Cecropia Moth


A stunning caterpillar, but not one that we encounter very often, this being only the second in nine years. This one was feeding on a domestic blueberry plant in mid-August 2015.

Chickweed Geometer


Observed early October 2015 near the main vegetable field.

As the name implies, the caterpillars can feed on chickweed. Hooray for anything that eats chickweed!

Hermit Sphinx


I found this on wild bergamot (Mondarda sp.) while moving fences for a goat paddock in late September 2015; the black spot made it look like an empty hollowed-out shell of organic matter, and only with a second look did I realize it was a caterpillar.

I brought it inside to raise the caterpillar in a jar, but it turns out that it had been visited by a parasitoid wasp, possibly Cotesia congregata.

Luna Moth

Luna Moths are large, showy moths that we see infrequently, maybe one every year or two on average. (Sightings sometimes involve only a wing of a bird-eaten moth, not a live specimen.) So when Eric returned to the house from morning chores on July 13, 2013 with a report of a mating pair, we grabbed the camera and went back for photos. These were on a Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum) near a woodland edge, not far from the main vegetable field.



Brown Recluse


The Brown Recluse is a common venomous spider that we encounter almost exclusively in the house, though they are reported to live outdoors as well. We tend to find them in corners of rooms and other locations that get little disturbance. The one in the photo was hanging out in the guest bedroom shower (shortly before I cleaned the shower in anticipation of the arrival of a guest). Brown Recluse are good motivation for keeping piles of clutter to a minimum and piles of clothing off of the floor, since these locations provide them with habitat and hiding places.

In spite of the commonness of these spiders, neither of us has ever (to our knowledge) been bitten, although we have jumped on more than one occasion as a result of a close encounter.

Juniper Stink Bug


In fall of 2013, these Juniper Stink Bugs (aka Jade Stink Bug) were common in both firewood and lumber piles, especially in a pile of milling scrap from Easter Redcedar trees (a type of juniper).

Identification references:

Spotted Apatelodes Moth

I saw this moth resting on a sage plant one morning in early June and grabbed the camera; it is not one that we see routinely:bio_moth_Apatelodes_torrefacta

The Butterflies and Moths of North America website has more information on this species. This sighting is recorded in their database.