Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hummingbirds and their Ilk


Today was not one of our super-active days. Robb woke up with the uncanny sensation of having less sensation than usual in his feet and legs. (Let's hope this is one of our regularly scheduled Temporary Setbacks, and not Something More Serious.)

We were due for a particularly warm day, so I suggested that the go cycling somewhere that would be shady. Somehow, that didn't really work out. The gravel and eucalyptus pods on the trail made cycling really difficult. Neither of us could get decent traction.

I totally failed in my attempts at photographing butterflies. I really cannot fathom how butterfly photographers do it. Attempting to photograph these animals is truly humbling.

Actual, all of my efforts at photography were pretty poor, and I managed to get a bit too much sun in the process. The hummingbird photograph isn't anything special, except that it shows the bird's tongue, which always cracks me up.

Later that day, I had to go into work. I finished my tasks at twilight, so I grabbed a flashlight and headed out to the garden to look for snails. As I was chucking snails over the fence, something started swooping at my face. It was a hummingbird moth, or more accurately a White-Lined Sphinx Moth. I had encountered other sphinx moths before, but this was this first time I had seen this astonishing creature.

Unlike all of the animals I tried to photograph this afternoon, the hummingbird moth was unconcerned by my presence. Of course, the sun had set and I didn't have my camera.

Oh well. Seeing this unique animal was a real treat. And maybe I'll see it again some time.


Anonymous said...

Since you guys have such a steady supply of snails, I'm starting to get the idea that you should collect them and take them home to Robb who could put them into some of those furry ravioli shells. Mmmmmm!!!

That has got to win some sort of freaky cooking contest. Escargo ravioli, anyone?

Doo you have any birdhouses in your garden? Cause with all that bug life I bet you have a nice birdy population flying around as well. Is it ok to send you guys a dried out gourd to use as a birdhouse, or ie even that a no-no, since its an organic item? (usually banned from import into California).

I have a lot of them from last year that finally finished drying out.


Pockafwye said...

I've seen the sphinx moth caterpillar before, and managed to get some photos of them ( but never actually met their adult form. They're lovely.

Carol said...

I think your hummer photo is amazing ... having the tongue out like that is unusual. Your moth shot is pretty great too.

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

I can't take credit for the moth photo. And , weirdly, blogger has deleted the caption, where I credit the photographer.


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