Thursday, July 14, 2011

Drama in Wildwood

WARNING: If you are squeamish or terribly tender-hearted  stop reading now!
On Tuesday, I took my camera to the Eighth Avenue entrance of Wildwood. Skipper butterflies love the Everlasting Peas (Lathryus latifolius) that grow there and often come to nectar. As soon as I arrived at the area, a Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis) greeted me and agreed to pose for photos for a few minutes in the gravels of the road, its colors glowing in the sunlight.

I ambled on to see what I could find in the peas and in the Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea maculosa) that had started flowering. 
Almost immediately I saw a male Sachem Skipper (Atalopedes campestris) resting on a leaf. 

He soon fluttered off to find a bloom, and I followed him with my camera. But wait - there was a green leaf blocking his tiny wing. As I reached carefully for the "leaf", I discovered that it was a leg - and it belonged to a young praying mantis!!!

Oh, no! That dear little butterfly had been captured by a predator.

Amazed, I continued snapping pictures.

Although I was heart-broken for the victim, I knew that the captor needed a good lunch. 

Such is the paradox of nature. 

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