Red-spotted Purple Admiral

(Limenitis arthemis)
Indiana, USA – August 2019

This magnificent butterfly is a good example of mimicry. The butterfly imitates a poisonous swallowtail (Battus philenor) in shape and colour and is thus protected from predators. There are four different sub types of these butterflies, whose coloring varies strongly. Shown here is Limenitis arthemis astyanax, which is common in the east and southeast of the USA.

Red-spotted Purple Admiral
Red-spotted Purple Admiral

Dog-day Cicada

(Neotibicen canicularis)
Indiana, USA – August 2019

Every year during the hottest days of the year, also called dog days, these cicadas are active. Usually they are not seen, but they are unmistakable. In large numbers they sit well camouflaged in trees and bushes and give their sometimes deafening concert.

One morning this specimen apparently sat a little cool in the dewy grass of our garden. This was the opportunity for a little photo session, which it endured almost motionless. After a while the cicada was reached by the sun’s rays and brought to operating temperature. It declared the session over, and buzzed up and away.

Dog-day Cicada
Dog-day Cicada
Dog-day Cicada
Dog-day Cicada

Spotted Cucumber Beetle

(Diabrotica undecimpunctata)
Indiana, USA – August 2019

Native to North America, this photogenic beetle is a feared crop pest that loves to attack cucumbers, pumpkins and melons. It also transmits various plant diseases. Its larvae live underground and feed on the roots of corn and other plants. The corn and soy fields, which are planted in extensive monocultures, certainly aid the spread of this beetle.

Spotted Cucumber Beetle

Japanese Beetles at Love Play

(Popillia japonica)
Indiana, USA – July 2019

These pretty beetles come from Japan and were introduced to North America about one hundred years ago. Due to the lack of natural enemies, they developed into a plague and damage crops and ornamental plants.

Japanese Beetle

The blossom of the purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), on which the two love to play, also shows the feeding traces of the beetles.

Japanese Beetle

Green June Beetle

(Cotinis nitida)
Indiana, USA – July 2019

This metallic shimmering beetle is native to the east of the USA and occurs most frequently in the south. The beetles feed on all kinds of fruits and cause crop damage. The larvae damage, among other things, the roots of vegetables and ornamental plants.

Green June Beetle
Green June Beetle

Flower Crab Spider with Prey

(Misumena vatia)
Indiana, USA – July 2019

This spider species, widespread in the northern hemisphere of the earth, usually sits well camouflaged on flowers, where it ambushes insects that visit them. It can adapt its color to its surroundings and varies between yellow, yellow-green and white.

The prey is quickly grabbed with the two enlarged pairs of forelegs and killed by a bite in the back of the neck. The spider can overpower prey, that is several times bigger than itself.

Flower Crab Spider

Common Brimstone Butterfly

(Gonepteryx rhamni)
Neandertal, Germany – July 2019

At 12 months, the common brimstone butterfly has the longest life span of any butterfly in Central Europe. It is the only butterfly that hibernates freely in the vegetation. By the freezing point of its body fluids lowering substances, it is able to withstand frosts of up to minus 20° C, even if it is completely covered with snow.

In March the common brimstone butterflies become active again and in April a new life cycle begins with the laying of eggs.

Common Brimstone Butterfly ♀︎

Toronto

Ontario, Canada – October 2018

The largest city in Canada offers incredible perspectives. After New York City, it is the city with the second highest number of skyscrapers in North America.

Toronto, Harbourfront

The city has a very well-developed public transportation system with subway, tram and bus lines.

Toronto, King Street West

The “Gardiner Expressway” is the city highway and runs on a bridge construction in the area of the city center. Therefore, you see practically nothing of what is on the ground and you literally “fly” over it and between the skyscrapers.

“Chinatown – Next Exit” is written on the blue sign between the glass towers.

Toronto, Chinatown – Next Exit

The contrast couldn’t be bigger. Above the cool, modern architecture of concrete, steel and glass and one floor below a lively and colorful quarter that lives up to its name.

Toronto, Chinatown

The scenery reminds me of the dystopian films of my youth, such as “Bladerunner” or “Brazil”.

This impression was intensified when we drove out of town on the Expressway. There the skyscrapers step back and make room for billboards on which advertising flashes and squiggles. They are the only spots of color in this gray world.

Toronto, Gardiner Expressway

Niagara Falls

Ontario, Canada – October 2018

Their inflow is controlled in the course of their use to generate electricity by humans, their environment mutates into a kind of Disneyland for the masses of tourists and at night they are illuminated in the most impossible colors – including pee yellow. Nevertheless, they are an impressive sight. View from the Canadian to the US side of Niagara Falls.

Niagara Falls

Monarch Butterfly

(Danaus plexippus)
Indiana, USA – September 2018

The monarch is known for his long migrations from eastern North America to his wintering grounds in Mexico. This specimen allows itself a small rest on its up to 3600 kilometers long journey at our front door.

Monarch Butterfly