Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Going for a spin

My niece Jessie has sent me this startling picture from the Sun (whose headline I have shamelessly borrowed). The power of cocoon spinning is pretty awesome. But then think where silk comes from - plus the item on the news this week about scientists testing spider thread for other uses. I would have thought that they'd done that by now, but there's so much that we still don't understand in the natural world. This eerie picture comes from Spuikade, Holland, where the caterpillars have made their communal nest after stripping the leaves from nearby trees. (As one Sun reader advises on the thread - appropriate term: don't park under trees). By coincidence, my American pal Sarah comments on exactly this phenomenon two entries below.

Here is the Spindle Ermine
and a few of its caterpillars, which you do get in the UK, so beware. Spindle is the shrub Euonymus which I must admit, I never knew. Thank you, Jessie and the Sun.

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