Moths in the kitchen!

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Guess who loves moths? Me! This moth (#1) is on the inside of my kitchen door.

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Compare to moth (#2) found in bathroom last week. Note how each one holds/folds its wings when ‘at rest’!

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This is a darker picture of Moth #1. #1 and #2 both have fuzzy wing edges but different fuzz pattern. Also notice the difference in their heads. I wonder if that means they eat different things.

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Enlargement. Sorry about focus.

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Check reflection for details of thorax, abdomen and legs! Do you know what kind of moth this is? I will try to look it up.

Update: It is not a pantry moth or a clothes moth or a Forage Looper.

Another update: Maybe it is a Forage Looper! Just faded because it’s winter!

In honor of the drive-thru Sequoia

Our country lost The Pioneer Cabin Tree at Calaveras Big Trees State Park. It was toppled in a massive storm system 01/08/2017. I have never seen the incredible sequoias of the West coast. But there are some pretty large and ancient trees here in southern Maryland in Chapman Forest.  Please visit them if you get a chance. They don’t live forever. Storms will topple them eventually.big-tree-1

I think that’s some kind of oak based on the leaves at the bottom of the tree. Please tell me what it really is if you know! It looks like 2 trees but it’s one. I’ve got to learn to take better pictures of these big trees and also to do a better job identifying them when I see them. It’s embarrassing that I can’t identify trees at my age… It’s not like they’re wild flowers…

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Same applies to this one. Notice dog checking out burrow in right side of tree trunk.

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This is a beech tree for sure. Finally! One positive identification! Don’t you love the color of the bark and the base of the tree? Normally we see small beech trees in succession forest areas. Their leaves look like parchment paper this time of year. You may notice them when you are driving. You may also see small holly trees with them.

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This is top of same beech tree.

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Maybe a sycamore? The other trees around it are dwarfed but they are not small trees.

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Here’s the tree’s top. I thought it was a tulip poplar because the trunk is so straight but the top is white like a sycamore and I don’t see any tulips up in the branches.

I will try to do a better job of photographing these trees in the spring.

Nature’s Newspaper, Snow Section

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Snow creates a wonderful Nature Newspaper! Identifying tracks in the snow can be more difficult than one would expect. Google showed me that rabbit tracks and squirrel tracks look sort of similar. There was only one set of tracks in the road so I couldn’t analyze a repeating pattern. My final decision was ‘rabbit’.  But I will look again this afternoon to see if there are more clues.

Per Google: Rabbit tracks are one of the most commonly seen after a snow. Look for the repeating bound patterns. (Based on the pictures on Google, the tracks above were not made by a bounding rabbit.) Each group of 4 tracks tends to form a tall, thin rectangle. Squirrel bound patterns tend to be much more blocky. Rabbits also have small round toes and fur covered feet while squirrels have long fingers. (I could not see ‘fingers’.)

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Meanwhile back at the piliated woodpecker’s favorite tree there is more news about its feeding activity. It snowed Saturday. I didn’t walk Sunday. This morning there were lots of new wood chips on the snow. So we can conclude that the piliated had a meal here sometime between Saturday evening and Monday morning.

Another ‘newspaper’ article to watch for is bird nest locations, easy to spot in bare trees. Now if I could just learn to identify the nests…

Also please sign up for my blog so you don’t miss any of them and help me find a ‘proper’ name for my blog. Someone suggested “Who the heck is Carrie Staples.wordpress.com”…

What do moths do in the bathroom?

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Anavitrinella pampinaria – Common Gray Moth. I don’t know if that is the correct name for the moth hanging out in my bathroom. But after 2 hours of searching the internet, it is my best guess.

Moths are in the insect Order Lepidoptera, and share this Order with Butterflies. There are some 160,000 species of moths in the world, compared to 17,500 species of butterflies. In the United States, there are nearly 11,000 species of moths. Actually 11,000 is the number of moths that have been identified in the US. If you are looking for a new career, there are a lot more moths still to be discovered/identified. If you discover one, it might be named after you.

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Enlargement doesn’t help show the incredible patterns created by the varying colors of their scales. But it does give a clearer view of the fabulously fuzzy edges of the wings. Made me think of the silencing edges of owl feathers. And there are wide-spread “eye” spots, normally said to make insects appear much larger to predators. Butterfly and moth wings are made of thin layers of  chitin, the same hardened protein that makes up their outside body. They are also covered with thousands of tiny scales that lend color to the wings. The wings are strengthened by a system of veins. It is amazing to watch a recently hatched butterfly or moth’s veins fill with fluid, creating a support system for their wings.

If anyone knows what this moth really is, please let me know. Also please sign up for my blog so you don’t miss any of them and help me find a ‘proper’ name for my blog. Someone suggested “Who the heck is Carrie Staples.wordpress.com”…