Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I'd gone to Hopkins yesterday evening to get photos of one of the trains I often saw idling near Excelsior Blvd. and 169. It rolled into motion as I was walking toward it, so I managed only a couple shots; it was moving pretty fast.
In the photo above, you can see my shadow on the grass. I really like trains and hope to use these photos as a basis for some paintings. But the trail along the tracks also offered some unexpected joys -- including this, which I've now learned is a Great Black Wasp, Sphex pennsylvanicus:
The wasp was about 1.5" long -- huge -- and not at all aggressive. I snapped tons of very close-range shots while it happily drank nectar. While looking for information on the species I found a lot of message board posts from women who claimed to have been attacked by these, and I can't help wondering if the women in question were wearing something (perfume, hairspray, other forms of fragrance) that smelled like nectar to the wasp.
And with that, I am off to the studio for the day. Probably will be plein-air painting this afternoon with Richard Abraham! That is, if the weather holds.