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 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 dark...like 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 there...like 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?”
~be cool. be safe.~