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Sunday, September 28, 2008

New Mystery Sound

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At September 29, 2008 at 10:07 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are having some problems with the technology on our side. Here are some questions from the kids:


How different kinds of animals have you seen?

Do you have problems finding the animals?

Has anyone gotten to close to an alligator?

What caterpillar do you like the most?

Where have you found the most caterpillers?

Do you get scared when you see alligators?

When are you coming back to California?

What is the climate like in New Orleans?

How many snakes have you seen?

Do you like it there?

Have you ever seen the inside of a caterpillars body?

Are you having fun?

Is New Orleans different from California?

How many eggs does a caterpillar have at one time?

At September 30, 2008 at 8:09 AM , Blogger Karen Retford said...

We have seen quite a few different animals:
*Reptiles - tree frog, Anole Lizard, water mocassin, rattlesnake, skinks, alligators
*Birds - Cardinal, Blue Heron, White Egret
*Fish- Cat Fish
*Butterflies - lots

It is hard to find the caterpillars. The are under leaves they are sometimes sandwiched between leaves and they have such great camouflage that you can't see them.

No one got too close to an alligator. The only ones we saw were from the bridge (the picture on the blog) and on the banks of the Pearl River, small four foot alligators.

My favorite caterpillar is the Scarlet Tussock Moth.

We have actually found the most moths sandwiched between oak leaves. The tortricidae are not glamourous or all that cute but I think these are the ones that we have the most of.

I will back with you bright and early Monday October 6th. I am flying back to California on Saturday October 4th.

The weather has really been quite nice. I was expecting to have a lot of rain. When I was here in 2005 in the summer there were afternoon thunderstorms with a lot of rain everyday. On this trip we haven't had a single drop of rain. The temperatures are only in the 80's but the humidity is high so it feels a lot hotter.

I have seen two snakes; a water mocassin and a rattle snake.

It is fun but we work long days and have to walk through thick underbrush so you get tired. Looking for caterpillars is hard so your eyes get tired too.

I haven't seen the insides of a caterpillar. There is a scientist who was dissecting caterpillars but she isn't working with our team. She was studying how the caterpillars body incapsulates the eggs of the parasitoid. So she had to cut them open to see what was happening.

We are having fun. Last night we all had dinner together at a restaurant. Then we went to listen to some wonderful jazz music. New Orleans is known for jazz and this was a really good group. I will share the music with you when I am back at school.

The caterpillar doesn't lay eggs, they are the larvae. The adults, either butterflies or moths, are the ones that lay eggs. How many eggs depends on the species, it ranges from 2 dozen to 100 eggs.

New Orleans is really different from California. The weather is more humid and they receive a lot of rain. They are really close to the Gulf of Mexico. We do both have rivers nearby, but the Mississippi is so big. I haven't had a chance to take a picture for you yet but I will.

At September 30, 2008 at 2:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Answers to the mystery sound:

It is either a bird call or a cicada call.

How did we do?

At October 1, 2008 at 9:35 AM , Blogger Karen Retford said...

The sound that you hear is cicadas. Do you think that we have them in Stanislaus County?


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