A MIX OF WONDERMENTS...After Earl, everything has pretty much calmed down. We have had some rain, but one of that benefit has been the sighting of rainbows. This one is just a color swatch, not a bow, seen from Car Cove over in West Point. That is Hermit Island in the background. I hope campers were able to see some of these colorful phenomenons.

We've had several days of extremely low tides which meant I was out early in the morning to see what was left stranded by the tide. In Totman Cove, I found several live Sanddollars and clams, though you still aren't able to eat the latter. I took them over to feed my animals kept overboard for show and tell, and discovered a large Hermit Crab had left its home! The coiled abdomen of this creature is on the left side and you may even detect the hooks used to "fix" it inside a snail shell. I love those blue stalked eyes and long feelers. I gave it a new home to try, but who knows if it suits his fancy.

My other intriguing animal encounter was with the Cecropia caterpillar that I have been raising. It has tripled in size while downing about two Maple leaves a day. Yesterday I noticed some spun threads and figured it must have a cocoon up its sleeve. Sure enough, today it is encased in a fibrous mass. That is how it spends the winter, so I will have some waiting to do before I see if I am a good "mother". Here is this amazing animal......looked at all those colorful spines. I'm not sure if they release some kind of poison or irritating substance. Frankly, I wasn't up to handling it. The head end, as you may know is on the right side. There aren't too many more elaborate caterpillars out in the world of nature. No doubt its green color blends in with foliage and keeps it from being detected more often. I'll have a picture of its cocoon in a future writeup.

I continue to raise and tag Monarch butterflies, though not always with success. The trouble is that they seem to fall off their hooks and when emerging the wings don't propertly develop. It makes me feel badly when this happens. Maybe I am interfering with nature out of my curiosity. I do try to be careful. I don't know how many times I have the chrysalises in my car expecting them to emerge any second..which they often do! So from rainbows to hermits and caterpillars, I remain in fascination. 9/11/10 Ronnie