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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Right Place, Right Time: Hummingbird Moth

White Peacock butterflies are one of my favorites. As soon as I say that I can think of others... lots of others that are also my favorites. But White Peacocks are not daily visitors like so many other species.
To my delight, one or two of them have been passing through in the past couple of weeks. They don't hang around long and they don't land on anything for very long.

With each visitation I've just gladly observed and enjoyed the presence of them as I worked. Then when one landed right near me I reluctantly decided to lay down my trowel, leave my gardening activities and take the chance to possibly snap a photo. I guess all photo hounds go through the mental arguments... should I stop what I'm doing? Naaa... just enjoy it... awww go ahead and give it a try...
Fetching the camera from the garage (close by but not with me) it was ... you guessed it... gone on my return to its landing sight.
click to enlarge any photo***
But wait... just at the moment my camera is turned on and ready to shoot in comes the dearest little Humingbird Clear Wing, Hemaris thysbe. Right in my view. Right in my lens.

Isn't it always the way? I was recently lamenting over at Robin's Nesting Place that I don't even make attempts to take photos of them. She has some beautiful photos on her site. My experience with them is their ultra elusive nature, not to mention how fast they move.
Honestly, I've never seen them out in the full daylight around here. If I walk out into the garden at dusk I can count on seeing several of them making their way around to the flowers. Dusk is not a great time for photos. Although the information I read conflicts with my observations noting they indeed do commonly fly during the day. I guess I'll have to revise my observation experience now.
You can imagine my excitement at watching the busy habits of this intriguing little critter. It flew off, and up, up, and away and right back for more... from one flower to the next... for what seemed like several minutes.
I can see where it gets the name Hummingbird Moth. Aren't those wings a work of art! It looks a bit like a fishing lure perched in the air, too.


  1. A great trade off getting to watch the moth instead of the butterfly. Great shots too. It looks like it is furry. I just want to pet it.

  2. Meems the moth, the colour of the flowers are a lovely combination. I just love that pink flower, is it a salvia?

  3. Very cool!!! The only thing I see in my yard at dusk is mosquitoes!

  4. How exciting! You got some really great shots of it! They are amazing and fascinating little creatures!

  5. DAWG! AbFab shots! We nicknamed them 'crawdad moths'. 8-}

    For some reason, hummingbird moths love me. More than once, I've been practically accosted by one. It's happened a couple times on Bottoms Road. I got out of the car and it fluttered around my head till I ducked back in. And it happens occasionally right in our yard. Reckon I'm just plum sweet. 8-]

  6. Lisa,
    There is always so much going on in the garden... never a lack for entertainment from the the buzzing, flying, creeping, crawling sort.

    Isn't it nice when the critters land on a pretty flower (for the photo anyway). Yes, I am overloaded with self-seeded Salvia Coccinea.

    We have our fair share of those at night and during the day around here. Once you get some flowers going ... look for all kinds of wonderful flying creatures to visit.

    Serves me right for thinking I 'never' see them and I 'never' photograph them... just goes to show... never say never.

    Has to be you're so sweet and look like a pretty flower.

    Yesterday I saw two very orange fuzzy critters flying about that looked similar to the hummingbird moth but half the size. Again, something I'd never seen. I always think of you when I wish there was someone around who could ID for me. No camera in hand but they sure were cute. Hopefully they'll come back and I'll get a better look.

  7. Meems,
    Those are great shots. Last year we saw very few hummingbird moths, this year the garden seems to be full of them but lacking butterflies.--Randy

  8. Great photos, Meems. I know how difficult it is to shoot them as they're never still but wow, you captured them!

    They come (here) during the winter right till March and sometimes in broad daylight. But no sign of them in the summer months. I hope I'll be able to capture them like you did. What an inspiration!

  9. Hi Meems~~ How cool is that? Way to go! I don't think the voracious daytime hummingbirds would allow other critters near their food supply. LOL. But I routinely see the sphinx moth or hawk moth, not sure which, buzzing around at dusk. He seems to favor honeysuckle and phlox. Great photos! The color of the salvia is delicious!

  10. Great photos, Meems! They are darling and really should be considered hummingbirds instead of moths. It was definitely your lucky day.

  11. Meems, My dear you've captured him/her beautifully! Gorgeous critters and they come from the oddest little pupae....I got to see one work very hard to emerge! I hope I get to see them visiting here this summer! gail

  12. How funny to see your post today Meems. I was telling a friend today about a hummingbird I saw that looked like a moth at first and had these stripes, sort of, on it's lower half. I thought maybe it was a female ruby throat. Plus it was feeding on a Mexican petunia, a flower I've never seen our regular hummingbirds eat before.

    Thanks for the clarification. I'll do more research on this bird and watch for it in the future.

    You are a font of information, my friend.
    Susan in Riverview Fl

  13. I see from the link they have 2 broods. I never noticed them in June before but always in August. Thanks for the link and awesome pics and story.

  14. isn't is glorious when we get to experience such wonders of nature. i am so happy for you that you got to see this happening and then to be able to capture such great images. we are truly blessed in this life.

  15. Absolutely fascinating creature ! Your photos are wonderful. Thanks for sharing..
    Linda in Lakeland

  16. I saw one in my mother's flowerbed this Spring. I wasn't sure what it was, as it looked too big to be a bumble bee, but too small to be a hummingbird. I found it was one of these. :) Robyn in Alabama


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