Damselfly on Ivy

photograph of a damselfly on a leave

This damselfly was patrolling a small, sunny patch of ivy when I encountered it in late August, near Richmond, VA.  It seems like a common species but I haven’t been able to identify it.


Aphid Nightmare

photograph of a ladybird beetle feeding on aphids

This family of aphids watches helplessly as one of their clan is ruthlessly devoured by their arch enemy, the ladybird beetle (aka ladybug).  When you look at a ladybug it’s easy to forget they are savage predators.


Spider Wasp on Lance-Leaved Goldenrod

photograph of a Spider Wasp on Lance-Leaved Goldenrod

Here’s another wasp I’m not quite sure I correctly identified.  I believe it is a Spider Wasp.  Regardless, it was one of the pollinators that shared their meadow with me in early September.  Like other wasps and bees I’ve photographed, this one didn’t seem to pay any attention to my presence.  Perhaps because I was sitting still and it approached me rather than the other way around.

From what I’ve read Spider Wasps can be aggressive and have quite a painful sting.  I guess it’s a good thing it didn’t mind me being there.


Eastern Carpenter Bee Landing On Thin-Leaved Sunflower

photograph of an Eastern Carpenter Bee landing on a Thin-Leaved Sunflower

During a photo outing to shoot wildflowers I decided to take a few backlit shots.  In the process I began tracking a few Eastern Carpenter Bees as they passed by.  I was lucky enough to capture this one as it prepared to land on a thin-leaved sunflower.

I like the way backlit flowers almost glow but that’s pretty easy to predict, setup and shoot.  After all, except for the wind, the flowers aren’t really moving.  I was really pleased with the lighting of the bee in this photo.

Like most of the photos on my blog, you can click the image to open a larger version of the photo.  Check out all the pollen covering this bee.  This clearly wasn’t its first flower of the day.


Ailanthus Webworm Moth

photograph of an Ailanthus Webworm Moth on wildflowers

This Ailanthus Webworm Moth was making its way among wildflowers when I saw it in early September.


Eastern Carpenter Bee on Wildflowers I

photograph of an Eastern Carpenter Bee on wildflowers

The Eastern Carpenter Bee is easily confused with the American Bumble Bee.  While the bumble bee is covered covered in fuzzy hair, the carpenter bee is missing the fuzz from its abdomen.


Pennsylvania Leatherwing Beetle on Thin-Leaved Sunflower

photograph of a Pennsylvania Leatherwing Beetle on Thin-Leaved Sunflower

At first I thought the beetle on this thin-leaved sunflower was a soldier beetle but something didn’t look quite right.  Looking more closely I’ve identified it as a Pennsylvania Leatherwing Beetle.  According to insectidentification.org, the Pennsylvania Leatherwing Beetle is highly beneficial in their predation of aphids.  As a bonus, their quest for insect prey turns them into efficient pollinators.


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