After we got home from geocaching today Molly looked out the window and saw a monarch sitting a hibiscus flower. She ended up roosting underneath of it over night and flew away this morning. We knew some caterpillars had wandered off because we saw them then the next day they were all gone. There were three more butterflies on the neighbor’s bushes They stayed well hidden this year under the leaves unlike previous years.
We decided to go out to do a little geocaching today and it was just a strange day all around. We only ended up finding two caches but we saw the invasive spotted lantern fly at ground zero for the third attempt. We googled for an image and confirmed that it was one so killed it. Then we noticed more so we went back to parking where they happened to have an event going on so we thought there would probably be someone from the township or parks there.
Our milkweed was eaten bare save a few new leaves the caterpillars hadn’t found yet. We happened to be at a hardware store picking up sand for our sandbag and saw there was still some stuff in the garden center so I suggested we go look for milkweed just in case they have any left. We walked right past it at first then I smelled the vanilla smell. They had the pink swamp milkweed the we originally wanted.
Lately I’ve been thinking I want to hike back out to Wind cave and see what’s changed since we were last there for geocaching and a CITO. I had read of it before geocaching but we never got there until the cache was there. Actually I’ve been wanting to go back there since last summer but with all of last year’s rain we never made it. Wind Cave is not like the caves most people imagine with stalagmites and stalactites, it’s a tectonic cave which means it’s not formed by water dissolving rocks, instead it’s caused by faults.
Two summers ago Molly had read about butterfly weed to attract butterflies. We Just couldn’t find it anywhere but managed to find swamp milkweed That was supposed to be pink but ended up being white but it didn’t matter in the end. Until I we picked up the milkweed I had forgotten that it was something I had always wanted to plant after reading about monarch butterflies in elementary school.
Although our swamp milkweed did not do well this year and between aphids and some sort of (i believe) fungus it dies off early and didn’t support many caterpillars butterflies visited every day multiple times a day to lay eggs. In July we could see that something was eating the leaves but never spotted caterpillars until a bit later. Finally, we spotted this one that has obviously been around for a while because it’s pretty big.
Last fall I gathered tons of milkweed sees from the pods as they dried out thinking it was worth a shot to try to propagate more plants from seeds because we had a few people ask us about where to get the flower that attracts the butterflies. I had no idea if the seeds were mature enough to harvest or anything like that but I got a baggy of seeds to try it out.
I thought this was worth noting since this area is not exactly geologically active. I just heard on the news that Dillsburg, PA had another minor earthquake Sunday. They just had one a few weeks ago. No damage or anything like that. Quakes are just unusual in that area. When you think about it though, there has to be some unknown faults underground from when the Appalachian mountains were formed.
Last weekend we visited Bushkill falls in northeastern Pennsylvania. Our trip began on an ugly looking day in which it looked like it could rain at any minute. It was a bit of a later start than I would have liked but that happens some times. It’s only about a 2½ hours drive from here. When we arrived the sun came out and pretty much stayed out the whole time. That’s something we haven’t seen a lot of this spring.
Tomorrow morning there will be a total lunar eclipse. It will begin at 3:52 am and become a total eclipse at 5:52 am. The moon will turn red. We won’t have the best view here because it’s so close to moon set but still it’s pretty cool that it will be the second eclipse this year.
We hid a cache at Chickies Rock county park a few days ago. Knowing where it is we can see the location from the overlook trail so we decided to stop in and go out to the overlook and see if any cachers were there. We ran into iBrew. It was nice to see him. We then headed out to the overlook to watch the sun set. Here’s a picture.
Molly has been wanting to use her camera and I remembered hearing about the snow geese at Middle Creek on the news the night before so I asked her if she wanted to go check it out. There just happened to be a new cache on the way so we got a FTF on the way. The game commission estimates 180,000 of them have been there. I’ve never seen so many birds on one place.