October 18, 2014
As I watched this autumn sunrise, I heard silence- reminding me of winter which lies just over the horizon. Then, from I knew not where, “O-ka-lee” pierced the silence stirring springtime memories.
I searched the dusky morning for a sign of the red-winged blackbird but to no avail; he was hidden in the shadows, or so I thought. Look closely along the top of the above photo. Fortunately, my camera saw what I did not. The ‘o-ka-lee’ did not come from the shadows but from high above as the blackbirds journeyed south.
As autumn reaches its peak, impending thoughts of whirling white winds sneak in. I try
to avoid such nuisances, but the scars from last winter’s brutality feel too young. I
am not ready for winter this year. I would like to join my feathered friends who wisely
Can you guess what this is?
Nope, but it predicts the brrrr. What?
I’ll explain later. Let me give you another clue:
Most Michiganders, like me, will immediately recognize this little fur ball
as the woolly bear- also, called the woolly worm in the Southern United
States. If I were a woolly worm, I would dump the alliteration and
journey north so I could be called woolly bear. It has more poetry.
If threatened these caterpillars curl up tight, playing dead, making them
irresistible to young fingers. Now is the time to spot them as they search
for their winter home. Once they find a suitable rock or log to crawl under,
they curl up and freeze solid- completely oblivious to the brutality of
winter. Should I be jealous?
With the spring thaw, consciousness returns and with it hunger. They eat until they form a pupa which
eventually hatches into the Isabella Tiger Moth. Since all of my blog photos are taken by me and I do not
have an Isabella Tiger Moth, here is a link:http://bugguide.net/node/view/154649/bgimage
An interesting fact about the moth is that it lacks a mouth; therefore, it must quickly mate before it dies
of starvation. As I study nature, I am intrigued by the diversity between species. From my perspective,
a mouth seems obligatory. I wonder what unknown feature I lack that another creature would view as obligatory.
According to legend, the width of the brown stripe in the middle of the caterpillar is a predictor of the
severity of the winter. A narrow brown stripe is brrrrly worth talking about, but a wide brown stripe predicts
a mild winter. So what do we have this year?
Looks wide to me- it will be a mild winter!
I am so thankful for his wise prophecy; if I could, I would gift his winged-half a mouth.