jump to navigation

Bugger! October 11, 2013

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
trackback

It’s that time of year again. It has been, for several weeks. The woolly bear caterpillars are crossing the roads.

When I can, I swerve—slightly—to avoid crushing them with indifferent tires.

I have crushed many. I’m sure of it. Woolly buggers!, I curse (this is anglerspeak).

I have a fondness for them, as well as a respect. Check out their Wikipedia entry, which I have refrained from copy editing:

The Isabella Tiger Moth (Pyrrharctia isabella) can be found in many cold regions, including the Arctic. The banded Woolly Bear larva emerges from the egg in the fall and overwinters in its caterpillar form, when it literally freezes solid. First its heart stops beating, then its gut freezes, then its blood, followed by the rest of the body. It survives being frozen by producing a cryoprotectant in its tissues. In the spring it thaws out and emerges to pupate. Once it emerges from its pupa as a moth it has only days to find a mate.

In most temperate climates, caterpillars become moths within months of hatching, but in the Arctic the summer period for vegetative growth—and hence feeding—is so short that the Woolly Bear must feed for several summers, freezing again each winter before finally pupating. Some are known to live through as many as 14 winters.

When I at last got an iPhone (about a year ago), Pyrrharctia isabella was the subject of my first short film, coming soon to a screen near you. As in, right now:

Advertisements

Comments»

1. Dona - October 20, 2013

I love Woolly Bears too. I almost always terrorize them by picking them up and showing them to my companions before setting them free.

And you got an iPhone? A year ago? I thought it was just last week you were bragging about not having a cell phone.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: