Top Photo: Tent caterpillar hustling across path.
The caterpillar pictured above has made it’s way down out of its secure, communal silken tent in a nearby cherry tree. It’s in search of an even more secure location to pupate, under siding, tree bark, crevice or other hidden location. By late spring to summer it will become an adult moth and deposit eggs on a twig of another cherry tree, or perhaps the very same tree it crawled out of.
Tiny caterpillars will hatch in a few weeks from laying but remain in the egg mass as first instar caterpillars through winter until the following spring when the tree leafs-out. The cycle now begins anew, build a silken tent in which to rest and grow, venture out only to eat the tree’s leaves and ultimately crawl off to pupate under siding, tree bark, crevice, or other similar location…
Red buckeye is in full bloom.
What left the tracks across the surface of a small retention pond in Explore the Wild?
Common baskettails are flying. These odes only fly during spring.
Foam flower is blooming at the reflective, contemplative Wander Away in Catch the Wind.
Virginia bluebells too, are in flower at Wander Away.
Pawpaw is now flowering. Its brownish, maroon, or burgundy flowers start out as green, darkening as they mature.
A buprestid beetle was seen clinging to the windshield of the Ranger golf cart. It belongs to a group of beetles know as metallic wood-boring beetles. Most metallic wood-borers are rather colorful with glossy iridescence. This one lacks the color but is distinctive in pattern. April is the time to look for the adults of this specific beetle. The larvae remain boring through and feeding inside trees for two or three years.
I call this beetle Virginia pine borer. It’s also know as southern pine beetle, sculptured pine borer…and in Latin, Chalcophora virginiensis.
Green anoles are feeling the seasonal urge and have begun to display to both attract potential mates and discourage male rivals.
You never know what or who you’ll see on the outdoor loop. I happened to come across Graphic Designers, Jennifer and Savannah while I walked by the Farm Yard.
You can pretty much count on running into one of the museum’s rangers while hiking the loop.
And on the Dinosaur Trail.
Finally, there were a handful of green treefrogs hanging out on the grass stems in front of Into the Mist. These frogs all seemed to be from last year’s crop of tree frogs, about half or smaller than adult size.
See you out there.