I am still into insect metamorphosis these days. Here is the freshly emerged Monarch I talked about last week. What a beauty! Where it is now is anyone's guess. I hope it has mated and eggs are being laid. I went out looking for more caterpillars and came up empty as far as Monarchs were concerned. I did, however, find an equally tantalizing larvae of a Tiger Swallowtail! These are rarely found and have always been favorite of mine because of their unique markings. I found it on a Cherry leaf, well camouflaged by the green color. It also has a band around its front end and "fake eyes" with the number 10 on each eye! They are barely visible in this picture, but take my word for it.....they are as I describe. It is not a very active caterpillar and has already started forming its chrysalis.

As for those Polyphemus moth caterpillars, they are growing as they chew on Maple leaves. They are starting to show their green color and small protuberances. Here is one on a Maple leaf. Those small black droppings are its scat. With caterpillars, the correct term for their excretions is frass. I look at these growing larvae every day. Some have crawled out of the container, but most now remain busy with their eating.

The turkey flock continues to attract attention. As you may know, these birds are more commonly seen on the ground. I would be interested to know where they roost in trees at night since that is their habit. I look forward to tracking these animals in the winter woods. These large birds are hunted here in Maine, but as most of you know, there is no hunting allowed on the campground. I hope the birds and hunters read the signs!

We have had more than our share of rain this week. I didn't go to Starfish Cave this morning because it was pouring! Campers are being tested by this wet weather. At least our wells are being filled, and the gardens are again happy. I am harvesting Zucchinis by the dozens, and tomatoes are now ripening. Beans continue to be on our menu. I'm watching the pumpkins expand with an eye toward Halloween! My potatoes have been decimated by beetles. How are the insects in your neighborhoods? Am I the only one to hunt caterpillars (besides the birds)? I wonder if turkeys relish these animals?
8/8/08 Ronnie with the larvae......