Friday, July 29, 2011

Insects and a Bird's Nest [Edited for insect ID.]

Matt and Gina found this curious caterpillar thingy on their porch, popped it carefully into a plastic container and gave it a ride down the road to visit me.
We have no name for it as yet.
When gently prodded, the creature retracts into the woody tube, then after a moment it begins
 again to prowl.
G. says it appears to be dragging its leafy train like a tattered ball gown.

The creature having posed for several snapshots I placed it in the herb garden to get on with whatever life cycle is next.

Bagworm photo from wikipedia

Long-time readers of my blog may recall my fascination last August with the Garden Spider [Argiope Aurantia] who spun her web in the clump of sedum near the front porch.
Before winter weather brought her demise she had created 4 egg sacks which she attached to the porch post nearest her web.
The sacks hung in place all winter through rain, snow and wind.
Late in the spring I noted that two of them had pulled free of the fine silken 'ropes' which held them in place.
Willis the Cat was seen batting the remaining two into the flower bed below.

Today, weeding near the front steps, I discovered six young garden spiders clinging to small webs with the distinctive zig-zag signature.

A closer view of the spider.

This larger version has a web on the opposite side of the steps in the box hedge.

While crawling about to take photos I came eye to eye with a katydid!

In this their second season, J.'s blackberries have grown into a formidable stand of productive brambles.
G. spotted this nest tucked into a shady nook.
There have been a number of brown birds on the electical wires above the garden--I don't
know their identity.  Perhaps they are the owners of the nest and the spotted eggs.

If the eggs hatch and these particular birds like berries,
they won't have to fly far to bring home the groceries.


  1. You attract creatures lol That really is a weird one ...some sort of moth maybe ???? Your spiders are fascinating ...talking about spiders did you have any more Black Widow sightings.?

  2. A lovely wildlife post. Goodness, what on earth is that larval creature? It reminds me of a Caddis Fly Larva, but they live under water so it can`t be one of those.....

    Your spider and katydid photos are beautiful. Is a katydid a green cricket? We have them chirruping around the house every evening now.

  3. What a 'weird' caterpillar, but he sure won't show up in the shrubbery like he did on that white background. Hopefully someone will tell you what kind of 'critter' he is.

    It's amazing that those spiders hatched after being out in the winter weather.

    Sweet little bird nest and eggs.

    Luscious looking berries.

    Have a great weekend ~ FlowerLady

  4. How weird is that? Like a giant caddis larva out of the water! Ooops - just noticed that my dear friend DW already said that : )

    I'm glad you have the sons and daughters of last year's spider(s) with you again this year.

  5. Angie: No more Black Widow sightings--but I'm sure they are about!
    DW: 'Katydid" is what we have called these green creatures--may not be accurate. I just read that there are more than 600 variations of these insects in the US alone. Also, that in UK they are called 'bush crickets."
    I think the finer points escape me. Its a green bug who seemed to be looking at me!
    FL: The real marvel, to me, was that the egg sacks stayed fastened to the porch post through every kind of weather--spider silk is apparently very strong.
    BB: It probably doesn't take much to intrigue me--I found spider watching rather fascinating last summer and autumn--I'm glad they are here. They are not destructive to the garden.

  6. While I don't share your enthusiasm for these 'critter', I'm happy to view them second hand through your photos. Could that big fat wormy thing be the caterpillar of the cecrophyia moth? A very large moth.

  7. P.S. No it's not. I looked it up. I have seen those black 'wormy' things round here.