Saturday, October 16, 2010

Shouldn't It File A Flight Plan?

Friday evening, I had just finished planting about 20 daffodil bulbs in the front shrub border and was watering the lettuce and radish seeds I had planted the evening before when I was dive bombed by a huge hawk moth.  The largest hawk moth I've ever seen.  As it targeted the four o'clocks and vincas, it literally shook plants as it maneuvered through the flower bed.  I dropped the watering can and ran to get my camera.  The sun had already set so I turned on my flash and tried to keep up with the hawk moth as it darted from flower to flower.  It was amazing.  After awhile, it flew away over the tops of the sunflowers in the wild area and I heard it brush the dry sunflower heads as it departed.


  1. It is pretty big! I also think that you run fast! Shouldn't we have our cameras in our pockets all the time?

  2. I LOVE those moths--I call them sphinx moths--not sure where I got that name from. I have seen a bunch of them lately too--lots of really little ones! I hope they "get out of town" before they get ice-aged!! I'm still seeing some monarchs around here too!! I worry for them--but then, they were given better sense for their safety than I was:-). Have a great weekend.

  3. That's a MOTH? I've never seen anything like it. I think I'd be running for cover rather than running toward it with my camera. You are a brave soul!

  4. Dear Sherlock Street, This moth really does look huge! It seems to lack the necessary radar to navigate in the dark and its crash landings are rather alarming.

  5. What a fabulous subtitle... Should win an award, I dare say! ((I found you at 'Edith's', but generally learn of new blogs on Blotanical.))
    The hawk moth is pure magic, by the way. I'd see one at rare times while gardening in Chicago near the lakefront. (I must read more of your posts to see if your location is revealed:)
    p.s. I love scanning plant material, too.

  6. My ( 19 year old )daughter has a phobia of moths. She would probably die of a heart attack if this thing came near her face. I love the photos of it feeding. Great opportunity for you to see it visiting your garden.

  7. ~Tatyana
    If only it was easy to carry that camera constantly. Ha!

    I've heard them called sphinx moths too. When I searched on line, I couldn't tell for sure which was which. I know slightly different ones visit the garden but they're too fast to tell the colors and stripes easily. I think all of the monarchs have moved south of us but I have a lot of other butterflies still.

    ~Cherry Lane
    They're harmless and fun to watch!

    I think it was frantic to feed. No time for navigation.

    Thanks for visiting. Hawk moths are pretty common in our garden but not as big as this one.
    I'm on Sherlock Street. Didn't I make that obvious? :-) There are "clues." I'm sure you'll figure it out!
    The plant scanning has become addictive.


    They can be startling but are harmless. I see you're ready for Halloween!

  8. That is big! I don't think I've ever seen one before, I wonder if we even have them here. Great pictures, it's hard to capture insects while they're midflight.

  9. Hi Sherlock,
    That must have been both beautiful and creepy at the same time. You were very quick to get such good photos of it...thanks.

  10. Well it does look pretty big. LOL! They are so unique looking and I love watching them as they fly amongst the blooms. Ours have all flown away now. Come to think of it I must look up information on them to see what happens to them in the fall and winter.
    Enjoy your weekend.

  11. I love this moth...sometimes I think it is a hummingbird when it flies by my face.....but then I realize it's not and just watch the guy fly around....very cool moth to see in the garden.

  12. I just stopped by to enjoy all your recent posts. We haven't had a killing frost yet but I know it's coming soon. My garden is still pretty with the summer annuals we planted for the wedding so I am cutting them and enjoying the last few days of blooms. I liked your idea of scanning the flowers. That is a huge moth you found!

  13. ~Catherine
    They come from hornworms which like tomatoes. Have you ever seen them in your garden? I was lucky to get good photos while it was flying.

    I've seen them before (just not one so big) so it didn't scare me. Thanks for visiting.

    I wonder if they migrate too. Research to do...

    I always have to look twice too but hummingbirds aren't as common here as hawk moths so I usually think hawk moth first.

    Thanks for visiting. I'm enjoying all those late season blooms too.

  14. Is this the same as the Hummingbird Moth? We have some but boy are they hard to capture with the camera. Great job!


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