Urban Nature Walks happen on the last Sunday of the month--this shouldn't surprise me, but it often does. I sent out the call: is anyone else planning to walk somewhere? Fortunately my friend Teá said she was heading to Stonybrook Reservation to look for caterpillars! We ended up circumambulating Turtle Pond at a leisurely pace looking for all kinds of living things! This pair of bullfrogs is a good first sighting.
Many dragonflies and damselflies were about--this is a blue dasher Pachydiplex longipennis.
Teá is an amazing naturalist, and is currently primarily studying moths. I wouldn't dare try to guess this one past the family Geometridae (inchworms). She tells me it's Scopula limboundata, called in some guides the large lace-border.
Another brilliant naturalist who attended, Rosemary, found this chunky little stag beetle. It goes by "antelope beetle" for some reason (Dorcus parallelus).
Teá knew what to look for and where to look. The undersides of certain host plants are turned up and scanned for camouflaged caterpillars. This gorgeous creature is the "crowned slug," the larva of a rather plain skiff moth Isa textula. This caterpillar is maybe 4 mm long.
The only purple damselfly that is found in our area is this one, the variable dancer Argia fumipennis. ("Fumipennis" means smoky wings, one of the variable traits that this individual does not possess.)
This little one is the larva of the spicebush swallowtail Papilio troilus, a large mostly black butterfly that seems to be having a good year, relative to other butterfly species.
Curled up in a black cherry leaf, this plump green larva is a related butterfly--or may be some day--Papilio glaucus, the eastern tiger swallowtail.
The midrib of the leaf surrounding the caterpillar is marked with a light discoloration, the evidence that others were feeding from the same table, little sap sucking hemipterans.
I couldn't help but find some galls on our walk. This is a blueberry stem gall, showing the holes where multiple wasps emerged.
And then finally as we all started scattering to out nex
Edited to add--here I am uploading these to inaturalist years later--I wonder what the end of the sentence was supposed to be