Mystery Insects of Taos

I’m sitting in a campground near the Grand Canyon and it’s gray and off-and-on rainy, but I’m here for a few days and the beauty of that is I can ride out the weather. So today I’m posting to the blog, eating leftover pizza, taking a long, drippy walk through the forest with Sam, and later on checking out the IMAX movie about the Canyon. What I know is this: life is good.

I was going to catch you up with more photos from the last New Mexico Scamp, but I never dumped them to the laptop, and I left my Nikon USB cord unhelpfully on the table in the living room. Sigh.

So I went digging through the archives. Awhile ago, when I was home in Taos, I was looking out the window and spotted this beautiful creature. But Internet, help me out: what the heck is it?

(I’m giving you all angles, like an insect suspect lineup.)

Mystery Insects of Taos

Mystery Insects of Taos

Mystery Insects of Taos

Mothra’s tiny adorable cousin? If you have an answer, please let us know in the comments.

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  1. Jim Bago October 8, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

    It’s either a wolf or a sphinx moth. They are easily mistaken for hummingbirds and feed on the same nectar.

    • deonne October 8, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

      Jim – Aha! Yes, I thought it was a small hummingbird at first glance, which I also see a lot of in my yard. Thanks!

  2. Judie Ashford October 8, 2014 at 8:10 pm #

    My first encounter with this beautiful moth was similar to yours! I had no idea what it was, but soon learned about the sphinx moth, which may be what your friend is.

    Virtual hugs,


    • deonne October 9, 2014 at 11:29 am #

      Judie – The Russian sage is the best thing to have in one’s window – it attracts these moths, fat bumblebees and tiny bees, and hummingbirds. It’s like my own little zoo!

  3. Steve October 8, 2014 at 9:43 pm #

    Hummingbird Hawk-moth. Macroglossum stellatarum

    • deonne October 9, 2014 at 11:30 am #

      Thank you, Steve!

  4. Susi October 9, 2014 at 7:32 am #

    Bill thought sphinx moth, so lovely. These pics are certainly gallery- worthy in my opinion. At least you didn’t leave a lense in the woods like Bill did years ago. In PA. And I think we got back to CT before he noticed the loss!

    • deonne October 9, 2014 at 11:31 am #

      Susi – Thank you for the kind words, I’m happy with these photos as well. What a shame about Bill’s lens! Maybe there’s a bear practicing photography as we speak…

  5. Manisha October 9, 2014 at 8:51 am #

    Wow! Truly amazing photos, Deonne. Life is good!!!
    Manisha recently posted…beetsMy Profile

    • deonne October 9, 2014 at 11:32 am #

      Thank you, Manisha! We’re pretty lucky, aren’t we?

  6. Sherry in MT October 9, 2014 at 9:29 am #

    What a lovely moth and isn’t it amazing how large they are? Enjoy your time at the Grand Canyon and I’ll be waiting for hints on where/when is best to stay there – it is on my bucket list once I get the trailer! 🙂
    Sherry in MT recently posted…Sunny October PaddleMy Profile

    • deonne October 9, 2014 at 11:35 am #

      Sherry – I figured the crowds would be gone by now, but it’s still pretty busy, especially at Mather Point (at the visitor center), but it’s busy even farther out. But the weather is beautiful for hiking, not at all hot, and though I have yet to find any solitude, it’s great to be here. I’d like to come even later next time, and see the canyon in snow. Those would be some gorgeous photos!

  7. Stefanie Lipsey October 13, 2014 at 9:20 am #

    Hi Deonne!
    The Grand Canyon is one of my favorite places on earth – enjoy! I also want to let you know that I love these pictures and your beautiful new website. I am amazed at how you captured that moth on camera. You are so talented it scares me.

    Miss you!!! Love, Stef
    Stefanie Lipsey recently posted…Welcome to Writing Yoga® – How’s Your Mercury Retrograde Going? Misunderstandings Make Good Writing Prompts.My Profile

    • deonne October 13, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

      Stef – Thanks so much for the kind words. And I’d say the same about your talents. : )

      I’ll be sharing photos of the Grand Canyon soon. It practically defines the word awesome.

  8. cerenatee December 9, 2014 at 11:44 am #

    Beautiful! It’s a spinx moth! Mary Holland posted one on her blog: . Spinx moths are huge and have the pretty colors.

    • deonne December 9, 2014 at 3:49 pm #

      Cerenatee – Thanks! I’m sad to say I haven’t seen one since this photo was taken, but hope they’ll return in the spring. Hope you’re having a wonderful holiday.

  9. Susi June 23, 2015 at 5:43 pm #

    Hummingbird moth.

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