We are officially on the Yellowstone Park Road! My hope is to bring you many photos that move you, teach you, and generally give you glimpse into the majesty of all sentient beings….large and small…
Well, what’a we have here!? Why, it’s an Eastern Tent Caterpillar nest! Would that’ve been your guess?
This foliage feeder is active in the early spring through early summer and is seen primarily on wild black cherry trees. However, many other tree species may occasionally be infested, such as ornamental cherry, apple, crabapple, plum, peach, pear, oak, maple and sweet gum. We spotted these fuzzy friends on a wild black cherry tree.
Soon after hatching, these caterpillars congregate and begin construction of silken webbed tents in the crotches or forks of tree trunks and limbs. As you can see, they are hard at work here, spinning, spinning, spinning the webbing….or maybe just taking a coffee break!
These grayish-white nests or “tents” enlarge as the caterpillars grow. The caterpillars are hairy and black with white and yellow stripes and blue spots. At maturity they will reach 2 to 2½ inches in length.
This is yet another indicator of the transformation that occurs in all beings. In the spring and summer season, we humans feel ourselves emerge from the Winter Solstice and begin to open, take in the newness of the dog-days of summer, and transform internally and externally…..think summer tans…….JUST MAKE SURE TO WEAR YOUR SUNSCREEN!