Monday, July 27, 2015

Hummingbird Moths

The first time I saw a hummingbird moth I thought I had wandered into an alternate universe. In front of me was a winged, jewel-like little creature. It was flitting from flower to flower, drinking nectar. It was using what I thought of as a hummingbird’s feeding strategy. Not only that, but the constant motion of its little wings made a whir like a hummingbird’s. I was young. I thought it was magic.

I’m much older now but I still think hummingbird moths are magic. I know they are the product of convergent evolution, but that doesn’t make them any less magic. Every year now, as spring rolls into summer, I go on stake out in my garden. The hummingbird moths always appear. I have yet to be disappointed.

There are many varieties of hummingbird moths. What I have are mostly clear wings. One thing about these little guys: they are hard to photograph, especially with a slow old camera like mine. They move fast! You can find much better images of them online but the picture here is mine: a magical creature drinking nectar from my bee balm. Magic.