Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Evening Walk

Fir Tussock Moth Caterpillar 1
Large view

Mary and I began our post office walk on the verge of dusk, with an almost-full moon rising. First, we needed to stop at CVS to pick up some items, and were met at the front entrance by dozens of Fir Tussock Moth caterpillars and their cocoons.

Fir Tussock Moth Caterpillar 2
Large view

Orgyia detrita, Family Erebidae. Also called a Live Oak Tussock Moth. Ranges along the Atlantic coast from Long Island to Florida and west to Texas. Says Bugguide, "The hairs of the caterpillar may cause irritation to sensitive skin if you handle them, though they are not among the stinging caterpillars."

I first photographed a cocoon three years ago, here. According to the University of Florida, this is the time of year when females lay their eggs on the cocoons. The female covers her eggs with abdominal hairs.

Fir Tussock Moth Caterpillar with Cocoons

I have photos of adult male Live Oak Tussock Moths here.

Meanwhile, a group of anoles stood guard around the side of the building.

Large view

I believe this is a female, given the light stripe down the back. Two lines of anoles had gathered, each pair located several feet down from one another. It seemed to us the females had lined up against the wall, while the larger males stayed on the lip of the vegetation island, closer to the alley.

Our walk took us to the post office, to Subway for dinner, to Winn-Dixie for groceries, and back home, for a total of about two miles. Our stop at CVS meant we walked on the far side of our county road, which still fronts on as-yet-undeveloped land. There we spotted a well-camouflaged male common bobwhite. I took my first few shots without flash and without tripod.

Male Common Bobwhite 1

Then with flash.

Male Common Bobwhite 2

Colinus virginianus, Family Phasianidae. Ranges through central and eastern U.S. to Guatemala and Cuba.

Male Common Bobwhite 3

We took a long-cut through the grounds of a local church, where we spotted night-blooming lilies rising from otherwise trimmed grass.

Night-blooming Lily

When I got home I learned that my poem "Total Lunar Eclipse" is now live at Astropoetica. You can read it here.

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