The truth about the caterpillar

The weather and temperature today are the same as the last few days - sunny and/or cloudy with cold temperatures. Not looking forward to the coming rainy days although I saw many mushrooms in the woods today that were deteriorating because they can't handle the dry conditions.

The large group of Snow Geese was not near Francis today. Maybe they migrated south? Or perhaps they split up into one of the smaller groups at the mouth of the Fraser River. I observed many of them there today, but this group was definitely smaller in size.

Now, I have been yearning to take pictures of the Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) for a long time now, but always came up short. They are always near the ditches by the Quilchena Golf Course with a whole bunch of Mallards, but they seem really shy and always duck under a well-shaded willow whenever I take out my camera and get ready. The reason that I want to take pictures of them is...well because they are so elegant. The male bird with their colorful and sleek crest and even the female birds are pretty too with their teardrop-shaped eye patch.

Today, I was kind of lucky and managed to get a couple of so-so pictures. But one of these days, I will get a better one (or at least so I wish).

Yesterday, I saved one of the black and red caterpillars. But it pains me not knowing what kind species it was. So I image-google searched "black and red caterpillar" and saw it.

So apparently they are commonly called the banded woolly bear, and the adult will become Isabella Tiger Moth (Pyrrharctia isabella). It is a common moth around here (I've seen it before around residential gardens), and it is yellow with sparse black spotting on its wings. One interesting thing about these banded woolly bear is that they produce cryoprotectant during winter which is a chemical substance used to protect the tissues from freezing, kind like an anti-freeze. Another interesting tidbit is that folk tale says that the amount of black on the caterpillar will predict the severity of the forthcoming winter (which of course is not true because larvae from the same egg clutch will vary in their "blackness", even if raised under the same conditions). Also, apparently this critter is found in many places because several locations in America have festivals centered around this woolly bear (kind of strange if you ask me).

Now, I came across several banded woolly bears today. However, the sad thing was, they were all road-killed (like above) - probably from bikers or joggers. They had the toughness to last through winter freezes, but not tires or shoes. R.I.P.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...