Saturday, August 21, 2010

Collecting trip to Western West Virginia

The first week of August my friend, Jane and I took a trip to Ritchie, Wood and Pleasants counties to collect bees and insects.  We also did a little botanizing along the way. Jane was collecting bees for a study she was helping with and I was collecting moths for a study I was helping with. We made the perfect pair except I collected at night and she collected during the day. Here are some of the highlight of our 3 day trip.

We stopped at a rest stop in Harrison County so of course we had to collect. I found this silver spider caught up in my sweep net. I'm not collecting spiders but I love to take their photos.

I also found a Tread-legged Bug like the one I had found last week at SCWMA but I managed to get a better photo of this one.

Thread-legged Bug.  It definitely has its eye on me. 

Most every where we went we found Eastern Tiger Swallowtails and Silvery Checkerspots.

Pearl Crescent or Silvery Checkerspot?
In Ritchie County we stopped at Tracy Lake where I found several Clearwing Hummingbird Moths feeding on the Bergamont.

Searching on the underside of the leaves I found...

a Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar (Lophocampa caryae).

While we were a man with scraggly hair and a grizzled beard drove up and stopped to talk. He was sweaty because he had been out cutting multi flora rose and was at the lake to take a bath. We got the impression that he hadn't talked to anyone for weeks because he almost talked our ears off.  He said he was from NJ and someone asked him to take care of their property in exchange for a place to live. They told him the place had running water, electric and free gas, which is common in WV.   It turned out that he had running water in the creek next to the cabin, had electric when the lightening struck and had gas when he ate beans for dinner.  He was quite a character and we soon left so he could wash up in the lake.

That night we went back to collect moths at my light sheet. 

It is hard to take photos on the sheet because it moves so easily but on the way out a tree frog jumped down onto the hood of the car.  A nice treat for the end of a long day.

Gray tree frog.

Enjoy other fine photos of critters at Camera Critters blogsite.


chubskulit said...

Gorgeous critters.

My Camera Critters

Denise said...

Fun time in WV and some fascinating shots of those bugs. Enjoyed your photos very much, thanks.
An English Girl Rambles

Slugyard said...

Beautiful photos. I'm originally from New Jersey- I don't remember too many people there who would be willing to trek to WV to rough it!

Woodswalker said...

Such amazing creatures! Everywhere we look, something new to see, as your photos attest.