Tuesday, 5 October 2010
Yesterday was caterpillar today. Today it's ticks. To be accurate, one tick, which fastened itself to the shapely leg of one of our Lake District band, Margaret McGowan, an educational adviser whose website will shortly be up and running on www.educationadviceonline.co.uk. It latched on to her halfway up Scafell via Cam Spout where the more muscular half of the group went adventuring. Penny and I and a couple of the others meanwhile perambulated round Eel, Stoney and Burnmoor tarns below Slight Side and found an enormous number of Fox moth caterpillars, plus plenty of the sleek, stripey ones you see below.
They appear to have been designed by the manufacturers of Hi-Viz vests which doesn't help them to hide but probably puts off predatory birds. I remember finding these as a boy in bracken on the Deer Hill at Bolton Abbey and noting how the younger ones had the comely livery of yellow with British Racing Green, the latter changing to brown in those close to pupation.
I've done a quick check on the net to see what they are but without success, and have to get my boots on now. Will try harder later.
The tick btw is very dead, the result of immersion in a cup of boiling water. I'm not going to try, but I imagine that it might test like an extremely tiny shrimp. It is the size of a pinhead.