So Tyler has become fascinated with the gypsy moth caterpillars that are EVERYWHERE these days. He thinks they are "cute". Meanwhile my dad is disgusted with them because they are in the process of destroying all the vegetation. And despite the fact that Tyler thinks they will turn into "beeeeeeuuutiful butterflies" I am fully aware that, after they destroy the trees, they'll just be turning in some ugly little white and brown moths.
In case you aren't familiar with the gypsy moth life cycle, be not afraid. I will fill you in a bit. Considering my prior extensive knowledge was based solely on my readings in "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" I had some research to do before I could answer Tyler's endless questions.
Apparently the first stage is the "egg" stage, where the egg masses are laid on trees. I think this is what we are seeing the remnants of here. I think the whitish masses are the eggs, whereas the other stuff might be leftover coccoons from the previous years moths (although honestly, I really have no idea what I'm talking about).
Next is the "larva" stage (essentially what we refer to as the caterpillars) which is the current stage we are in now. To give you an idea of how abundant they are this year, my dad was IN the process of washing his car, having already cleaned off the hood, and within minutes there were SIX caterpillars crawling around on it. Within this stage is when they do all their feeding, which is of course is what is destroying all the beautiful leaves.
Next you'll find the "pupa" and "adult" (moth) stages, but you'll just have to wait patiently for some photos of that in upcoming months.
If you so desire any further information (which I'm highly doubting), feel free to check out this lovely site.
And speaking of "life cycle" stuff, did anyone notice on my little ticker there (to the left), only 125 days left until little boy's due date!
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