Tiny Wonders

Hey!  I know I haven’t posted for a while, I recently came back from a trip to Massachusetts & Rhode Island. The weather’s a whole lot warmer there. (It’s in the 50’s here – brrrr.) I saw a bunch of new animals, mostly birds (salt water means a lot of species I don’t normally see), such as mute swans, sanderlings, & common terns. But surprisingly, some of the most interesting species were also the smallest. Getting closer to winter, caterpillars are becoming active. In the holes in tree trunks and other little cozy & protected spots, it’s easy to find wooly bears. These fuzzy orange & black caterpillars live a long time, wintering underneath bark & in hollow logs. When spring comes they spin cocoons & transform into the yellow & black Isabella tiger moth. It used to be thought that you could predict the harshness of the coming winter by the thickness of the wooly bear’s orange stripe: the thicker the stripe, the milder the winter. There’s a lot of skepticism over this, but there’s also some good evidence. There are also monarch caterpillars – not-fuzzy yellow & black caterpillars you almost always find on a milkweed plant. Since it’s September, these caterpillars are eating up for their long flight to Mexico when they become butterflies. There are several generations of monarchs born each year – the fall generation lives the longest: 6-8 months! It’s pretty cool the things you discover when you pay attention to the smallest things in life.

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5 thoughts on “Tiny Wonders

  1. Be careful, nature study and travel can become addictive! I know I always have plenty to see at home, but am always thinking ahead to the next ‘new’ adventure. Glad to read that you enjoyed your trip.

  2. Hi Song of the Wolf, Glad you had such a nice and interesting trip East. I like your illustration, by the way. Caterpillars are very wonderful to observe. Most are of the good type to have around. Have a super great rest of the week and a very nice day tomorrow. I am still on blog break but do plan to check in from time to time with blogs I follow. I will be back to writing my blog in Oct.

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