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Old Sep 26, 2012, 9:51 PM   #1
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Default Still plenty of "bugs"

We've had some cool, almost-frosted nights already here in East Tennessee, but there are still plenty of insects out and active. The early autumn meadows, woodlands and ponds are quite "frisky" with our tiny, lively 6-legged friends.

Here are four sets of mating odonates: Meadowhawks, Dusky Dancers, Familiar Bluets, and Stream Bluets.
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 9:55 PM   #2
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Here is a tiny butterfly - a new record for our county. Little Yellow Sulphurs are a more southern species, but sometimes warm weather encourages them to move a bit north. They are also very shy and skittish - it took a fair amount of chasing (and "acrobatics") to get these snapshots. In fact, I was lying down, creeping slowly in the mud and gravel near a small country road, when a concerned passer-by stopped to be sure I wasn't injured! No, just a little crazy - chasing a very small butterfly...
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 10:00 PM   #3
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A few more early autumn butterflies: A Pearl Crescent enjoying butterflyweed nectar, a much larger Sulphur called a Sleepy Orange (not a tired butterfly, just no eye spots on the wings), a Meadow Fritillary (guess what habitat they prefer...), and a Viceroy. Viceroys mimic Monarchs, but are not bad-tasting. Their larvae eat Willow leaves.
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 10:02 PM   #4
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Early Autumn here in East Tennessee is Aster season. We are enjoying a GREAT bloom of many aster species this year. I'll share some more photos of asters and their bug friends later, but here's just one of those friends, a tiny leaf-cutter bee.
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 10:05 PM   #5
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Since early Autumn is a great season for insects, it's also a great season for insect predators. This Crab Spider has staked a claim on a Brown-Eyed Susan (smaller, less common cousin of Black-Eyed Susan), waiting for a bee or butterfly "snack."
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 10:05 PM   #6
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And here's a Golden Garden Spider who's already caught his "snack" - a tasty grasshopper!
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 10:08 PM   #7
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Have enjoyed seeing many more autumnal insects, but no time to PP or post photos yet. Hope you enjoyed these "little friends," and that you'll share your comments and critique!
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Old Sep 27, 2012, 12:25 AM   #8
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I run out of adjectives with your posts. I've never seen those blue 'dragonflies' before.

im guessing the 3rd set is the bluettes? Can you post a larger crop of their faces? They almost look alien to me. I'd love to get a closer look.

Thanks again for the post!
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Old Sep 27, 2012, 2:48 AM   #9
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superseries - as ever
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Old Sep 27, 2012, 10:13 AM   #10
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Still plenty of "bugs" - Yes and you have captured them as always in sharp detail and with wonderful color.

I think the pictures you got of the Yellow Sulphur's are over the top!

Lou
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