By Bryan Pfeiffer - IN THE ANGLED DAYLIGHT of November, a moth crossed my path through barren woods. Yeah, a moth, in the cold – a lesson in adaptation, fertility, and feminine sacrifice going by the name Bruce Spanworm. As a caterpillar, Bruce Spanworm (Operophtera bruceata) is one of the inchworms, a member of the large moth… Continue reading Fertility and Flight in a Winter Moth
By Katherine Hale - Vultures are stereotyped as patient, but they do not appreciate interruptions during meals. The two black vultures on the sidewalk took off with disgruntled, clumsy flapping, temporarily abandoning their dining experience as I approached. They perched awkwardly in the trees and shifted their weight from foot to foot, ruffling and shaking… Continue reading Beauty from the Beast
By Katherine Hale - There are no graceful ways to mention extinct species in casual conversation. Years ago, on a visit to San Francisco, a local friend asked what I thought of Golden Gate Park. “You're a naturalist, right—isn't that just your thing?” I made the mistake of answering honestly. “It's very pretty,” I agreed,… Continue reading A Tale of Two Butterflies
By Katherine Hale - I fall in love the way some people drink coffee—quickly, all at once and at the slightest opportunity. This time, the object of my affection was a tiny tan moth, fluttering among a haze of purple tick-trefoil flowers in a power-line clearing in early evening. Every now and then it… Continue reading Learning to Love the Corn Earworm
By Katherine Hale - National Moth Week has come and gone, but it's still a great time to get outside and look for moths. Why bother with moths, you ask? Well, they come in a dizzying variety of colors, shapes and sizes, and occupy just about every terrestrial habitat in North America. They have fascinating… Continue reading What’s In a Name When It Comes to Moths?