Here is a blog post from a friend of mine who works at the Refuge, Don Freiday. He did some serious math to find out how many red admiral butterflies have been migrating through our area for the past week.
Okay, yes this is very late. We had our release celebration last month, but I never got a chance to edit the pictures. Our monarch release celebration was very late this year because of our mold problems in September. Since my class and I were visitors of North Main Street School for several weeks, I was unable to bring most of the caterpillars/pupae and adults with me to school. I did bring some caterpillars to school, and the students were able to see the pupa dance several times, even a few eclosures! We did release a bunch of monarchs (as well as eastern black swallowtails) at LAS in the mornings before the buses whisked us off to NMSS.
Here are a few photographs taken by Mrs. Kay Medina, TSA extraordinaire! It was a small release, but the students still enjoyed it very much!
Our spicebush caterpillar has once again amazed and surprised us! I came home today and walked in to find the green caterpillar was now YELLOW! AMAZING! I took video of it spinning a safety line of silk around its body. I hope to figure out how to convert the video file so that I will be able to post them here. For now, here are a few still images!
This crazy-looking caterpillar gave us all quite a scare this morning. When I came into the room, the first thing I did was say good morning to the girls, then checked on the caterpillars. The spice bush caterpillar is missing! How did it get out of the tower? I searched around the table, but could not find it.
Depressed, I went downstairs to pick up the class. As we entered the room, I told the kids what had happened. They all started searching for the caterpillar. Timothy shouted, “It’s over here, Ms. Lenahan!” This sneaky bugger wandered about 12 feet from the tower and was on a box under the rat’s cage! Holy moly!
Questions for the students: Why do you think this caterpillar looks the way it does? What purpose do the eye spots serve? Please post your answers in the comments!