Tuesday, September 06, 2005
For a week or so now, I've noticed the yellow jackets harassing the painted lady butterflies. I thought at the time that perhaps it was the aggressive nature of the yellow jackets combined with competition due to the growing shortage of flowering plants. Maybe that's true, but I've seen now them hunting the funnel web spiders and now the butterflies. I was out shooting butterflies when I first noticed the rapid fluttering about a foot from my right ear. When I looked I saw three or four yellow jackets swarming on a butterfly. One seemed to chase off the others and began to feed. Soon, others came back, the struggle knocking the body down from branch to branch. By the time the body fell to the grass below, the dominant yellow jacket focussed on removing the head of the butterfly. Gruesome. I I'm entering this in the "Scary" theme of MacroDay's weekly competition. Not so for the subject, but rather because getting in the midst of the yellow jackets was nerve wracking.