One More Last Hurrah?

Temperatures plunged Sunday night. This morning it is supposed to be just above freezing when this is published at 7 a.m. EST. The long, lingering autumn is shutting down. These dandelion pictures are from Saturday. At least three species of flies are hard at work here. All the big ones are Margined Calligrapher flies, regulars for most of the year.

But those long antennae point to something else: a small parasitic wasp. (Note that the little fly has virtually no antenna at all in the lower right; antennae are a big marker between Hymenoptera and Diptera.)

I didn’t except to see many invertebrates yesterday. There were a few larger flies, pretty hardy creatures as long as the sun is out, but that was it until I spotted this two-inch wingspan Lunate Zale Moth (ID tentative). It was a surprise. Nestled on the shady underside of a branch, it blended in well, but I happened to be looking at the tree intently because of some Dark-eyed Juncos in it.

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