On the edge of a long-abandoned field grows a batch of wild bergamot, the lavender-colored relative of the more well known bee-balm.
Wild bergamot’s a mint, with the nectar-filled tubular flowers typical of members of the mint family. Those flowers attract the insects that possess the ability to access nectar deep in the flowers as well as ruby-throated hummingbirds.
As I walked the old road that follows the edge of the field a hummingbird clearwing moth flew from flower to flower with its long proboscis loosely coiled–
It would test a few individual florets before finding one that had enough nectar to warrant spending some time feeding –
Hummingbird clearwing moths are day-flying moths that feed on flowers’ nectar as adults and help pollinate the flowers in the process, the larvae (caterpillars) eat the leaves of hawthorn, dogbane and various honeysuckles.
These moths are often mistaken for hummingbirds or huge bees as they feed in old fields or suburban gardens –
The moth fed for a while and off it went in search of other flowers and I headed on down the road.
A quarter mile further down the road a large fallen log beckoned as a great place to sit and have a snack and some water. Finished, I put my pack on, picked up the camera and glanced down the road. And what should I see, but a young black bear ambling down the road. It wandered from side to side, sat down to scratch and slowly kept coming.
I was leaving anyway, didn’t want to disturb the youngster and we were headed in the same direction so I went on down the road.