There is always the proverbial American Robin nesting in two or three places, putting up a fuss if any human is found in proximity to its recently fledged young.
Echinacea (Purple Coneflower) is nicely coming into peak flowering condition right now.
There has been at least one Monarch hanging around the yard every day for a couple of weeks or more.
Milkweeds are fairly aromatic, and attract lots of insects. I had this Hickory Hairstreak stop by briefly.
One can almost always find other insects visiting milkweeds.
|Large Milkweed Bug|
|Red Milkweed Beetle|
|Minettia fly (about 5 mm)|
Dill and parsley are favourite places for Black Swallowtails to lay their eggs. I watched this adult alight briefly and move the tip of her abdomen up to the stem.
A couple of very large and impressive critters also hanging around the dill were these Cicada Killers. The first image shows the two large females, each of which was a good 5 cm (2") long. A smaller male was also around, attempting to mate with one of the females. I took these photos with a macro lens at a distance of about 12-15 cm, and used a flash. Fortunately Cicada Killers are only dangerous if you are a cicada. They are fairly docile otherwise, unless roughly handled.
|Female Cicada Killer|
A probable Digger Wasp, which nests underground.
A lot of these images were taken with a macro lens, of course. I also used a couple of different camera bodies (Canon 5D3 or 7D2) and at times was able to use my Canon 100-400mm telephoto zoom lens which, even without extension tubes, will focus to about 3 feet, so it is especially useful in photographing butterflies. With extension tubes, both the telephoto zoom and the macro lens will enable me to get even closer. Of course I use a flash system a lot of the time as well.
I have two 100mm macro lenses, and I am considering selling my older one. It is a Canon 100 mm 2.8 USM, and includes a tripod collar and UV filter. If you were buying it new, it lists for $880, plus tax, plus the filter. In checking most on line camera outlets that post reviews, this clearly is a fine lens in itself, but I purchased an even better (and more expensive, naturally) Canon lens. A used one via a camera store that sells used equipment has listed them at about $550-600, plus tax. My lens has served me well, but I don't need this one since I upgraded, and therefore am willing to sell it for $450.
If you are interested, let me know by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org.