Aside from the feeling of accomplishment I get when I see plants in the garden blooming my next favorite thing about gardening has to be bug watching. My neighbor's and family think I'm nuts and if I were to come across a guy laying on the ground staring at something I couldn't see I'd probably think he was crazy too.
But really the joke is on them because they don't get to experience these little wonders of nature that visit the various plants in my urban garden. I've been watching these little flies hovering around flowers and resting on foliage and finally got a photo of one of them. I asked for an identification on a gardening forum and I am told that this is a Hover Fly.
A Google search has yielded the following information:
Hover Flies are pollinators.
They've evolved to mimic wasps and bees.
Hover Flies are being recognized as an important part in biological control of plant pests.
The larvae of some species pray on garden pests like leafhoppers (that spread some diseases like curly top) and aphids.
You can encourage them to visit your garden by planting alyssum, parsley and yarrow among others.
Hover Fly on Wikipedia.