Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A new bird book, and a chrysalis!

I finally purchased a birding book written in this century: Stokes Field Guide to Birds, Eastern and Central Region. Good stuff--great photos, descriptions of typical behaviors. My only complaint is that the descriptions of the songs are rather vague. For instance, many say something like, "repeats song several times." Yeah? WHAT song? I am beginning to miss those crazy Peterson descriptions like "witchety-witchety-witchety." Still--it's a beautiful book, and the printing had to be done in Singapore or someplace, because the cost of a four-color print job like this would be astronomical in USA, especially given the $17.95 price tag.

Update on the monarch (?) cocooning situation: The next day, a beautiful green chrysalis appeared where the caterpillar had been the day before. I will update periodically. Here is the Day 2 photo, where the caterpillar went from wiggling-and-hanging-upside-down to chrysalis:

Sorry about the photo quality--great focus on Kat's foot, but not so great on the chrysalis. What do you expect from a camera phone? Anyway, I decided to leave her in the coffee can ashtray, complete with old cig butts, however, for fear that I would damage her fragile attachment to the can, on the recommendation of commenter and Niblet-lover LauraHinnJ, who also commented that it was rather an odd choice of lodging for a chrysalis; I must agree, but I guess there's just no accounting for what a caterpiller will do in a pinch. Perhaps there was no room at the inn?

Per her request, pics are forthcoming of the plant on which the powder-donut-looking caterpillars were found.

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