animals, art, flowers, insect, macro, nature, photography, plants, seasons, world

Throwback Thursday: A special guest

hummingbird hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum) / Taubenschwänzchen

When I was out for photographing butterflies, I suddenly recognized a fast-moving subject in the flowers beside me and when I watched it with my eye, I knew at once, that I was seeing a big butterfly. I’ve never seen such a butterfly before. I encountered a for me unknown species. Fortunately, it stayed long enough to fetch my camera and even got a few frames. One of them was pretty good.

During the next two days I saw it again. Always very fast-moving and only for a few moments stopping on some of the blossoms just like the other butterflies. But, instead of sitting down on the blossoms it was ‘standing’ above the blossoms in the air, just like a hummingbird, and putting the trunk inside the blossom to suck some nectar.

My researches resulted in the fact, I was faced by a hummingbird hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum). The hummingbird hawk-moth is one of the few day-active moths. They are strong flier and wander a lot. So, they come up from the Mediterranean area north to middle Europe and even Scandinavia and Russia during summer. You can find them from Portugal in the West to Japan in the East and also in North-Africa and India. Up to now, it’s not known, that they are able to overwinter in Middle-Europe, Scandinavia or Russia.

Their wingspan is 40–45 millimetres (1.6–1.8 inch) while the moth is 36-50 millimeters (1,4-2 inch) long. Their flying speed is up to 80km/h (50 miles/hour) with 70-90 wing flaps per second. They are know for conquering distances of up to 3,000km (1,875 miles) in less than 14 days.

And the only food they use, is nectar! Fascinating!! How much energy they are able to get from that food.

Take care!

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animals, art, flowers, insect, macro, nature, photography, plants, seasons, world

Throwback Thursday: surprise in the blooming field

Starting from last week Wednesday we had a few very summerly days. Blue sky, hot sun and temperatures around 30°C during the days. So, I took my camera and headed to the bloomy areas to chase butterflies. Every now and then, I saw a very angry-looking insect in strong yellow and black colors. It alerted me and caught my attention. I’ve never seen such an insect before. It reminded me to a wasp but it was way bigger: about 2 cm long and much fatter than a wasp. Also the face was broader and rounder then a wasps face. The biggest wasp here is a hornet. But, a hornet is colored very different. After studying several books to find out, what insect I found, I guess, I found it: Anthidium manicatum, commonly called the European wool carder bee (Große Wollbiene). One of the 524 bee species living in Germany.

The bees I know, are more brownish or black and not in such a bright yellow. The only insect I knew before in such an intense yellow is the wasp.

Just in case, someone knows it better, please drop me a line. I also have some more images 🙂

Take care!

art, history, landscape, nature, photography, plants, seasons, travel, world

Early spring at the river Ruhr

Monochromia

Although this image has a slight IR look, it isn’t. The leaves of the willow are fresh and still bright, especially when the sun shines on them.

Above the river, with a fantastic view over the Ruhr valley, the Earl of Mark built a medieval castle on a hill. It was built in the 13th century and was one of four castles to govern his property.

During the 16th and 17th century this castle decayed slowly, but was reconstructed at the end of the 18th century. Since 1909 the ruin is conserved as a historical monument. you can visit the castle and even climb up the tower to enjoy the view. In the atrium you can now find a restaurant.

More of my images can be seen at my own blog.

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