Sand-verbena Moth Surprise

It has been too long since I’ve checked out the plants in the spectacular dunes at Goose Spit. A number of specialized plants grow in these dunes—yellow sand verbena (Abronia latifolia) and black knotweed (Polygonum paronychia) are prolific. With a little effort, other interesting plants can be found as well. A large patch of Black Knotweed (Polygonum paronychia) just above …

Crossing the Country Road

For the last couple of weeks I’ve seen at least 30 banded woollybears (Pyrrharctia isabella) crossing the country roads every time I’ve been out on my lunch time walks. One of my colleagues has taken to rescuing these cute little caterpillars and moves them from the middle of the road to the safety of the shoulder. They curl up in …

Return of the Tent Caterpillar

I was out supervising the neighbourhood kids bicycling in the back alley when I noticed a very interesting caterpillar on the leaf of a lamb’s ear (Stachys byzantina) in our rather wild roadside flower bed. Several of the kids took a break and had a closer look at this striking caterpillar and one mentioned that he had seen several similar …

Yellow Bears on the Move

Yellow Bear (Spilosoma virginica) caterpillars are active in the fall. It’s that time of year again. A sure sign of fall is the appearance of woolly bear caterpillars. I was taking a walk around the Courtenay Airpark Lagoon and came across a Yellow Bear crossing the path. The Yellow Bear is the caterpillar of the Virginian Tiger Moth (Spilosoma virginica). …

Banded Woolly Bear Predicts Mild Winter

Banded Woolly Bear | Pyrrharctia isabella Is it going to be a mild winter this year in British Columbia? You be the judge. According to some, if the orange band in the middle of a banded woolly bear (Pyrrharctia isabella) is wider than the black bands on the ends of the caterpillar it will be a mild winter. The opposite …

Why Did the Yellow Bear Cross the Road?

Yellow Bear It’s the time of year when things are on the move and if you’re looking at the ground or the sky you’re sure to see something interesting. Some types of caterpillars in the tiger moth family (Arctiidae) like the woolly bears and yellow bears are active in the fall as they move from food plants to a suitable …