Regular readers will have likely noted that my posts have been a little bit sparse recently. This is not for any lack of possible content or interest in my part – I have quite an assortment of photos sitting on my hard drive that I’ve taken over the last few weeks and would have made for good posts. Mostly it’s just been that time has been short. I expect it to become shorter still, as we come up on the manuscript deadline for the field guide to moths and my co-author Dave and I work diligently to make sure we’ve got all the pieces pulled together. I’ve been thinking for a while that I may need to put the blog on a semi-hiatus for the final month. I won’t shut down altogether, but I will probably only be posting once a week. Once the material has been submitted, at the beginning of September, I should be able to resume my normal posting schedule. So I hope you’ll all bear with me till then. (Incidentally, although we submit the material in about a month, the book itself will be another year and a half before it hits shelves – this is because of the time required for editing and layout and proofing and everything else that goes into producing a book, which, it turns out, is all rather more time-consuming than I’d realized.)
Today’s photos were taken at our Blue Lakes MAPS station this past week. It’s a Northern Walkingstick, Diapheromera femorata, which just recently emerged from and is still clinging to its freshly-moulted exoskeleton. Dan actually found it hanging from a shrub beside the path; he finds a lot of my most interesting critters. Walkingsticks don’t have distinct larval and adult stages; instead, they hatch from the egg resembling a miniature adult, and just grow larger with each successive moult. This individual is a male, I think, as determined by its “twigginess” (females are stockier in build). I posted about walkingsticks a couple of autumns ago when I had one arrive at my moth trap one night. You can read the original post here.