Journal for October 1, 2009

We had our first frost a few nights ago.  We’ve had several very cold nights, and lots of cool, rainy days.

First Frost – September 30

We went on what may be our last river trip of the season.  It was a gorgeous, still afternoon.

A Great Egret and a Great Blue Heron watched us go by.

The sheets of green floating in the backwaters are tiny stemless plants called Duckweed (Lemna sp.).

The flat floating parts are the leaves, and the roots dangle below them in the water.  Patches of Duckweed are like little floating islands.  Damselflies rest on them, and smaller insects walk across the floating leaves.

Lemna sp.

The darker plants with the red rimmed “leaves” are aquatic ferns (Azolla mexicana).

Train tracks run right along the edge of the river.

This is the railroad bridge that goes over the Buffalo River.

We went under the bridge to get back to the boat landing.

Most of my caterpillars have pupated, and I’ve put them away for the winter.  This year I’m trying Ian‘s method for overwintering pupae.  I enclosed each pupa in an envelope of paper towel, labeled it, and put it in a plastic container.

When the container was full, I put in two drops of water, closed the lid, and put it in the refrigerator.  Every month and a half I’ll add a few drops of water to each container.

I still have a few caterpillars that haven’t pupated – both ones that Ian gave me.

This is a White-lined Sphinx Moth larva – a different color variation than the one I raised before.  It’s still happily eating grape leaves, and Evening Primrose flowers when I can find them.

Hyles lineata

And this is a Snowberry Clearwing Moth caterpillar.  There are different color variations of this caterpillar too – they can be either green or brown.  It’s eating honeysuckle leaves.

I went to Iowa to visit MJ this week – and to hear a talk by Stephen Marshall – the author of one of my favorite insect books.  MJ lives in a beautiful house in the woods, with native plants all around.

And jars of insects everywhere.

Another big event this week was that our friend Danny and his hunting friends put a new roof on our cabin.

Here’s the cabin with its new roof.  (It’s difficult to get a picture because it’s surrounded by woods.)

And here’s the roofing crew.

(For more photos of the roofing project, check out Mike’s blog post.)