Friday, April 24, 2015

2015-04-13 - Monday - Moths, leaves, and caterpillars

Monday I found a large moth on the storm door when I was leaving the house. It would have blended in very well on the bark of a tree, but it apparently thought it was doing pretty well on the glass door.

We have a pest here called the fall cankerworm that does a huge amount of damage to our trees. We are supposed to band the trees in the fall to catch the wingless female moth when she tries to climb the tree to lay her eggs.

I didn't get our trees banded last fall and now we are paying the price. Our maple trees look like doilies and for more than a week we could here their waste falling through the leaves like the sound of rain. It's pretty disgusting.

I will definitely be banding the trees this fall.

One thing we have going for us is the fiery searcher beetle. It is also called "the caterpillar hunter" and we have a bumper crop of them this year. We have a large concrete pad in front of our two-car garage and some afternoons I have seen thirty or forty of them hurrying around on the concrete. And I do mean hurrying. They are always on a mission, each zooming in different directions.

I was standing on the back landing trying to capture the sound of falling caterpillar waste on video when I saw one run up on the step. It stopped short when it found some prey and then pounced.

Sorry about the shaky camera work, but I had to hurry up and zoom in.


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