The Lucky One

The migrating swarm of these Hummingbird Hawkmoths seen by the forces as they crossed the English Channel on D-Day will never be forgotten. Since then, they have always been seen as a lucky omen. Macroglossum stellatarum usually comes later to Korea - yesterday was the first I’ve seen this year, feeding on the Agastache plants.

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All comments welcome.

Technical Details

D500 + 105mm macro 1/8000 f11 ISO 8000

Topaz Denoise, Shadows and Highlights in Photoshop.

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Wow!! A moth in flight! (Just marveled at a butterfly in flight.) Wonderful sharpness and detail! I had no idea about the D-Day sighting – it must have been a marvelous omen! (Who had time to notice…?)

Mike, this is a great catch of this hawkmoth, where the orange underwing really lets it stand out against the foliage behind.

Oh wow I can’t say I’ve ever seen one of these. Those eyes are so strange for an insect. Terrific shot with good detail and positioning. 8000 and 8000 - wow! A shot only digital could achieve when wielded by a photographer with the skills to get it. Can’t think of anything to improve this great catch. Oh wait, maybe one thing - the left edge is so close to the tips of the flowers that you could crop it in more.

Oh my gosh, Mike. This is a fantastic shot! We have had a version of these Hummingbird moths fly through from time to time and I have never even gotten close to a shot I was happy enough with to keep! The details and how you have stop the action are amazing.

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Really nice catch of this rascal, and an interesting story. I’ve studied WWII in great detail and have never read this story. Anyway, great shot of an interesting insect.

Mike, thanks for sharing the D-day story. Fascinating. It is also fascinating and beautiful your capture here. I love the composition with the flowers right next to the edge and the moth with plenty of breathing room around it. The colors, especially the green background, worked in your favor. There is a beautiful blend and contrast, particularly with the moth wings and background. In connection with @linda_mellor 's note, I was lucky to have run into a hummingbird moth earlier this year. It was a sight to behold. To my luck, the moth allowed me ample time to photograph it several times. And to @Kris_Smith , yes, those eyes are very odd looking. I go even further to add that the entire body/wing ratio seems very odd, too. Another thing that surprised me is how loud they are as they fly.

Mike, there is really nothing I can think of to add here that would make this image better. It’s simply beautiful.

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Mike, this is really great! Such great details, nice composition, and the BG makes him stand out nicely.

Thanks @linda_mellor @MarkSeaver @Egídio_Leitão @Diane_Miller @Kris_Smith @terryb @Shirley_Freeman for your comments. The D-Day story was told to me by my mother when she found one of these feisty friends feeding on a fuschia on our porch - she also told me that during and just after WW2 there was an abundance of the moth’s food plant, owing to “neglect” of the fields by farmers in the UK. I too wondered how the forces had time to notice the swarm, but then they had to keep a sharp eye out for everything! These hummers still migrate every year from continental Europe to the UK and Ireland. I imagine I get the same thrill from trying to capture these moths that Keith Bauer and you others get from Hummingbirds - fast movement, try to second guess them - stop them if you can!


Mike–you did very well with capturing this sphynx moth. The eye and head region are tack sharp including the proboscis. Very nice…Jim

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