I captured this amazing specimen a little less than a year ago. I think it may be a horsefly? In this photo the abdomen looks like it’s four inches long. In reality that part of its body was probably only a little over an inch.
This scary critter is a harmless leopard moth. Up close they look quite bellicose, but they’d never hurt a fly!
I have an interesting yellow jacket story. I had an aunt and uncle of blessed memory, who had a lakefront cabin on Lake Martin in Alabama. My uncle was mowing the grass when he accidentally pushed the mower over a yellow jacket nest on the ground. He was immediately enveloped into a virulent cloud of angry hornets. He wasn’t wearing a hat to protect his head from the fury he’d just unleashed. We had to ice his poor head for a couple of days until the swelling went down. After we’d cleaned him up, he was totally bald and the hair never grew back again. I guess when it comes to human skin, yellow jackets pursue a scorched Earth policy!
The old King’s body was laid in state at the great cathedral. Mourners would have two days to file by his coffin, look upon his face and fine robes, and pray for his departed soul. Honor guards wearing silver helmets with long white plumes stood at attention in a semi-circle around the coffin. A red velvet rope was placed around the coffin as well to indicate the appropriate distance to maintain from His Majesty’s earthly remains. Throughout the capital, the church bells tolled the death knoll.
For her part, Pirouette stayed at the palace, meeting with her privy council, foreign dignitaries and anxious subjects. Sitting in her office, surrounded by her ladies, all dressed in black, she noticed a honeybee buzzing around the room. “Somebody open a window,” she said, “And let that poor creature out into the garden. For my part, I wish I could follow her.”