I’m backtracking a bit to July 22nd and one of my absolute, all-time favorite finds. This is a male Eastern Hercules Beetle, species Dynastes tityus, commonly known as a Rhinoceros Beetle or Unicorn Beetle. The most obvious difference between the male and the female is that males have the two pincer-like horns whereas females do not.
I had to laugh when this one made its way up to the nail because it seemed to get stuck there. Then again, I could have blinded the poor thing with the flash from my camera. I really hate using a flash to photograph wildlife for that reason; but the long exposure photos just weren’t turning out all that great, not to mention he was squirming around making it difficult to get a nice still shot. Case in point, this 2 second exposure (below) has a nice dramatic feel; but the detail leaves a lot to be desired.
Within the first few weeks of us moving here, I began seeing these regularly. Prior to seeing this live beetle climbing the light-pole on July 22nd, I found a dead one at the base of another light-pole that was perfectly intact, minus its right tarsus. I kept it because… well… they’re just cool and I totally geek out over bugs. Unfortunately, we didn’t have internet yet at that time; and I didn’t know how to properly preserve it for mounting.
I pulled it back out today to photograph a ventral view (above) and noticed that it’s not faring all that well. Next time I find one, I’ll know because today I’ve found a plethora of information online for mounting beetles and butterflies. I’m not going to kill them in order to do this, though. I simply don’t have the heart to do that.
And last but not least, I happened to notice this pickerel frog while photographing the Eastern Hercules Beetle. This photo was a happy accident, far better than I expected as I was shooting blind. It was the only one I took because I scooted the frog on its way so I wouldn’t accidentally step on it. It seemed thoroughly grateful to get away. They can jump quite high!
For more details and information about the Eastern Hercules Beetle visit:
Side note: by now I should seriously know better than to go outdoors and not take my camera because I had the funniest encounter with a small butterfly this afternoon. First, it enthusiastically climbed onto my finger and appeared to be licking it. After a few moments of this, it flew away. A couple of minutes later, it fluttered all around me and landed on my nose! I broke out into a fit of giggles thoroughly enjoying this rare opportunity to be so up close and personal with the friendliest of butterflies. Have I said lately how much I LOVE the new home? 😉