June is ending on a festive note, in fact it's been "star struck"! We hit Head Beach and raked in small surf clams that performed their jumping routine for us in the presence of sea stars. Some hunters even found several lobsters hidden under the rocks exposed at low tide. So the fireworks are starting with these shooting stars. Notice how some are turning over while a small urchin views their technique!
Some of us took a long, foggy, hike on the rocks over the weekend and were rewarded with finding the first Wood Lily of the season. What was unusual about this find was that it was growing in a crack on exposed rocks. I had never seen one in such a vulnerable place. Usually you find them growing in fields or shrubbery. They are beautiful and should never be picked. We used to have some growing on the campground, but their numbers are few and far between these days. In the picture below, the flower is being stabilized for a picture since the wind was blowing it fiercely.
I had another interesting observation to share with you. I was raking up the lawn after an overdue mowing in West Point yesterday. I happened to look up at just the right moment to see what looked like a Robin pecking at a brown leaf. I kept looking and the "leaf" started moving as if to escape the attack! I quickly ran and scared off the bird to discover an injured Polyphemus Moth. I had never seen one before, though knew they were in the area. The wings are a light brown which easily blends in with brown leaves. The wings, however, are decorated with what look like eyes......I presume to ward off predators. The Robin didn't fall for the deception and was seeking to dine on its fat abdomen. This was a female moth, loaded with eggs. I rescued the moth and placed it with oak leaves in a container, hoping that it had mated and was still able to lay eggs. Oak leaves are usually where they lay their eggs since the emerging caterpillars like that food. Unfortunately, it looks like the moth has succumbed to the attack, but this was a moment to remember.The moth is quite large, though not quite as big as the Luna Moth also eaten by a bird. Though you can't see the swollen abdomen, the antennae are also a clue to the gender of this insect. If it were a male, they would be more feathery. Its name comes from a similarity to the one eyed giant in Greek mythology.
In case you were wondering, the picture on the home page was taken in the vicinity of Starfish Cave where campers were piling rocks to make Inuksuks. The Inuit Indians made these rock towers to mark special or sacred places. The cave IS a very special place. 6/30/08 Ronnie on the loose.