I believe this is a red soldier beetle. I saw one then a few more on surrounding plants. It’s been my experience that you never see just one. I took this with my 300mm so I was pleased that I got a decent shot with a bit of cropping.
Bindweed or Wild Morning Glory is a beautiful looking flower but can take over a garden, wrapping itself around other plants and smothering them. I saw this flower in the wild; the early morning light providing a nice soft box effect.
I’m not a great fan of flies but they can make engaging subjects, particularly the pollinating kind like this one. There’s a tiny garden maintained by a local business association that plants a variety of wildflowers every summer. I was walking by when I spotted the fly on some milkweed.
It won’t be long before these mallard chicks set out on their own. We saw some when they were newly hatched but only a few times since. They were enjoying the swim and I felt cooler just watching them in the water. It’s been a strange summer, fewer birds, fewer bugs but the vegetation is lush. I hope to have more opportunities to photograph the former, perhaps I will as the the summer moves along.
We got to the park in the early morning when it was still cool and watched as the swallowtail landed on the plant. If we had been an hour later it would have led us on a merry chase; as the temperature warms, butterflies speed up and don’t stay still for long. We see a few of these butterflies every year, always a pleasure.
I always see skippers low to the ground in bright sunlight, tricky conditions for photography. If you can spot them before the day gets too warm, they are more slow moving and easier to photograph. This variety of skipper is tiny, the clover gives you an idea of scale.
One of my favourite things to photograph in summer are wildflowers. They will grow just about anywhere that has plenty of sun, including roadsides and big open fields. Open fields are best as they carpet the ground for great distances.