Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wooly Worm

While cutting out some overgrown bushes at home last month I saw this wooly worm and had to grab my camera. Old folklore says that how black the wooly worm is predicts how harsh the Winter will be, but most studies have shown that this is not true. This little caterpillar is now hibernating under some rock waiting for Spring when it will then spin a cacoon of silk and in about a week will turn into a Tiger Moth.

I received a nice note from a good friend, Dan Johnson, who mentioned a few things about my last post. He says that the turtles full name is the "Ornate Box Turtle" and that it is a female. I wondered how he knew it was a female, so I googled it a found out that male box turtles have bright orange eyes. He also said that what I called a moth is actually a "Skipper". Skippers are actually a third group that is related to both butterflies and moths. Also, moths are nocternal, whereas butterflies and skippers are diurnal, or active during the day. The tiny frog is a "Chorus Frog" according to Dan. Dan, by the way, is president of the Kansas Herpetological Society, so he should know. I just found out that Dan's teenage daughter caught a copperhead snake with her bare hands!

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