Sunday, September 7, 2008


I have discovered since moving to Chicago that after Labour Day there is a kind of siege mentality that seems to set in. Quite understandable considering the winters we have here! So any nice days we have after Labour Day are considered a huge bonus.

Today was definitely a bonus day, clear blue skies, 75 degrees and no humidity, just about perfect. The funny thing is that if this had been a couple of weeks ago, the lake front would have been packed with people, but not now. To most people the siege has begun so for us it is a great opportunity to enjoy the lake by ourselves.

After having sat by the lake and enjoyed the warm afternoon sun I was walking home when I spotted a now familiar sight on the side of a tree.

For those of you that read this blog on a regular basis, you will remember at the very beginning of summer I posted a very jazzy little caterpillar, then the next day I found the moth that develops from that same caterpillar, then about a month later I found a 'mystery bug' on a tree trunk which bug guide identified for me as the female moth of the same species. Well now I have the set! The picture above shows the female tussock moth which is wingless, at the top right. Below her is the egg mass she has just produced and then bottom left is the very cryptically coloured male tussock moth.

This picture shows the wingless female. Immediately to her right you can see the hole in the cocoon that she made her way out of. She stays put, producing pheromones until she attracts a male moth to mate with, and here he is.

Perfectly camouflaged against the tree bark.
So now I have every photo in the tussock moth life-cycle! I hope that the final link in my moth saga does not signal the end of summer or that I have to set up for the winter siege just yet, I love these bonus days outside.

Photo Credits - CJT


Tommy V said...

great photos. The water looks so nice and peacful

Celeste said...

Thanks Tommy - yes it was, such a contrast from how it will look in a few weeks when the winter storms start to blow in!

Michelle's Rambling Woods said...

I love the folks at BugGuide..Usually some teenager answers my questions..

Celeste said...

Michelle - they are awesome aren't they?