Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, 7/15/2017

Lavinia sp. Orbweaver

A couple weeks ago I visited the wildlife drive at Lake Apopka. I decided to use my macro lens and see if I could go my whole time just photographing insects and spiders. I made it all the way until the sod fields near the end of the drive, when I had to put my 400 mm lens back on.

Black and Yellow Argiope

I saw two species of spiders, a Black and Yellow Argiope and a Larinia species orbweaver. These were probably the most challenging to photograph. The Lavinia sp. was pretty small, and it had become quite windy, so just getting a sharp photo was a bit of a challenge. I photographed two odes, a Rambur's Forktail and an Eastern Amberwing.

Rambur's Forktail

Eastern Amberwing

I also had some fun photos of butterflies and moths, in particular, a Southern Skipperling, a Fiery Skipper, and a Yellow-collared Scape Moth. The scape moth was probably the most fun find of the morning for me.

Yellow-collared Scape Moth

Fiery Skipper

Southern Skipperling

And last but not least, I found a really cool hoverfly and another really cool beefly.

Hover fly

After I made it to the sod fields, there were about 400 or so Swallow-tailed Kites filling the skies, as well as perhaps a half-dozen Mississippi Kites.  The Fork-tailed Flycatcher was also still there, west of the sod fields.  As I left I realized I've been missing so much along the drive. I'm always looking for birds, and I'm sure I always will, but there is so much more to see along the drive that you don't see unless you get out of the car and patiently look down in the grasses and flowers. I'm realizing I need to pay more attention to the wonders that live along the drive.

Mississippi Kite

Fork-tailed Flycatcher