poetry and prose about place

in the shelter of the covered bridge – hummingbird hawkmoths

with 6 comments

At one end of the Benton Covered Bridge (Eel River #3) is a large Lilac bush.


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Lilac by the Benton Bridge


Since I was looking for wild life in the vicinity of the bridge, I was delighted to see what appeared to be bumblebees or hummingbirds busy gathering nectar from the Lilac blossoms.


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moth getting nectar from the flowers – you can see his orangy body and dark antennae


As we approached, we realised these were not bumblebees or hummingbirds, but a type of ‘hummingbird hawkmoth’.  They behaved like hummingbirds, darting among the flowers, backing up and slipping sideways.  Their transparent wings were a blur, they moved so fast.  Their bodies were striped in gold and black and their bodies were very hairy.


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hummingbird hawkmoth, his wings a blur, gathering nectar


Although my photographs are not very clear, with help from the New Brunswick Museum staff, I now know these are Hummingbird Clearwing moths (Hemaris thysbe).  Although I listened carefully, I could not hear the sound their wings made, since the rippling of the water in the river was so loud!


There were hundreds of moths in the Lilac bush.  The hummingbird hawkmoths shared their feast with a group of very nervous Canadian Tiger Swallowtail butterflies (Papilio canadensis).


The Lilac scent was overwhelming, thick and sweet.  If that scent was a room, it would be a Victorian parlour.  If it was a textile it would be deep-purple satin.  If it was weather, it would be a sultry August evening.  If it was a light, it would be a Moroccan lantern … and so on.


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Copyright 2015 Jane Tims


6 Responses

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  1. The photos plus the write ups are the equivalent of photo poems. This is a poem in itself:

    “The Lilac scent was overwhelming,
    thick and sweet.

    If that scent was a room,
    it would be a Victorian parlour.

    If it was a textile
    it would be deep-purple satin.

    If it was weather,
    it would be a sultry August evening.

    If it was a light,
    it would be a Moroccan lantern.”

    There is beauty everywhere when you put pen to paper.

    Liked by 1 person


    April 27, 2016 at 9:38 am

    • Thank you Roger! Shows how close together prose and poetry can be. There is such beauty in words.


      jane tims

      April 27, 2016 at 10:19 am

  2. Lilacs are, by far, my favourite flower. With your lovely pictures, I could practically smell them from here!

    Liked by 1 person

    Christine Penhale

    June 20, 2015 at 1:54 pm

  3. I never knew what these were. I’ve seen them before around here. I like the “if they were…they would be…” images. A great way to add imagery to writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    Carol Steel

    June 10, 2015 at 8:20 am

    • Museum staff helped me with identification. I also knew about them but never tried identification before! Jane


      jane tims

      June 10, 2015 at 9:12 am

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