Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Caterpillar Blood and Lack of Flood

We survived the storm!  Actually, we only had a few small branches down, and a fairly comfortable amount of rain.

We had a beautiful sunset after the storm, too.

Now the storm has passed and with it, the chilly 50 - 60 degree weather.  We're back in the 70s, but I think the brief chill shocked some leaves into starting to turn.  Look how pretty!

As you can see, though, most of the leaves are still cheerfully green.

Our nandina berries are slowly reddening.

One of our front holly bushes has pretty green berries now.  They make great seasonal bouquets.

You can see the range of colors in these acorns, all the way from very pale to darker green, gradually turning to rich chocolate brown.

Just out on our back deck looking for acorns, I found all sorts of little creatures among the leaves.  This teeny tiny daring jumping spider - my favorite! - was only the width of a pencil eraser! 

They are so sassy, and it's really amazing to see the variety of coloration of their abdomens.  Real beauties.

This caterpillar, regretfully, had a fatal injury.  I'm not sure what kind he might be.  I went back and forth between a winter moth and alfalfa caterpillar, but neither are quite right.  Whoever he is, he's a goner. 

Caterpillars don't have blood, of course.  They have a fluid called hemolymph.  This is actually what butterflies push through their wing veins directly after emerging from the cocoon to enlarge and strengthen them.  The same goes for cicadas.  Remember this cicada picture from a few years ago?  When they emerge from the cocoon, their wings are tightly furled.  

The hemolymph is necessary to get the wings ready for flight.  Pretty interesting!

I've done a lot of stitch work this week, but it's all Christmas gifts and therefore off-limits here for a few months.  In the kitchen, I've found an amazing crust-free pumpkin pie recipe at Chocolate Covered Katie.  Not much flour or sugar, but it tastes amazing.  I have a slice every single day.  

Later this week, I'm making a variety of pumpkin truffles.  I'd hoped to send them out to friends and family to celebrate the season, but unfortunately, they need to be refrigerated.  All the more for us!  :)

Have a great week! 

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