On a recent hike, we were able to see some beautiful Question Mark butterflies along the trail.
The first one was peacefully sitting on a long stem, soaking up the sun. As I took a few photos from different angles, I began to notice a spider web located directly behind the butterfly.
I took a few steps back to get a better look and realized how incredibly near this butterfly was to a spider web which reached from where the spider was sitting a couple of feet high, all the way down to the ground. I couldn’t help but wonder if it had any idea just how close it was to becoming a meal for a stealthy spider.
Later, we came upon two other Question Mark butterflies along the path. They were sitting in much safer places than the first, and were doing a good job of blending in with the scenery.
“Isn’t it funny how obvious and oblivious are so close?” ~Unknown
I noticed this insect while out hiking. At first appearance, it looked like a large, innocent looking fly, but after doing some research, I discovered that it is a type of Robber Fly, and innocent it is not. Robber Flies catch flying insects such as bees, butterflies, grasshoppers, dragonflies and other large flies and insects in mid-air. Then they use their short snout (proboscis) to pierce and inject the prey with saliva laced with toxins and enzymes. This mixture paralyzes the prey and begins breaking down their innards. The snout is then used to suck out the soupy insides. Not a pretty picture, but I guess even Robber Flies need to eat.
“Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many.” ~Plato
The dragonflies seemed to know that the warm, sunny days are numbered and will soon be coming to an end. They were out enjoying the sunshine, patrolling their territory and, undoubtedly, taking advantage of the abundance of mosquitoes in the area. Occasionally they would rest on floating leaves or vegetation near the lake’s edge.
“Why are our days numbered and not, say, lettered?” ~Woody Allen
Since our house faces the west, we get to see some beautiful sunsets when we step out on the porch in the evening. Between our house and the sunset stands a tree. There was a time when it was a pretty tree with two long, full branches and companion trees standing at its side. However, at least a couple of times over the last few years, straight-line winds have come through and done major damage to parts of the tree and taken out some of the other trees. Still, today, the tree is thriving, and continues to stand strong in the foreground of many a sunset photo.
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson