Saturday, September 22, 2012

Locust Borer on Golden Rod

Today I helped with removing the ham radio antennae from the top of Meg's school. While on the roof I spied a Monarch migrating by. Afterwards I headed out on a hike to see if I could find some Dainty Sulphur butterfly I mentioned on a recent post.  Struck out again on finding any Dainty Sulphurs. My other goal was to get a really good Honey Bee photo for the state fair, hoped to find some big sunflowers to shoot them on, failed on that also.

I did however add a new species of butterfly to the Falls Lake list a Long-tailed Skipper. Falls Lake which now stands at 96 species of butterflies second only to Weymouth Woods with 98 species.

I had much excitment when I found a Locust Borer, Megacyllene robiniae feeding on golden rod. Had only seen one of these in Virginia back in 2005 when I was spending the fall tagging Monarchs at the Eastern Shore of Virginia. These are considered really bad pests on Black Locust trees.
 Locust Borer, Megacyllene robiniae
 My trick to getting these photos was to set the camera in manual mode and set the focus to about 1 1/2 inches and shoot from 1 1/2 inches away. This Locust Borer ignored me entirely and let me take a lot of photos, these two photos were the best ones.
Honey Bee gathering nectar on golden rod. Around here golden rod is considered a good late season nectar source for the bees, although many complain it stinks like rotten socks and the honey is not very tasty.

Viceroy, the mimic of the Monarch. This one was tiny, never seen a Monarch as small as this Viceroy. Getting photos of these butterflies one has to be patient and wait for the right one to come along, they do a lot of chasing which is not very good for photographing them. The lighting was back lit making the butterfly look dark, so I popped up the flash and the flash lit it for me. Patient let me explain that. I have seen maybe 100 Viceroys on the past 5-6 walks, this one was the only cooperative one I found. More on patience, I saw maybe 1000 butterflies today and the Viceroy was the only one that even produced a decent photograph. I did get a Monarch on goldenrod but the lighting was bad. I could have crawled up to 2 different puddle parties of Cloudless Sulphurs and Sleepy Oranges, but have lots and lots of puddling photos.

16 comments:

Lancashire rose said...

Wonderful close-up photos. Thanks for the tip on how to shoot. i will give it a try.

Kerri said...

Beautiful captures!!

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Will be doing a post for my trees on Black Locust soon, will put a link to this post. Great photo and super info.
I love seeing the goldenrod in the fall. The bold bright yellow is great.

Kim and Victoria said...

For a bad bug that locust borer is attractive. Nice shot. Love the idea of you chasing butterflies around for pics. :-)

As far as our vacations - don't be too jealous, we only take them every two to three years, it's all we can afford. :-) There's another thing Europe is ahead of us on - my French cousin gets at least one month vacation every year.

Jim Davis said...

Well, the locust borer at least has one good thing going for it--it's adorned in Iowa Hawkeye black and gold!
Great pics, Randy.

Noelle said...

Wow! Those are really lovely photos. I really like those pages. Lovely!

Noelle @ www.CheapSheds.com.au/

Indie said...

Some nice photos! I got a photo of a Long-tailed Skipper in my yard recently - it was hard as it was all over the place and wary of me coming close! Thankfully I have a long lens - I shoot most of my butterfly photos with it. I wish they'd all behave like the Eastern Tigers that will pretty much let me hold them while they feed!

sweetbay said...

Love the honeybee photo. That's beautiful.

Les said...

The borer might be a nasty pest, but it is a good photo subject.

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Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi Randy,
Something made me think of the wall you were building, so I've been scrolling through your blog to see if I can find it. I am surprised there weren't any photos of it yet at this point in your posts. I've been enjoying your awesome photos. I had to stop and comment on this one. That borer is a cool looking creature! I had to laugh about the puddling party. I've only seen a few at a time puddling, but have seen photos of more.

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