Snowberry Clearwing

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Snowberry Clearwing on Butterfly Bush” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

I’m still searching for the Spicebush Swallowtail. And I still haven’t gotten a confirmed photo of what is said to be common to my area. As I was driving though the Kanawha Falls area I noticed a large butterfly bush near the side of the road. I brought my big blue truck to a screeching halt in the gravel and grabbed my trusty DMC-FZ30 Panasonic Lumix. I searched the butterfly bush for several minutes. The bush seemed to be abandoned at first. But then something large emerged from the other side of the bloom. It moved like a hummingbird but had the colors of a large bumblebee. It had the tail of a lobster and extended a long proboscis like a butterfly. It hovered in place sipping netar by probing each little bloom individually. It’s not butterfly at all. It’s a moth.

The Clearwing Hawk Moth is the day walker if the moth community. It’sresemblance to a bumblebee gives it a certain level of protection from most predators. They come in beautiful colors and a little farther North is a variety with bright red trim on its wings.

A refreshed edit of an earlier published image shows the Snowberry Clearwing On Multiflora Rose.

The variety that I’m the most familiar with is the Snowberry Clearwing Moth. Although they get their name from hosting on wild snowberry they also host on Dogbane (also known as Indian Hemp) and they can be a pest on fruit trees. In the adjoining image the Snowberry Clearwing is resting on a Multiflora Rose.

They’re mostly active during the day which makes me wonder how they navigate. Moths gather around your porch light because they navigate by keeping their bodies at a certain angle to the moon. When they encounter an artificial light they assume that the brightest light is the moon and adjust accordingly. But because the sun is so bright and not polarized like the moon they must have a way to compensate. But they do continue activity into the night. I have encountered them while walking with a flashlight and the greenish yellow eye shine is a little confusing the first time that you see it. The first time that you see one in daylight your first thought is “Whoa! Big Bee” and is sometimes accompany buy high-pitch squealing.

A quick Google search shows that the USDA considers the Snowberry Clearwing Moth a pollinator. When you notice how thick it’s fur is then it makes perfect sense that some pollen will be transferred as it hovers around from bloom to bloom.

One of strangest names for these moths is “Flying Lobster” and that name seems to come from my home state of West Virginia. The only photo that I have that shows the fan shaped tail that this class of moths share is a variety with a bright yellow body and brown bands that resembles a Yellowjacket wasp more than a bumblebee.

This Clearwing Hornet Moth looks like a Yellowjacket but has the same “lobster tail” that is not visible in the other photos.

Once again Google came to my rescue and gave the ID on this Clearwing Moth. This one is even capable of mimicking the hornet’s flight patterns. Something that I can verify myself because when I took the picture with my cellphone the insect lifted off and charged me pulling away at the last minute just like a hornet would. It’s bluff works. My reflexes took over and I ducked to avoid being stung.

I might have missed out on the Spicebush Swallowtail again but the excursion will go in the win column since I got a few shots of one of Appalachia’s interesting pollenators.

The big blue truck is still idling with the door open as the moth in the first image hovers over to a new plant. It’s time to tuck the camera back into its holster and leave the gravel in favor of the road home.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

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Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

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I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simply message me on Facebook oruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251

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A Walk Down Glade Creek Trail.

Titled Glade Creek Falls 81608 and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article

Behind Glade Creek Grist Mill at Babcock State Park is one of the peaceful trails in West Virginia. Tonight I want to take you on a quiet walk down the trail for a few minutes.

Titled “Glade Creek Grist Mill Vertical Panoramic 42918”. Available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

As I walk down the cool forest pathway I can hear the roar of the falls just around the next bend. I slow my pace a bit when I notice the clear water running through the little drainage that flows into Glade Creek in Fayette County West Virginia. A red eft lumbers fearlessly across the soft bed of moss. He knows that his bright colors are warning to would be predators that he’s a bad choice for a menu item. The eft is the juvenile form of the newt and he’s making his way to a quiet pool of water. Soon reddish orange skin will turn a cool green leaving only red spots all along the length of his body. His tail will flatten out into a powerful propulsion device that gives him mastery of the murky depths. My brother and I would catch them out of the ponds and pools and pretend that they were pet alligators. Eventually they would curl themselves backwards and expose the bright yellow belly. The first time I saw that I thought for sure that I had killed it. I tossed the newt back into the water and it came back to life and dove to the deepest part of the pond. FAKER! I called out in disbelief. Little did I know at the time that they were just daring someone to take a bite out of their toxic skin. As it turns out they were predators in their own right. Among the other things that they hunt are mosquitoe larvae. With that in mind I leave the little eft to enjoy his bed of deep green moss and continue on to the falls.

I’m not far from the sound of the water when something black and yellow zips past my head. It startled me at first. But when looked closer I discovered that I had been faked out again.

The Dogwood Borer is a type of clear wing moth that mimics Yellowjackets

What I thought was a Yellowjacket had an odd looking stinger. It also had a strangely thick waist for a member of the wasp family. It was a moth! This type of moth is a member of clear wing moth family. Biologically they’re a very interesting group of moths that are active in daylight. Horticulturally, they are problematic. The larvae of the one pictured here ( The Dogwood Borer) bore into trees and feed on the inner bark. They’re also known to carry fungal disease that can devastate valuable crop trees like pecans. I was barely able to focus one this one when took of and flew away.

It wasn’t long before I could smell the mists coming off of the falls. I stepped over to the edge of the trail and saw the silky flow framed by the leaves of the trees. The falls seem to be a collection of hundreds of tiny little cascades flowing over the rocks like a lace veil. The air surrounding the falls is oxygenated and ionized. The mists carry the scent of the stones that line the creek bed. Several types of songbirds provide the soundtrack for me as I stare through the little window of leaves and branches.

What a wondrous and beautiful world that The Lord has provided for us! And how much does He love us to make us a part of something so wonderful?

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

https://www.facebook.com/aviewfromthelens/

If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Click the web to go tohttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simply message me on Facebook oruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251

Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page! ❤