It warmed up a bit this week so I thought I would go out and do a few chores. Nothing exciting mind you because all has been frozen for so long. I needed to get outside. As I was surveying all the sticks that had been blown out of the surrounding trees I found a tip of limb from the maple tree with a cecropia moth cocoon attached lying on the ground.
This is how long the tip is with the cocoon on it.
This is the length of the cocoon itself.
You can see how leaves were pulled around the larva to make the cocoon.
The Maple tree was already pushing out some buds. I would never have thought that except that the first part of January was above normal temperatures and the last of January was below.
I didn't notice at first that there was a tear in the cocoon. I briefly took the cocoon inside to try for a close up to try to show the larva inside. My DB helped with this close up.
I have no idea if the larva was compromised by hitting the path with such force that the cocoon tore. Or if a squirrel found it and bit a hole in it and decided that it wasn't worth the effort??? So many questions.
So I closed the flap over the hole and placed it in the duff near where I found it. Maybe if it is living it will make it to spring.
My other find which was not far from the cocoon was an owl pellet. It was too cold to be outside long so I just took a picture of it with the ruler so I could see how long it was.
As you can see it appears to be a ball of fur with a big tooth or claw. To the right of it was a piece of bone.
I went outside today since it was so much warmer and was going to take apart the Owl pellet to see if there were more bones in it. It was no where to be found. Makes me wonder what happened to it. Maybe all that fur is down in a a vole hole keeping them warm???
Have you found anything of interest in your garden this winter?