With the first week of July under our belts, what is happening in this new month? I am pleased to report that my Cecropia Moth eggs are hatching, and I am feeding and watching these young, small caterpillars. They feed on Cherry leaves, and in a week, have doubled in size. They are black, but will grow and develop a more colorful attire. As for the Luna Moths, I continue to only find males which, of course, don't lay eggs. If I want to raise those beautiful green moths, I have to find a female that has mated. I'll keep looking. See what these caterpillars may ultimately develop into on the front home page!
There were a few special events this week on our early morning beach walks. Starting again on Head Beach, I had a first. Most of you have developed a way of hunting down sea life on wet beaches, by looking for, and following tracks in the sand. Sometimes, these are short, curled depressions. We also look for holes and bumps in the sand, and dig for what made the disturbance in the sand, swept by the tide. Usually, we dig out small pointed snails called New England Basket Whelks, but this time we dug out small clams, no longer than a quarter of an inch! Later we put these baby clams in a pan with Sea Stars and they were jumping all over the place! These clams grow to be large Surf Clams which also display that jumping action, using a muscular foot that they shoot out to dig and escape predators. We also found lots of crabs, many had been breakfast for hungry gulls.
On our Sanddollar Beach outing, we found our first Moonsnail Sandcollars, the form in which they lay their eggs. These snails, that live on the sand, come closer to shore for mating and laying their eggs. Most were found while snorkeling. We also netted lots of Sea Stars and Hermit Crabs to watch their activity.
As for flower activity, I was thrilled to find patches of small pink orchids blooming around the beaver pond (now drained since the dam broke) this week. These are Rose Pogonia, and are worth the trek into the Center Pond trails. Also on those trails and elsewhere, you can see the Partridgeberry in bloom. These are small while flowers, paired up, with their base fused. They go on to make a red fruit (if fertilized) with two "eyes" because of that structure.
I'm sure I am forgetting something we observed, but stay tuned........
7/7/11 Ronnie, rather julyish.