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Saturday, January 06, 2007

They Don't Call Them Hover Flies for Nothing

This hover fly (genus Syrphid) was hanging in the cool winter air the other day. These feed, if they do, on nectar and this one was investigating some red salvia blooming in the backyard. It also showed an interest in the nearby stalks and flower spikes of broom corn (sorghum vulgere) maybe instinctively searching for aphids there.

People sometimes remark, Oh you have such sharp eyes you can see all these small critters when I don't see a thing. True; most of them don't see a thing. But for all my supposed visual acuity I haven't seen where adult hover flies sleep at night, or where they rest in winter until the thin sun finally warms their flight muscles, or found the bit of earth where they land when death plucks them from mid-air. But I will keep on looking.

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