Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Tiny fly on prairie fleabane daisy

with 23 comments

Click for greater clarity.

Click for greater clarity.

Dark and bright are the burned ruins of Bastrop State Park, and there on March 4th I found this tiny dark fly drawing nectar from a bright prairie fleabane daisy, Erigeron modestus.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 24, 2013 at 6:13 AM

23 Responses

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  1. Clarity is amazing

    Tina Schell

    March 24, 2013 at 6:40 AM

  2. Amazing shot

  3. Oh my, that’s some capture.


    March 24, 2013 at 8:27 AM

    • The fly had an easier time getting the nectar than I did getting a picture of it getting the nectar. There was no way at that close distance to keep more than a little in focus, so I focused on the fly’s eyes, which I felt were the most important thing.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 24, 2013 at 2:15 PM

  4. I love photographing Fleabane. They seem to thrive on Our place and as simple, beautiful little flowers. And as your photo shows they’re great little filling stations for all type of pollinators.

    The Jagged Man

    March 24, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    • I like your original description of these daisies as “little filling stations.” I’m pleased to hear that these flowers are common at your place and that you love photographing them.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 24, 2013 at 2:17 PM

      • It will be several more months before they start blooming here in Kentucky but they are worth the wait. I will also have plenty of Wood Asters to shoot as well.

        The Jagged Man

        March 24, 2013 at 2:34 PM

  5. When you put your macro to work, I sometimes have to double-check other entries, like the USDA, to get the actual size of the flowers. Now I know what this is – very common around here, and blooming prolifically just now. As always, your insect portraits delight.


    March 24, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    • It’s true that I give dimensions only sometimes, and that a macro lens can make it hard to judge sizes. Prairie fleabane daisy flower heads are usually between one-half and three-quarters of an inch across, so this fly was pretty small. This wildflower is common here, too, and I’ve already seen plenty of it around Austin this spring. From what you say, 2013 is turning out to be a good year for it, which of course I’m happy to see.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 24, 2013 at 3:13 PM

  6. superb !!!


    March 24, 2013 at 10:08 PM

  7. Great photo! You are getting me primed now for our wildflower season!


    March 25, 2013 at 10:35 PM

  8. La gourmande 🙂


    March 26, 2013 at 2:19 AM

  9. Love this image!


    March 27, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    • Tiny flies of various types are common here (and maybe everywhere). They’re a reminder that before Europeans brought honeybees to the New World, plants here had no trouble finding ways to get themselves pollinated.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 27, 2013 at 10:44 AM

      • Wow… Really interesting point. I never thought of that, honestly!



        March 28, 2013 at 10:53 AM

        • There are so many things that teachers don’t usually tell kids, and this is one of them.

          Steve Schwartzman

          March 28, 2013 at 11:00 AM

          • That’s really awful. Quite a sin. I’m flashing back in my mind right now… We had wasps where I was raised, but no honeybees of course (South Pacific). And lots of blooms!


            March 28, 2013 at 11:03 AM

  10. […] Another colorful thing I saw at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on the overcast and wet morning of December 6th was this opening flower head of a prairie fleabane daisy, Erigeron modestus, beyond which you can make out the leftover receptacles of two spent seed heads. If you’d like a reminder of a stage between the fresh and the forlorn, you can fly back to a post from close to a year ago. […]

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