August 4th, 2012. We photographed a Hummingbird Clearwing Moth (Hemaris thysbe) previously at the local Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) where it was working the flowering lantana bushes. It would hover for a few seconds feeding at one flower head and, just as we managed to focus, it would fly onto the next flower head, and so on... But focusing on this dervish was almost impossible; it just didn’t stay still. The moths are known for not settling. Some folks will catch them and refrigerate them for a while ot slow them down and then photograph them as they sit warming themselves.
We lucked out. We had just finished photographing the Hoarymountainmint (Pycnanthemum incanum) and wandered off in different directions. After a couple of minutes, W said ‘I think you’re going to want to see this.’ I almost didn’t follow him but I’m glad I did.
There, resting on a budding False Fennel (Eupatorium leptophyllum), was a Hummingbird Clearwing moth. It rested for just a few minutes. We each got one photograph before it flew off through the woods.
A once in a lifetime shot!
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