Macedonia 8 – All Creatures Great and Small

Nothing particularly unusual, just a small selection of Macedonian arthropods enjoying the end of summer / early autumn. There were so many more that I spent time just enjoying, including several other butterflies (in addition to the previous), various flying hymenopterans (including a wasp with a long narrow waist that I’d never seen before!), and my goodness the orthopterans – I swear I’ve gone down in grasshopper legend as a harbinger of doom because I’d wander through the grass, and they’d go fluttering off in all directions. The best part? They were all grey, brown, green on the outside, but in flight, those gentle camo colours exploded into bright reds, blues and yellows. Stunning.

Anyway, some insects:

©rq, all rights reserved.

©rq, all rights reserved.

©rq, all rights reserved.

©rq, all rights reserved.

©rq, all rights reserved.

©rq, all rights reserved.

©rq, all rights reserved.

©rq, all rights reserved.

©rq, all rights reserved.

©rq, all rights reserved.


Courtesy of Avalus we have a rabble of bumblebees to help chase the November blues away.

All from the first week of October.

The bumblebee on my hand was nice. It was a cold morning and she just buzzed to me, sat down on my hand and seemed to enjoy the heat. My hand hat just been holding a tea mug, so it was extra warm. I improvised some sugarwater of which she drank a drop from my hand and then after about two minutes flew away again.

I love these fuzzy critters.

I love them too, Avalus and it must have been wondrous to have one sit and your hand and stay for so long. Thanks for sharing.

octobees, ©Avalus, all rights reserved

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DavidinOz has treated us to roses today and they are grand. Just look at those crisp petals, that bright colour and all that beautiful light. Why, I can almost smell them. The photos were taken at the Renmark Rose Festival and the busy bee makes them positively perfect. They’re just the tonic I needed to banish the November blues. Thanks for sharing, David.

©David Brindley, all rights reserved

©David Brindley, all rights reserved

Dragonfly Rescue

This came in from Avalus at the beginning of October,

And another dragonfly which I rescued from a bakery just on Monday. The staff was about to smash it but then let me have a try with a coffee-glass.

I can’t imagine smashing such a beautiful creature. Good work, Avalus and thanks for sharing.

Libellenrettung, ©Avalus, all rights reserved

October Light

From Nightjar,

I took these photos in a mid-October evening when it still hadn’t rained enough and everything was still looking a bit late summer-like (meaning all dried-up), but illuminated with lovely golden autumn light. October light is the best, so I had to have some fun with it.

The light in these photos is downright magical. I love every single shot, but the 2 fluffy seed pods (dandelion?) caught on a single thread of spider web is my favourite. Thanks for sharing Nightjar.

©Nightjar, all rights reserved

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It’s another well captured critter from Avalus, who tells us that this hoverfly was enjoying the cucumbers that his mother had planted. I’m enjoying everything about this photo from the beautiful light to the sunshine yellow flower to the rich detail of the hoverfly itself. Thanks for sharing, Avalus.

©Avalus, all rights reserved



This came in from Avalus several weeks ago and I suspect that this little critter may have succumbed to cooler temperatures by now. I did the google thing before I posted this and it seems that grasshoppers don’t survive winter. The adults mate in the fall, lay their eggs and then die off once this biological imperative is finished. It’s the eggs that survive winter in little curved pods that are buried underground.  The pods are created by rolling spittle with dirt until it becomes a hard case and each pod contains about 20- 26 eggs. I wonder if that’s what this little grasshopper was doing? Avalus says,

This time it is a grasshopper that I found on a gravel road. I think she tried to lay eggs.

I did gently remove her from the path, when a tractor was approaching. (In fact, she climbed on my hand when I put it next to her).

It seems like an odd place to lay eggs, but I’m sure she knows what she’s doing. Thanks Avalus, for the interesting and wonderfully detailed photos.

©Avalus, all rights reserved

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A Stunning Little Dragon

These incredible photos were sent to us by Avalus. The first time I saw them I just sat there scrolling back and forth taking in more and more detail.  The first shot is all about camouflage, but after that it’s all about standing out. It’s a wonder filled study of a beautiful creature. Avalus says,

this encounter I found the most impressing. It was a really large dragonfly, just sitting on a mossy patch of sidewalk in the botanical garden of my University. She did not mind me in the slightest and I could take pictures from a few centimetres away. 

She did stick her abdomen in the moss repeatedly, so maybe she layed eggs? There was a pond-flowerbed maybe 20 cm away.

The finger is for size, I did not touch her.

As you can see in picture 11, it is a beauty and a beast (if you happen the be a insect)!

Avalus, thank you so much for sharing.


libelle 1, ©Avalus, all rights reserved

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More Spiders!

OK, it’s just one more spider, but (s)he’s beautiful. This one came to us from Avalus who says,

I found this spider in August when I was riding home from work under the lit handrail of a pedestrian bridge. She had many moths woven in silk hanging just under the rail, so it seems she picked a good spot.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   She did not like the flash too much. I think it is a common orbweaver (Kreuzspinne – “cross spider” in german).

Photos are below the fold. The detail in the second shot is outstanding. Thanks for sharing, Avalus. [Read more…]


We’ve been on a roll here lately with spiders and Nightjar has sent us one more. This incredible set of photos showcases a spider preparing a meal. Photos are below the fold. Thanks for sharing, Nightjar.

I feel slightly guilty about what’s going on in these photos. I had seen a honeybee on our goldenrod and approached carefully with the camera. When I got there the bee flew away… and straight into an orb weaver’s web! The spider was very quick to wrap up the bee (1st picture) and to carry it along a thin strand of silk (2nd picture) into its hiding place among some dried chayote leaves (3rd picture). Fascinating to watch, but I couldn’t help feeling bad for the poor honeybee, it looked so pretty on the goldenrod… Oh well. [Read more…]

Jack’s Walk

Little blue butterfly


Little blue butterfly with gossamer wings

For once my timing was good. This morning I was taking photos of our sedum turning pink and just as I had my camera ready, this little purple butterfly fluttered into frame and stayed long enough for me to take its picture. That almost never happens for me, mostly because of the impatient and snorfling dog by my side. Anyway, my photo of flowering sedum got an upgrade. I did quick search and I think it may be a female Eastern-Tailed blue butterfly.

Wednesday Wings

Bee on purple aster

Bees and I share a passion for asters

Today’s Wednesday Wings is the other kind of wings, the one on insects. We’re having a wonderful September or a way too hot one, and at least the bees are enjoying it.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

White butterfly on purple flowers

Way too light. See the opposite of a black hole in shape of a butterfly

Bumblebee in purple flower

Can’t show you my face, I’m eating

Yes, we’ve got tons of golden rod here as well. The bees seem to like it

Bee on golden rod

No easy picture taking as the wind was gently blowing

Bee on succulent


Bumblebee on purple aster

What does the colour look like to a bee?