Thursday, April 26, 2018

Thought For The Day

Chocolate reminds me of toilet paper..... never breaks in the right place.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Monarch Butterfly Chrysalis' Hanging Around 2018: Part Ten

As to where a monarch caterpillar will decide to attach can be strange and amusing at times. We had one attach to some wire (see here, lower pic) and another on a kitchen towel (see here). Well here are two more, one on a tap hose connection and the two on a garden chair.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Monarch Butterflies 2018 : Part 8 (Mating, viewer discretion)

I was walking past a swan plant and a recently hatched butterfly flew into the air. I may have disturbed it slightly. But that was nothing to the disturbance to come. It was joined by another butterfly in the sky and they fluttered together and went down to a bush. That's where they started vigourously mating. There was more wing flapping than I expected. I quickly grabbed my iPad and took a few shots before the pair departed.

I have never seen such before and I wish I had taken a video but there wasn't the time to do it. The whole process was about a minute maximum. Here are a couple of shots of the amorous couple.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Monarch Butterflies 2018 : Part 7 (Miniaturisation)

When a caterpillar emerges from it's tiny egg, it's so small you can only see it if you have amazing eyesight or a magnifying glass. Yet from the get go, it knows how to move around without falling off and has immediate dexterity. It understands the need to eat and gets on with that. It sheds two skins as it grows and at a certain point knows it has to create a latch point to hang from.

It then becomes a chrysalis, an amazing transformation in itself as it wriggles to shed the striped skin. It then settles down to hang for a while. When in this state, how does it turn into a butterfly? Quoting Scientific American:

First, the caterpillar digests itself, releasing enzymes to dissolve all of its tissues. If you were to cut open a cocoon or chrysalis at just the right time, caterpillar soup would ooze out. But the contents of the pupa are not entirely an amorphous mess. Certain highly organized groups of cells known as imaginal discs survive the digestive process.

Once a caterpillar has disintegrated all of its tissues except for the imaginal discs, those discs use the protein-rich soup all around them to fuel the rapid cell division required to form the wings, antennae, legs, eyes, genitals and all the other features of an adult butterfly or moth.

If that isn't something beyond comprehension, I don't what would be. What controls the process of that soup like substance to start turning into body parts that will work in superb precision with its tiny brain is amazing. It is not taught how to use its parts to fly, navigate, find food, mate and know where to lay eggs. It's all inside the programming inside the tiny creature that emerges from the tiny egg. Here is a picture below of a young caterpillar. The creative genius behind this cannot be from a random accident.

Can you see it? Look closely at the green seed sack