I’ve got the bug.

Another morning spent dodging showers. The upside was that the temperatures were several degrees lower. I returned to the location where I took my recently posted images and there were plenty of butterflies to photograph. Unfortunately they were almost all in very poor nick. Birds had taken chunks out of their wings. They looked, well, scruffy. Think Albert Steptoe and you will get my drift. Now call me picky but I am not a great fan of tatty lepidoptera. I like mine to be scrubbed up reasonably well and present themselves intact. I took quite a few shots nonetheless to see if I could do something ‘artistic’ with them. You know the sort of thing…. gaussian blur of the background to make the ‘lep’ pop. I don’t go much beyond that. Life’s too short. In the end I decided to wait until Hercules came round so I could give the lot to Albert. I wonder, does the rag & bone man survive anywhere these days? And I do remember them. Just.

The saving grace was a chance to shoot a few buzzy things. I always thought bees, wasps and flies were easy to separate. Bees buzz and are fairly docile. There are honey bees and bumble bees. End of story. Wasps sound angry, are yellow and black and sting you. Flies are  dirty, nasty things. Except hover flies, which don’t sting, look ok and hardly sound at all. That was until I started to read about them in a bit more detail. Then I discovered all sorts of strange things including that there are flies that mimic bees, bees tend to be more aggressive in bad weather (don’t we all?) and some wasps are actually quite pleasant chaps. And identifying them becomes a tad more challenging. So the pictures here, with the noble exception of the lone skipper butterfly presented me with the task of turning the pages of my three reference books. Two you may be familiar with if you are regular here (thanks to Bemax?). They are Insecta Hongkongica and Potentially Dangerous Bees and Wasps of Hong Kong. Now I must burden you with a third…..Cute as a fly. Yes, I kid you not. Kelvin K. L. Wu has written a book called Cute as a Fly. It is actually a very good book but I suspect I would have come up with a different title. Some of the pictures are indeed on the right side of hideous but I apologize to all you fly lovers out there. I simply struggle to see a blow fly as cute.

Which reminds me of an old Round The Horne sketch in which Hugh Paddick, I think, somewhere out in the tropics, bemoans the heat and oh….. the zips, the zips! The zips? queries Kenneth Horne. Yes, says Paddick. We’re not allowed to mention flies on the BBC. [Well it was the mid 1960s.]

And after all that, here are today’s pictures. If you can ID any of the ones I can’t, please leave a comment.

Eristalinus arvorum

Potanthus confucius confucius

And there you have it. Another wander with Rambling Andrew Rumpo and if you don’t like bugs then I’m afraid you’ve come to the wrong blog.

Toodle pip.


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