Monday, June 30, 2008

More fun than a truckload of honeybees...

...a tipped over truckload of honeybees.

Like a field with any agitated livestock, you're not going to go walking through the middle of it.You certainly don't want to go walking through a field of disoriented, agitated and wet honey bees.

Beekeepers help recover 12 million bees

Why ecologists rule...

...because we can do field identifications. (xkcd)

Beginnings all around!

So, of course, this is the obligatory first very awkward blog post.

Hello World!

There, that's all that needs to be done for that. You (and I hopefully) will figure this out as we go along.

But just to show that I'm not a total ... yeah... I've decided to also post pictures of the much more exciting beginning that happened in the lab today. Baby caterpillars!

Alright, I'm well aware that these are not baby caterpillars. But they are five day old eggs, laid by an adult Pyrrharctia isabella (that's Isabella Tiger Moth) that was living in my lab.
This, also, is not quite a baby caterpillar. It is, however, almost a baby caterpillar. It hatched only an hour after this photo was taken. If you look really closely, you can see it's a rolled-up caterpillar with several long bristly hairs that's just starting to chew it's way out of the egg.

Here we go--the promised baby caterpillars. They're about the size of a grain of rice when they're first hatched. And while they may not be quite as cute as I think they are, they will end up as the fuzzy banded woolly bears that can often be seen crossing roads and paths in the fall. I had about 400 in total hatch!

This is one of my woolly bears from last fall. Why on earth would I need to be raising these caterpillars? Well, dear reader, a girl is allowed a few secrets, no?

Oh, don't worry. Trust me, you'll hear waaaay more about them than any sane person could handle.