nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘Hummingbird Clearwing

in the shelter of the covered bridge – hummingbird hawkmoths

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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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).

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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

 

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