FALL IS IN THE
Fall is in the air, though we still haven't had our first frost up here in Maine. The beaches at the campground are not decorated with sunbathers and swimmers.....there are no frisbees flying through the air. But the waves keep breaking, sending foam on the shoreline. Which beach am I enjoying in this view? If you look carefully, you will see one camper among the trees. Camping days are dwindling down to a precious few..
Though I had two more Monarch butterfly break free of their chrysalis cases yesterday, most Milkweed plants have turned yellow and are shedding their seeds. This was one such seed pod that has split and winds are sending the seeds aloft. I find the seeds on the beach where they have been blow by winds coming out of the north. There are no more caterpillars to be found, but I still have a couple of chrysalises that better come out soon if they want to ride the warm air southward.
Yesterday, on a walk at the campground, I spotted my first Woolly Bear of the season. These caterpillars have an interesting life cycle shown here. It spends the winter as a caterpillar, well protected by a fur coat! It will make a cocoon in the spring since ultimately it will emerge as an adult moth. How many of us see that moth? Not I, unfortunately. There is a lot of talk about the size of the bands of color predicting the winter's weather. The one I found yesterday had bands pretty much the same as that shown in this picture. I did read where the bands are more indicative of past, not future, moist conditions. I'll keep watching for other of these larvae to see if the bands vary in length. Incidentally, I tried to take a picture of the caterpillar when I found it, but it rolled into a tight ball. When actively eating, these insect chewers prefer Plantain, in case you want to have one as a temporary pet. I have kept them in winter and seen their fuzzy cocoon being formed, but have not experienced the emergence of a moth, as yet! 10/5/10 Ronnie, enjoying October.