I hope you’re not about to tell me this lovely little pollinator is also an invasive species. I think it’s beautiful. That probably means it’s some terrible import killing off all the natives, knowing my attraction to invasives. Sigh.
It was very busy in the beautiful-yet-awful Japanese knotweed a few Septembers ago. I didn’t even see it at first. Hence, the first photo captures only its butt.
(Its bottom is in the bottom center, if you were having trouble seeing it.)
These were the early days with the Sony Cyber-shot, when I was transitioning from a person who ignored and avoided arthropods to a person who shoves a camera into their dear little faces repeatedly.
Now, this black and white worker is undeniably beautiful, but the camera taught me something else: flies aren’t so ugly their own selves.
The pair of them worked very hard on the knotweed that day. Flies don’t get quite the respect they deserve, in my opinion. They’re useful little creatures, as annoying as they can be. Maggots are used for medical treatment, you know. Flies are pollinators, prey, turn shit into soil, among other things… and there’s that lovely iridescence, the brilliant color you may have been too busy swatting to notice.
The camera reveals beauty in the least-regarded creatures. And it shows us faces we aren’t quick enough to see at the time.
We can see the veins in delicate, translucent black wings.
And see the creature, whole and complete, hard at work helping the plants have sex.
Hopefully it’s not an invasive (although an invasive species pollinating an invasive species would have a certain symmetry to it). I’ve already got a foreboding feeling you’re going to tell me this is a wasp, and I’ll have to go have a minor freak-out two and a half years after the fact. Wasps worry me. But they can be beautiful and peaceful too, so if you break the news to me, I shall bear it as well as I can.