Monday, August 14, 2006

The Next Generation

Lanark was full of wings this weekend, Monarch butterflies, Viceroys, White Admirals and Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, with a sprinkling of Mourning Cloaks, Pearl Crescents, Question Marks, Commas, various fritillaries and cavorting dragonflies.

Judging by its size, coloration, plumpness and the distinct white dots on its prolegs, this Monarch caterpillar was in its fifth instar and ready to enter the chrysalis stage. Within a few minutes it, had climbed (head first) down from its perch on the milkweed and rambled away through the long grass in search of a safe place to pupate. I shall search for its green chrysalis next weekend.

Last evening the air over the little blue house in the village was full of geese and ducks in flight, great flocks heading back to the river after a day spent grazing the stubble fields at nearby farms - we sat out with our tea at nightfall and counted several hundred Canada Geese, Mallards and Black Ducks. This morning the birds are flying back to the stubble fields to forage, and I can hear them calling through the window as I write this. Here then is another of my markers for the passing of summer and onset of autumn, this joyous daily "toing and froing" between fields and river.

There is a Monday morning haiku offering here.

1 comment:

Tabor said...

I didn't know that one could tell the live status of a caterpiller by the dots on the prolegs...something I will have to study.