Monday, August 30, 2010

An Insect Gathering

Along the fenceline that divides our property from the neighboring pasture, there are a number of large, old trees. One of these is a huge oak tree that is one of our favorite trees on our property. And a unique thing about this tree is that, due to the sap that seeps out in a few places along the base of the tree, it is quite the attractant to insects. This year there have been large numbers of butterflies, cicada killers, horse flies, and other insect species that gather there . . .

A Red-Spotted Purple (the large butterfly), a horsefly, another fly species, two cicada killers, and a Hackberry Emperor butterfly

It is fascinating to just sit and watch these tiny creatures . . . the amazing de
tail; the way they use their wings, feet, tongues and eyes; the "pecking order" that is among the species; and much more. What evidence they are to the wisdom of the Creator!

And since the insects are so intent on gathering the sap, they pretty much pay no mind to me getting up close to them or
photographing them . . .

On another part of the tree, I found this conglomeration of mostly butterflies . . . the most common species was by far the Question Mark (which is also in the below photo)

A Question Mark - can you see the "?" on its hind wing? There is another butterfly species that is nearly identical to this one, and it is called a "Comma" due to it having a comma shape on the wing instead of the question mark.

A Hackberry Emperor

A Red Admiral

I just love seeing the intricate design, variety, and colors of these beautiful little creatures!

And while out photographing the insects, I photographed a few other things as well, such as these sunflowers . . .

There are hardly any flowers blooming right now, so it is an especial treat to have the sunflowers in bloom. They are also an indication that summer is nearing its end and fall is on its way!


  1. Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos, Sarah! You know, we had butterflies just clustered on our oak trees, and I hadn't thought about the sap attracting them! They just let us walk right up to them, and I wondered what they found so interesting on that tree! :)

  2. How truly beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing these exquisite creatures with us. It amazes me how these little creatures are provided for. They do not have voices to give praise to God, but they honor Him with their beautiful colors! It comforts me to think that despite the blight of sin on creation, God still left us some remnants of the beauty of Eden in flowers, butterflies, and other elements of the natural world.

  3. Dear Sarah,

    When I showed Frankie (my three-year old) these pictures and said those butterflies were in Missouri, he said, "Yum! I'm going to catch and hold them!" :).



  4. Sarah, you are a wonderful photographer! The butterfly photos are simply exquisite -- you could design beautiful things with those photos!

    But I do have to say ... that top photo gives me the creeps!! That horse fly is absolutely MASSIVE -- eeyikes!!!

    Thank you for sharing! :-D Have a wonderful day in the Lord!

    Love in Christ,

  5. You’re welcome, Joy! That is interesting that you have had butterflies clustering around your oak trees as well. It sounds like it is the same type of thing as we have had – especially that they are so ‘tame’ while on the tree! It’s quite the treat to be able to get so close to them and watch them!

  6. You’re welcome, Victoria! And thank you for sharing what you did . . . how very true it is, and it was a blessing to read! And like you shared, even though the butterflies do not have voices, they do indeed praise the name of the Lord and bring Him glory (as does all of His creation!) How thankful I am that the Lord has left such beauty on earth for us to enjoy and appreciate!

  7. Your comment brought a smile to my face, Marqueta! :) I am sure Frankie will very much enjoy all the butterflies and other insects that we have here!

  8. Thank you so much, Vicki, for your kind comment! And I am glad that you enjoyed the photos. :) Except for possibly the first one ;) . . . horseflies aren’t the most attractive of insects, are they?! :)

    Thank you again for your comment, and may you have a blessed day as well!


Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)