Friday, July 14, 2017

Garden Friends

Garden Friends
Jennifer E. Miller

In my front yard is a lavender shrub. It's purple, of course, and fragrant, and attracts various animals.  If I'm lucky, I'll see a hummingbird in the evening as it hovers over the plant and sips nectar with its straw-like beak. I like watching the honey bees buzz and zip from bloom to bloom, busily working away. They generally don't bother me even when I'm up close to get a better look. The other day, however, I noticed some garden bugs that usually aren't there.

Grasshoppers perched on the lavender's stems. There were four in all. Two were bright green and two were striped. Of course, grasshoppers are not an unusual insect to see in summertime, but I don't see them hanging out on my lavender plant. I wondered if there was a nest underneath. (Do grasshoppers even live in nests?) Fetching my camera from inside I snapped away, practicing my photography skills. 

In the photo at the top, Mr. Grasshopper is moving his antennae as though he is feeling the soft flower petals. It also appears he is giving the bloom a hug. I wasn't exactly sure what any of the grasshoppers were doing on the plant, but maybe they find places to kick back and relax, too. Below is another angle. I used a wide aperture so that is why his hind legs look out of focus.

As I finished the photo shoot, I noticed a bee I'd never seen before. Taking a closer look, I noticed it may not be a bee at all. It looked like a bee meets mosquito meets moth. Possibly even meets hummingbird with that long "snout" to suck nectar. Do you know what it is? I observed it for a long time, intrigued. There were no other insects like it near by; it operated solo. 

It's easy to get caught up in the hubbub of summer enjoying the sunshine and lazy days. Remember to appreciate all of earth's interesting creatures by giving them a few minutes of attention. 

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