ALL OF A SUDDEN, IT'S OCTOBER!
This has been a tough year for Monarchs in Maine. I've found very few caterpillars, and some I have tried to nurture haven't made it. I had all but given up on one chrysalis when fortunately I noticed that it had "given birth" to an adult butterfly. It was a male with somewhat crumpled hind wings. It was able to fly, but I do hope the weather stays dry and warm for its migration. I read recently about how important those antennae are to the butterfly's finding its way south. Apparently experiments were taken by coating the antennae only to discover the insect lost its directional signals as a result. In the picture you can also see the empty chrysalis case and the caterpillar skin which wasn't kicked free! What amazing animals these are!

We have finally had some much needed rain. I'm sure the Waldorf students are glad it waited until their return home. How lucky they were to have dry camping weather! I've now discovered some free time to attend to things such as animal skeletons that are waiting to be cleaned and assembled. Yesterday I was working on the dolphin's tail! A beaver is awaiting some assemblage also! Yesterday I observed a Vulture eying a dead raccoon in my backyard. Another thing I have noticed in recent days have been a large number of Robins on the lawn. They must be on a migrant path south.

Those of you who were disappointed in not being able to feast on Mussels this past summer ought to come back. The Red Tide ban has been lifted, and I am enjoying these again on the dinner platter. These were growing on the west side of the campground and were left exposed by the tide. They are so plentiful and quite tasty for a seafood treat. Not only that, but they are free for the taking. By the way, I don't eat the barnacles......

I've had fun looking for insects on recent outings. This one is a Stink Bug, so green that it perfectly matches the leaves it feasts upon. Incidentally, I didn't find its smell offensive. Not everything out in the world of nature is sweet smelling. It takes all kinds.....

10/6/09 Ronnie with mussels!