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an ancient sphinx long ago posed the riddle
whose answer all who heard were already living.

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More recent wisdom emboldens one to “live the questions now
so to grow and embody the answers tomorrow.

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These days, by Little Crum Creek, a Nessus sphinx moth (Amphion floridensis)
suspends the lesson between a beckoning lilac and its transfixed observer,

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unfurling its feeder toward ephemeral blooms before the season passes.

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an eastern towhee
emerges from leaf litter shade
in the drizzling rain

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Nearly escaping notice: a small still moment
in a red-banded hairstreak’s day

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under leaf out of sun
orbweaver
turned on its horizon

Araneus niveus (no common name)
on ruby spice summersweet (Clethra alnifolia)

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Also drawn to the sunning white buds of Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica) —
a clouded plant bug (Neurocolpus nubilus).

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WordPress recently wished some little crum creek a happy 5th anniversary.
That’s hard to believe!  But unposted encounters do pile up over the years.
So it seems fitting to revisit some lingering conundrums.

For example, putting names to the various creatures here can be tricky.
To confirm this particular skipper (Hesperiidae family of butterflies),
I reached out to BAMONA.

Turns out to be a female sachem (Atalopedes campestris),
an early arrival on the butterfly bush back in May 2012.

Though I’ve not yet spotted one this spring,
we should have a pretty good idea of what to watch for!

 For help with skippers and other butterflies, the following sites have been great resources:

Skippers of the Northeast (excellent short videos)
Nature Photography by Bob Moul (incredible photo galleries)
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA, my go-to for verifying IDs)
Winged Beauty (Jeff’s pictures of skippers are just a part of his great project)

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[end of post]

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Weeks before attracting larger palates with ripening fruit,
blackberry brambles invite the pollinating flights of more modest appetites.

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Analeptura lineola, one of the long-horned beetles known as “flower longhorns,”
busily feeds at a blackberry flower.

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