A rare glimpse…

As I stepped out the door from my apartment building after lunch yesterday to walk back to work, my heart skipped a beat when I spotted what I thought was a large butterfly fluttering by. I gave chase immediately, at least with my eyes, and I was thrilled to see it land on a brick wall nearby. Upon closer inspection, however, it wasn’t a butterfly after all, but a large brown moth.

I took a quick picture with my phone anyway, and then I ran back inside to get my camera. At first, it doesn’t look like much, except for its size, but that’s what it wants you to think.


After it let me take a couple of shots, it moved, and before it got comfortable again, it gave us a glimpse of what it usually keeps under wraps: those amazing underwings.


Thus, it’s an underwing moth, one of several dozen species, which I narrowed down to either the rosy (Catocala electa), the red (Catocala nupta), or the French red (Catocala elocata), and it’s probably the red. In any case, it reminded me of the Hermia underwing (Catocala hermia), which we saw in Estabrook back on August 29, 2020, and who opted not to let me get a picture of those amazing underwings.

Well, since we’re here, let me show you another grey heron from the previous weekend, when the clouds were dark and leaky, but in a more-compact pose than we usually see.


Here’s one more look at one of those goldfinches, but while it was on break from murdering the gone-by thistle blossoms.


And here are a couple more buzzard pictures, maybe one of the same birds I already showed you on Sunday, but in a different spot and this time talking quite insistently to another buzzard just out of sight.


There seems to be a lot of that going on, this time of year, and I suspect much of it has to do with freshly fledged chicks learning that shouting “feed me” doesn’t work anymore.


Finally, here’s one more parakeet picture showing a little of why they can be so hard to spot.


Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

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