Fly Guy’s Great Grandson
On the morning of February 10, 2008, I made the above photograph of a hoverfly in my backyard in Bradenton, Florida. When I later needed to name the image for a portfolio review at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography, this little curiosity became known as “Fly Guy.” Something about the way his attitude seemingly translated from the moment made this name fit well in my mind.
Making this photo took a significant amount of observation and many failed attempts. After observing this fly’s strange behavior I developed a bit of an odd curiosity to learn more about them. It turns out that this type of fly (sp. Ornidia obesa) displays its dominance by holding a specific area of space. While in this mode it defends its chosen space against almost any outside encroachment. I’m not entirely certain for whom this display is made, but I am willing to place a significant wager that it has something to do with “Fly Girls.” I spent a lot of time watching this same individual fly hold his space and chase away intruders no matter their size or type (including falling tree matter). He even held his space against my encroaching camera until its proximity apparently became unbearable and he darted off in a blur, only to return to the same spot moments later. After several mornings of consistent sightings, Fly Guy never returned and I had written the experience off for some time.
You can probably imagine my surprise when I looked out the window this past Monday morning to see a new hoverfly in virtually the same spot that Fly Guy once fancied. I quickly grabbed my camera and sat on our deck to watch this fly display the same old cocky attitude that Fly Guy used to proudly exhibit. It was like some weird class reunion at which I felt strangely familiar with everyone present. Consequently, I have again found myself spending multiple mornings this week in an attempt to capture more images of this new subject. Despite my self-proclaimed familiarity with this subject, making photographs of them has sadly not become any easier. Here are a few from this week:
Hope you enjoy. Jimmy