When I was trying to get a good photo of the morning sun shining on a cluster of maple tree samaras (helicopters) , I didn’t realize that I had caught a tiny Hoverfly in the process.

These little amber and brown insects are often mistaken as Yellowjacket wasps. They’re certainly not as pesky as wasps and they do double duty in plant ecology by both spreading pollen and feeding on aphids.

One of my favourite things about photography are the things I accidentally catch when I’m shooting for something entirely different. These little surprises always give me an “oh look at that” moment, accompanied by a smile and a need to research.

Photography Note: After cropping and resizing, I took the original photo into Snapseed and applied the portrait filter from the “Looks” menu. This deepened the colours of the samaras, enhanced the Hoverfly, and added a bit of a vignette to the edges … all with one click. Sometimes the easiest edits give the exact results you’re looking for.

“A Hoverfly is held in a sunbeam, an insect in amber,”

Rob Cowan, Common Ground