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Caterpillar Portraits

Spending some facetime with our crawling friends.

Cthenuca virginica caterpillar, found midwinter on a snowbank.

Everyone deserves to have a nice portrait of themselves- for online dating profiles, media releases, and plain and simple vanity. This includes our caterpillar friends.

A minor issue is their size – caterpillars are small. Even the biggest caterpillars I’ve seen don’t have faces larger than about 7mm. Even worse, no matter how you try to compliment them during a shoot or how good your banter is, they don’t take direction well. It’s certainly doable, but there are a couple easier options to minimize the squirming.

Proceed to caterpillar portrait protips.

Ultraviolet Lepidoptera

It glows! It glows!

Ultraviolet light has a wavelength between 10 nanometers and 400 nanometers, this puts it below violet and indigo on our good old rainbow and outside of the visible light spectrum our eyes can detect. Good times happen when ultraviolet light hits certain materials – some cheerful objects will fluoresce and emit visible light when hit with these otherwise invisible rays.

Paper or fabric brighteners, glow sticks, many coloured plastics, some organic fluids – these will light up under the blacklights you see at nightclubs or the kinds of parties to which I am seldom invited. Caterpillars don’t get invited to these sorts of events either, which is a shame as some of them could teach us a thing or two about maintaining style under a UV light.
Let’s see what glows.

Ontario Nature Butterfly ID Workshop

A morning of chasing butterflies and other insects through a field.

Workshop leader, James Kamstra, explaining some butterfly facts.

On Sunday, July 16, 2017 Ontario Nature and James Kamstra held a Butterfly ID Workshop at the Kinghurst Nature Reserve. It started off rainy with some fear of lightning so the butterflies were initially scarce. As the rain passed and the sun popped out, the Lepidoptera activated, and the 25+ participants had a nice introduction to butterflies and other incidental insects. It was the first time several of the attendees had been to the Kinghurst property, and I expect it won’t be their last.

Carry on to some of our insect finds.