Thursday, December 01, 2016

Fall Cankerworm Moth Activity


             Last Sunday, November 27, I took this video. At that time there were hundreds of these little moths flitting about. They are Fall Cankerworm Moths that breed in the late fall, overwinter as eggs, and then hatch out in the spring.

             On Monday the 28th I saw 105 moths as I walked the dog in the evening which is many, many less than I saw on the Sunday. Tuesday the 29th I only saw 67. Wednesday, the count was 35. This evening, Thursday, December 1, I only saw 1. Temperatures have been cool and we have had a couple of overnight frosts but nothing compared to earlier in November. The only real difference there has been in the weather has been a couple of overnight rains.

            I tried many times, during November, to get a photo of the moths but they kept moving and flitting about most of the time and when they landed they seemed to disappear. Finally, after a small snowfall, I was able to find one cold enough that it did not fly right away and was east to see against the snow.


            After a bit of internet research, I found out why there were so many moths flitting about. They were all males looking for females. The females develop without wings and do not move very much so the males have to keep looking, and smelling, to find the females. I was very lucky, after doing the research, to find a female below the many males seen in the video. She was in the mulch pile and just moved enough to catch my eye.

            Yes, she is quite small and hard to find.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

November Sunday

            Sundays in November, as we reach the end of November, tend to be very quite on our trails. I found only one plant in bloom, a Tall Goldenrod, and heard only a few Blue Jays, some distant Crows, one Chickadee and one Goldfinch. ( I am ignoring traffic sounds as much as I can - cars, trains, and airplanes all went by within earshot.)

            Below is a Thimbleweed - Anémone de Virginie - (Anemone virginiana) with its seeds slowly migrating to the ground along the stem.  

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Friday Flowers

            Well, a photo of only one of the Friday flowers. I found 35 in bloom and identified 33 of them with a bit of help from an RBG friend. Colin Chapman and I toured he edges of the flower beds in the RBG Rose  Garden then went into the Hendrie Valley. After lunch I moved on to the Hamilton Waterfront Trail where I found most of the flowers. The one below is the Heath Aster/Aster éricoïde or (Symphyotrichum ericoides).

            I am presently working on a photo book and need to stay at it. So many projects, so little time.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

First Snow

            The first snow has arrived; not just a few flakes but a near ground cover here. It was preceded by a very cold rain yesterday that nearly caused a major problem for me.

            Yesterday morning, when I got up at 5:00, the temperature was +13 and it was still +12 when I went out to do chores. I had put on a long sleeved running shirt and just wore a light jacket when I went to do chores and by the time I got back into the house I had sweat enough to make the shirt quite damp so, in spite of the forecast that predicted rain and falling temperatures, I chose to change to a tee shirt for my Saturday run.

          When I left the house for the run it was still +12C and cloudy; however,  by run start it was +10 with light rain. By the end of the 10k run It was +6 and raining and my hands and feet were very cold. Perhaps a tee shirt, light jacket and running shorts were not a good idea? Anyway, I had difficulty getting my car unlocked as my thumbs were numb. By the time I drove across town to the gym for my shower my teeth were chattering and the cold had migrated from my hands and feet to most of the rest of my body. I had great difficulty getting my clothing off to get to the shower. I thought for a while I would have to wear my socks in the shower as my fingers and thumbs could not grip my socks to get them off. I did manage to get them off and spent extra time in the shower today to get warmed back up.  I had forgotten that I could get so cold when it was still 6 degrees above freezing.

            With the first snow happening overnight, I awoke to a near ground cover of snow with howling winds. I did my usual 2.5 k dog walk in spite of the new cold temperatures and winds but it was fairly pleasant  as the sun was out and most of the walk was near the bottom of our ravines and in bush so the wind was more evident as noise in the trees than actual movement on the face.

            During the last few weeks I have been seeing many, many small moths flitting about as I walked the dog.  Either they would not land, or if they did land they would just disappear so I could not get an ID. This morning one landed in the snow where I could see it and it was cold enough that it did not leave until after I had several photos. Now I know that at least one of the moths is a Fall Cankerworm Moth (Alsophila pometaria).

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Quiet November Mornings Cont.

Pitter patter of rain
Blue Jay screams
A distant crow
Unheard Juncos