Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Upcoming Earth Day 2018

I picked up 13 bags along a mile stretch of road one Sunday in March
Letter to the Editor

Hey everybody, why not pick up some roadside litter in your neighborhood for the upcoming 48th anniversary of Earth Day? We live in these beautiful mountains, and let’s dress them up for spring. No matter what their politics, all conscientious, self-aware people hate litter, right?  Local environmental groups could get behind this. The big date itself is Saturday, April 22nd, but it might be better for some people to do their litter patrol on Sunday.  If you’re paying for curb service, Waste Pro will pick up as many as a dozen of those white 13 gallon kitchen bags per household, but recycle what you can, especially plastic and aluminum.  Be safe, like wear radioactive green or phosphorescent orange vests.  Watch for speeding motorized vehicles.  So, go out and do something real.

Hunt is the author of “A Pictorial Guide to the Monarch Butterfly Migration over the Southernmost Blue Ridge Parkway.”  The national organizer of the first Earth Day grew up in his small home town.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Our Io Moth

Female Io moth, cocoon on corn leaf, and eggs.  CLICK TO ENLARGE
Remember the giant green Automeris io caterpillar from last summer?  The one covered in poisonous stinging spikes.  (See the September 1, 2017 entry below.)  Here is the moth form of that same individual, and not a fellow as I supposed, but a gal.  I kept the cocoon in a jar on my workbench outside, but when I feared it might freeze, I brought inside and placed it on a shelf on my dresser.  Well, that wasn't good either, because it emerged early when no males were out yet.  She laid her eggs, anyway, unfertilized, and died.  She is still alive in the photo.