In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Monday, September 20, 2010

fancy pants caterpillars

There are some mighty fancy caterpillars that live around here. This one was up in the vegetable garden the other day, blissfully chomping his way through the salad bar.
He's so pretty. But eventually he metamorphoses into an easily-overlooked little moth called the spotted tussock moth (lophocampa maculata).
Same with this guy, who I noticed near our front door. The oak tree is right there, so he may have come down from it. I sort of harassed him, actually, since he wasn't much into photography.
I was able to catch his annoyed expression before I left him alone, which was, really, all he asked. He'll become a banded tussock moth, also called a pale tiger moth or a pale tussock moth. You can't have too many names! His official name is halysidota tessellaris.

I would think that a fancy caterpillar ought to result in something equally fancy once it emerges from its cocoon. But both these caterpillars are much prettier and more striking in this stage of their lives than later, when they turn into little brownish moths with patterns so subtle as to be noticed only by the most devoted mothologist. A case of peaking early, maybe.

1 comment:

Janet said...

Aren't they fascinating; I met a chap yesterday crawling up the windoe shutter of my porch who was the most delicate shade of chartreuse with creamy white feelers - very chic!!