Thursday, September 9, 2010

In the Eye of the Beholder

"I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else." — Pablo Picasso

I love that quote from Picasso — because I can relate to it. So many times I have set out to photograph something in particular only to get sidetracked or distracted by something else entirely. That was the case yesterday afternoon.

I went outside to take pictures of a Gulf Fritillary Butterfly that was enjoying my gold Lantana blooms, and when the butterfly flew away for a few minutes, I noticed another not-so-pretty and a-lot-less-desirable insect on the flowers.

Yes, that's a wasp ... and as far as I could determine by googling wasp pictures, it is a Paper Wasp.

Now, I have never gotten close enough to a wasp to get a closeup look at it, but this one didn't seem to feel threatened by me, and, more importantly, went about its business without threatening ME. So, as it moved from flower to flower, I watched it through my macro lens (from a safe distance), and discovered that it was actually quite interesting. The saying that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder," came to mind as I could see beauty in the wasp, too. It was interesting to see how it stretched its legs as it moved among the leaves and flowers, and how it would turn completely upside down as it explored the depths of the blooms.

For those of you who are less squeamish when it comes to wasps, you can click on the pictures to enlarge them and see God's glory revealed in this tiny, but amazing insect.

Now I know where the term "wasp-like waist" originated.

Of course, wasp stings can be very dangerous, even fatal in some cases, but capturing this one with my camera, on such an "up close and personal" level, inspired me to try to find out a little about what they do, besides sting people.

I'd like to say I discovered that they have a "good side" to them, but the only positive thing I could find is that they are beneficial to farmers because they eat caterpillars, which can damage crops. They also eat other insects like spiders, so if you don't like spiders, I guess that would be a good thing ... although, I really don't want to think about that, do you?

And to close on a brighter, happier note, I did manage to get a few pictures of the elusive Fritillary ...

If you have Lantana growing in your yard, you probably have Gulf Fritillaries, too. Here in Mississippi, they stay until sometime in October. Unfortunately, so do the wasps.


Deb said...

love your wasp photos...they usually won't attack you unless you invade them...I took photos of one last almost looked like it was posing for me...the butterflies are also beautiful...

PAT said...

These are beautiful, Janie!

I also had a look at your gorgeous Fall decorating. Incredible! I love it all!

PAT said...

PS: I am adding your decorating post to my sidebar.

Loui♥ said...

delightful post..
love the Picasso quote..
I too can totally relate..
your photos are outstanding!!

racheld said...

I've never heard the Picasso quote, but I'm afraid it's ME to the life---just the vaguest thought lures me away from my original intent, especially when I'm writing, and it's a good thing my train of thought doesn't cause havoc when it derails, or they'd ban me from the track!

I'm a wasp-fancier, myself, and love to watch them. Your camera allows such a focused look, and it's amazing---the wonders of the world in infinitesimal detail, each and every one so decorated and infinitely perfect in itself.

This was just wonderful!! I LOVE when you get side-tracked. Your Unbeaten Paths are some of the most interesting there are.

Jenni said...

Wow! I have never seen a wasp that closely. I guess because I usually get out of the way when they are near... LOL

Thanks for sharing all those pics.

Through your lens I constantly see new perspectives, and get a look at God's amazing attention to detail. He is so wonderful. Even a Wasp is beautiful when created by Him...

Carolyn said...

I love that Picasso quote. Your pictures are beautiful, even the wasp. I can honestly say I have never gotten that close to one and think I will be content to appreciate them through your photos!

Thoughtfully blended hearts said...

Gorgeous photos...but I sure liked the butterfly the best!!! :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh my Janie! I may just hesitate next time I swat one when they get in the house!!! These pics are AMAZING!!! The incredible pattern and color none of us would ever see because we run/kill them! Your pics should be in a nature magazine - very professional!! I love your previous post too - your shelves always look beautiful; love this display; must try staining gourds now!lol Hope you are enjoying yourself and the temps are getting better so you can keep getting out there bringing us more nature!! I'm sooo far behind on visiting - I'll be back soon! Sincerely, Jeannette

Vanessa said...

Hi! I found you through another blog and just had to tell you how absolutely gorgeous your photos are! I am enjoying perusing your previous posts too and your home is just lovely! I am hosting an "Inspiration Friday" party and would love it if you would consider linking one of your posts up! It is a lot of fun and your talent would contribute A LOT of inspiration for sure!

seeker said...

While your wasp shots are certainly dramatic, I found myself pulling back as though expecting a sting any moment. A little too up close for me, I think :-) But your butterfly shots are stunning! Thank you! And the quote...yes, soooooo true! For art and for writing. But then again, that unknown outcome is half the fun it anyhow. TGIF!