Monday, March 26, 2012

caterpillars. a live hawk. and a dead crow.

before i get to the caterpillar invasion...
or even the dead crow for that matter...
have a look at this Red-shouldered Hawk silhouette shot.

sam pointed out the hawk sitting on the electric line...out near the road.
facing west. early evening. dark clouds rolling in.

he flew out of the shadows (the hawk, not sam), landing farther down the line. just for a minute.

and then he was gone. 


on to the caterpillars.
when it's just about dusk, and the birds are all snug in their nests...
and you're very quiet...
you can hear the caterpillars feasting in the trees.
really. it can be a bit disturbing.

this is what the TENT caterpillar builds. in the Oak trees.
when they emerge...they emerge hungry!

and those aren't the ONLY caterpillars, competing for food.
the Tussock Moth caterpillar is...right now...


not only are they crawling all over...but they spin these sticky little cocoons around themselves.
wherever they feel inclined.
on trees, all over the porch, car tires, window sills...

i hate to admit it...
the critter lover that i am...
but i've been plucking them off the front porch.
NOT squishing them...but plucking & flinging...into the yard.

you can hardly walk under the trees right now without something landing on your head.

now it's the caterpillars. soon it will be the spiders.
no entering the forest without a big stick to wave in front of your face.

so what keeps the caterpillars in check?
from taking over the world?
or at least from taking over florida...
the lizards. maybe the bats? birds. baby snakes perhaps?
and other critters & bugs that have an appetite for fat juicy caterpillars.

like this black and white wasp.
flying around the front porch, carrying something green.
quite a heavy load.

landing here and there...on the porch ceiling...trying to get a better grip.

it seemed like he was looking for something.
he was.
he found it.
his hidey hole in a wooden beam...a hole drilled by a Borer bee (or Carpenter bee), i think.
the perfect place to stash his meal.


now...about the crow.
on our way back down the drive...from seeing the hawk...
i spotted something kind of big and it was just hanging in a tree.
i thought it might be a big black plastic garbage bag that the wind tossed up there.

so i walked over for a closer look and to grab that bag down.

it was a crow.
it was creepy.

just hanging it fell right out of the sky.

we have LOTS of crows.
lots of aggressive...noisy...crows.

i like them. except when they chase a hawk away.

then i wish the hawk would stop in mid flight...turn around...
and chase the crows back to the trees where they came from.

but to see this poor dead crow.  it was sad.
we left him there. for now.

oOo oOo oOo

i leave you with a curly-Q and thorn picture.

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”  
~Dr. Seuss 

~be cool. be safe.~


  1. Love the hawk shot and the curly cue shot...bugs and dead birds...ick.

  2. i do think that hanging crow is rather interesting! eerie. and love the hawk silhouette.

    you are in caterpillar heaven! wow! the inch worms are cute - for about half a day, maybe... :)

  3. Thats a terrific series of photos. As for bagworms - I still remember one summer when the forest canopy all but vanished under a plague if these critters. It was raining bagworms! The plague was ended about mid august by air dropping millions of parasitic flies which had been treated so they would not reproduce. In the Laurentians - about mid 50s, I think. ATB!

  4. I love the visual of Sam flying out of the shadows!

  5. I especially love the silhouette picture of the hawk. I'd hate to be worrying about stepping on the caterpillars every where I went. So many...but not as bad as when I saw the cicadas emerge down south when I was a kid.

    I saw a crow fall right off the top of a building when I was a kid. Wrote about it here:
    Have always wondered why it just fell down through the sky like that. A mystery. Does seem like it needed to stay where it landed. You can check for bones later. ;)
    Have a great day. Warmer than ours, I hope. :)

  6. Hi Laura...I hate the thought of those caterillars... one year we had some kind that was all over the sides of building ..just everywhere , and I think they where Gysph moth ones!!
    The creepy women is creeped out!
    That was pretty good that bee or wasp making of with his stash..strange world among insects!!
    Isn't there some diseases that birds get where they just fall dead out of the sky??? Keep track of those bones ; }
    Love your twisted curly Q vine,and the DR.Seuss's quote!!
    Take Care

  7. Very cool post! Love the caterpillars and the freaky dead crow.

  8. Wow!!! A lot of action going on in your world! I don't know why but I think those crow shots are really cool. Did the hawk scare the crow to death? Pretty scary stuff. I've seen those caterpillars before....they sometimes creep me out....especially when they land or fall on you. But I can only imagine how beautiful they'll all turn out in a small period of time:) As for the are one lucky person:)

  9. I hate it when I see the crows chasing a hawk!!! That dead crow was creepy though...really creepy! If you see more, you should report it in case there's an illness/disease that's killing them...:)JP

  10. You continue to delight me on every visit. The wonder of it all. Your eyes see the forest like a child--everything is new and fresh. Thanks so much for reminding me to keep my child eyes open and shut the grown-up eyes.

    Truly a pleasure walking with you in the forest!

  11. As always a lovely post. I was actually telling Sparky the other day that we have to get Guppy some silkworms. Soon. Not now. Apparently they are not in season now :).

    For some reason I kept on reading dead cOw, right up until I saw the picture and I was going "that's now cow, that's a ... ah, oh, I see... uhm...'

    Anyway, that is creepy, but the squiggly made up for it in the end :)

  12. Laura, I love the hawk silhouette. They are cool birds to see. I do not mind insects or critters but I wouldn't want them falling on my head. YUCK!! The tent caterpillars are taking over everything. I wonder what happened to the crow, was it a battle to the end. I love the last shot and the cute Dr. Seuss quote. Another great post, have a wonderful day.

  13. i've never seen such colorful caterpillars!

  14. ooooohhhhh.... the Post I felt all my burning lumps become awakened memories Laura.... I feel quite brave being here.

    I've smothered myself in insect repellent cream... and hopefully will emerge unscathed from my journey with you through your present Caterpillar filled Forest...

    Love the Hawk silhouette photo. One of those moments that are like a reward for noticing and recording life around us... good on Sam for caring and noticing too.
    I think if it was Sam that flew out of the shadows you may have needed to wonder when you would have been doing the same!!!!

    Oh my, that first coloured photo of Red Hawk shows just how stunning a bird it is, though I'm glad with my feathered friends Raptors are not a regular event.

    Wow... fancy having so many Caterpillars you can hear them munching... astonishing, and wonderful.
    Love the Tent Caterpillar's dwelling/cocoon. That really is quite an achievement.
    What a very pretty Caterpillar.

    The Tussock Moth Caterpillar is very decorative... lots of hairs there to worry about penetrating clothes and skin... and sooo many to do so too.
    what a fascinatingly shaped body they have looking from above onto them.

    Am awed by the variety you have... but then why should I be surprised, you always have a wonderful array of different Moths and Butterflies visit your Garden... the resulting Caterpillars would be simply natural.
    I never see a reason why a Butterfly or Moth would bother searching elsewhere for a good home to ensure their future survives to greet another day.

    Fabulous photos and story of the Black and White Wasp. Like that a lot.

    The Crow Story and photos is rather sad. As well as the mystery as to why. Hope it was simply old age.
    I too have lots of Crows/Ravens (just never know which it is I have in my area), but I'm thankful they are keeping the Raptors away... makes for much safer times for my feathered friends and other birds in the area... though the other Birds do have to pay a fee for the service when their young are born... and what a furore goes on during that time, which often results, alas, in a fee paid.

    Like the curly Q and thorn stem ending... rather fits the theme this forest journey feels to have xxoxoo

    and I've emerged unscathed... yay!

    PS... do like your Link Within addition. Is fun to explore other connections you've done in that way. It's an excellent way to travel further into your wondrous Forest adventures and other Stories.

  15. OMG!!! That first caterpillar you served up is too weird...have never seen anything like it. Your great pics tell a cool story, tho. And, the hawk at dusk...very thrilling! A too cool shot Laura. I'm sorry about your crow...even when they're pests, you don't like to see them at that kind of end...was this an omen of some kind?

    I knew I had missed this post. Good thing I came back, and, I hope you've gotten those weird creatures under control-flicking them off, eh? I'd have to use something like a small spade to flick them off-ugh!

    Hope you and Sam are doing well. Have a prosperous week, ooxx!

  16. Laura, that silhouette shot of the hawk is wonderful- magnificent birds, those!

    Good grief, you have such a variety of caterpillers down there! Of course, the flip side is the equal variety of butterflies & moths resulting from them glad you mentioned all the other creatures that depend on the caterpillers for their survival, too. Nature does have a way of balancing it all out. We, too, have the cycles of tent caterpillers (is ANY place immune?) about ever seven years, I think. Like you say, if we stand out in the woods when it's quiet, we can hear the chomping and dropping of wastes - sounds like a gentle rain, but we know different!

    AND your parting shot and Dr. Seuss quote say it all... THANKS, Laura, just for being YOU!


thanks for stopping by! it's always nice to hear from fellow wanderers!