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.
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.
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.
Another dragonfly from earlier in the week. I took this photo with my 300mm lens and although I could have cropped the image more, I thought the background was as integral to the image as the insect was.
It’s a season of firsts. The other day I featured my first dragonfly photograph, today it’s a skipper. As I walked next to a field, I saw one, then several more of these butterflies. You rarely see a solitary skipper so you usually have several opportunities to take a photograph, always nice.
Although we’ve seen some dragonflies this summer, this is the first I’ve photographed. There seem to be fewer this year, perhaps the fault of our cold wet spring. When you do nature photography you tend to celebrate the first returning bird, sight of a flower, even the first insect! This dragonfly was particularly welcome as he posed so nicely for the photograph.