Melancholy Monday: Soldiering into September

I am finding it really hard to grasp that September has arrived. We’ve had a couple of weeks of pretty intense heat, which certainly give the impression that summer is not ready to relinquish its hold yet. Add to that the nearly five inches of rain that have fallen in some of the Omaha area, which will surely keep many of the plants in comfortable green for a while yet, and it seems that it’s not quite right that August should already be a memory.

Still, the signs that the seasons march on are there for those who know where and how to look. For example, our glorious Clematis—that has grown from a several-inch-tall seedling to nearly-completely engulfing our five-foot-high mailbox—has come into blossom, first with just a few a week ago, and now it’s sporting more than a thousand. I went out late this morning for a closer look at it (without my camera—when will I ever learn?!) and within a minute or so, a huge, perfect tiger swallowtail sailed over my shoulder and landed on one of the flowers only a couple of feet from where I stood. So, of course, I went back in and fetched the camera, fitted with my favorite macro lens, and came back out, not bothering with my tripod, which I knew would be likely not only to result in a number of better images, but also to slow me down considerably.

The swallowtail never returned, but as I stood and studied the tangle of branches, it became apparent that this was a veritable jungle of arthropod activity. Apart from the omnipresent honey- and bumblebees and an occasional paper wasp, I was attracted to the activities of several deep-orange goldenrod soldier beetles (Chauliognathus pensylvanicus—did the taxonomist not know that the Penn part of Pennsylvania has a double-n?), happily nuzzling deeply into the pollen-laden interiors of the flowers.

Goldenrod soldier beetle 2150Continuing my quiet contemplation of the miniature jungle, my attention was next drawn to a number of much-smaller hoverflies, which I’m always delighted to observe.

Hoverfly 2209These were much smaller than the ones that frequently tend to scrutinize me from a very intimate distance when I’m fishing in the little trout stream near our cabin in Minnesota.

Hoverfly 2173They belong to the family Syrphidae, but there are so many varieties that I’d have to defer to an expert to try for a closer ID.

Hoverfly 2182And so I send hopes for you all, up here in the northern half of the globe, for a gentle transition into autumn—and you folks below the equator, for an equally-gentle slide into your springtime. Wherever you are, I wish you a splendid September!

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About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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11 Responses to Melancholy Monday: Soldiering into September

  1. Nice shots indeed! Yes, it’s crazy that September is here so soon! Time really flies (no pun intended) sometimes! :)

    • krikitarts says:

      Thanks for the compliment, Tom, and for taking the time to let me know that you liked them. When things are moving along so rapidly, it’s even more important to slow down to appreciate everything, every day, every minute.

  2. Thanks for your wish for a splendid September (a month that’s named the Seventh but is actually the Ninth). Syrphid flies are always fun to see, so I’m sure you had a good time with these.

    Do you know what kind of Clematis you have there?

    • krikitarts says:

      You’re most welcome, Steve. And, yes, I’m afraid that we do know about our Clematis –since this morning. CD looked it up, and as (mis)fortune would have it, it turns out to be likely an invasive variety, C. terniflora. If that’s correct, it’s actually on the list of worst invasive plants (in Alabama), but probably not here, as it appears to die back to nothing in winter. Or did you actually know that, asking me with your admonishing tongue in your cheek? I hasten to add that it’s planted in what CD calls a “hell strip,” and it’s not going anywhere else.

  3. Adrian Lewis says:

    Wonderful hoverfly portraits! We get them in the back garden here too. A

  4. Meanderer says:

    Lovely close-ups of the hoverfly, Gary. I love these little guys – such all-round beneficial insects.

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