pick a favorite. I love the color of that Red Spotted Purple!
07-24-2013, 09:34 PM   #3
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what a wonderful series, I always learn so much when you post, thanks again, beautiful photos, wonderful narrative.
07-24-2013, 10:01 PM   #4
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Now that is one excellent series of shots and quite varied too.

07-25-2013, 11:49 AM   #5
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Original Poster
Gary - So glad you enjoyed my "little friends." Those RS Purples sure do show off some amazing colors!

Bob - Thanks so much!!

Eaglem - So glad you enjoyed these!

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