Sunday, June 19, 2016

Just Look at That Face

The other day there was a quite a commotion in the front yard. A group of neighbourhood kids had assembled and they were in a circle, looking down at something on the ground. They would come in close together, scream, and fall back. They repeated this strange dance several times, huddling close, and breaking apart with squeals and laughter. I braced myself and went over to investigate. Usually this level of excitement can only be caused by such wonders as chipmunks in downspouts, bird skeletons or strange insects, like the time a neighbour girl found a dead cicada.

The centre of attention this time was this furry guy (or gal?). The children were curious, but a little frightened at the same time. What could it be? As is often the case with children, the next logical step was to poke it with a stick to see what might happen. I quickly suggested that they put down the stick as not to hurt this furry friend. It stayed and posed for a quick photo. It was a very slow moving creature, and although winged it made no attempt to fly, but rather made its way to the wall and began to climb.

As far as I can tell from a quick Google search, this is possibly a tent caterpillar moth. That would make sense as the tent caterpillars have been in abundance this year, munching away on our trees and bushes. It's funny, because while I have been aware of the caterpillars, I have never given much thought to what they become. It made me wonder what other strange creatures I might find if I really just look, even in my own yard. Sometimes we just need a kid's eye view.

PS If there are any entomologists out there who can give a more definitive identification, we would be extremely grateful.