Keepin’ On, Goin’ On

No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

~Maya Angelou

There has been a lot of talk these past few weeks of the value of connecting with nature, especially during these stressful times where everything “normal” seems unattainable. There is definitely solace in knowing that nature continues on its march toward new life. By going outside and seeing the progression of spring, the greening of the forests, the blooming flowers, and the awakening of our fellow creatures, we feel reassured that life is continuing, that the planet is still breathing. One afternoon last week, I walked around the yard looking for signs of new beginnings. Here are a few highlights…

caterpillar after molting with shed skin

Caterpillar (a species of pinion moth, I believe) just after shedding its skin (click photos to enlarge)

It is a season of firsts…the first clutch of Carolina Wrens fledged this past week in their protected nest area inside my workshop. As I did last year, I removed a window screen so the little ones could get outside to join their anxious parents (the parents have learned to come and go through a small gap in the metal roof, but the young have a tough time finding that and just cluster at the window); the first Summer Tanager and first Rose-breasted Grosbeak appeared last week; the first Zebra Swallowtail of the season, and so much more.

zebra swallowtail laying egg

The first Zebra Swallowtail of the season was flitting around our Pawpaw trees (her host plant), laying eggs

zebra swallowtail resting

She would lay an egg or two and then go land in a sunny spot for a minute or so, and then return to lay more eggs

zebra swallowtail laying egg 1

She curls her abdomen and glues an egg to a Pawpaw leaf

eastern tiger swallowtail egg on tulip poplar

I also found a few Eastern Tiger Swallowtail eggs on Tulip Poplar leaves (Zebra Swallowtail eggs are similar in shape but lighter i color)

Sitting on the porch one afternoon, Melissa saw another Nessus Sphinx Moth hovering near the ground. Virginia Creeper is a host plant and we have an abundance of it scattered around the yard. We finally saw the moth touch down twice on a leaf over the span of a few minutes. We gently turned over the leaf and found 3 eggs (she or another moth had been there before).

Nessus sphinx eggs on VA creeper

Nessus Sphinx Moth eggs on the underside of a Virginia Creeper leaf

There’s a lot to look forward to with the new beginnings all around us. Stay safe.

8 thoughts on “Keepin’ On, Goin’ On

  1. Your blog has encouraged Sally and I to
    walk the parks that are still open.
    We loved the Confluence Nature Preserve with great wild flowers.
    Bruce

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