Dribs and drabs

Things have a way of accelerating out of hand, like a job that’s unexpectedly replaced with another, dropping a whole encyclopedia’s worth of information to master on my desk and leaving very little time for snooping. Or like summer, when it’s suddenly August and the tupelo trees are turning traitor with their unseasonably orange leaves, and the birds start molting and moving, and fledging and leaving. Or like an Instagram feed that’s spontaneously 90% bugs, and you scratch your head trying to find out where all the purty sunsets went.


These are all phone photos, all poached from my Instagram. When I told folks this would be my Year of Insects, I had no idea what I got myself into. I am, to borrow an overused phrase, A Little Obsessed.

Usually when I share photos, I have an intention in mind: a story to tell, some beauty that inspires me, an amazing natural something to help us all fall a little more in love with the world around us. With the insects, I’ve at least been trying to identify them before I post, trying to tie on a tiny scrap of natural history, if I have one. But mostly, I’m just absolutely gobsmacked by the crazy species diversity I’m finding every time I go out, and I can’t help but throw the best photos wherever I can share them. Can you believe this one? And this one? Holy cow! Who knew?!

The insect life changes week to week, microhabitat to microhabitat. I can barely keep up with the rest of life, and I’m not even close to keeping up with the insects as they whirl away from me too fast for a photo. But when they pause, light on a flower for a heartbeat, spread their wings to gather the sun, I do too.


from the top: Common Buckeye Butterfly; a pair of American Copper Butterflies; Lesser Grapevine Looper Moth; Halloween Pennant Dragonfly; Giant Leopard Moth; a pair of mating meadowhawk dragonflies

4 Replies to “Dribs and drabs”

  1. We have some cool leopard moths here too. I really miss Halloween pennants. There were tons of them in south Florida…haven’t seen any here yet.

    And yes, summer breezed by. Doesn’t help when you can’t enjoy it.

  2. Your enthusiasm is catching. I don’t tend to like insects, even the “pretty” ones. But a naturalist embraces every part of an ecosystem, and at the very least you’ve taught me to respect their place more! At least from, like, a distance.

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