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Waiting for rain June 8, 2014

Posted by stinawp in Uncategorized.


May 24, 2014


I deliberately arrived at Palo Verde two weeks earlier this year so that I wouldn’t miss the caterpillars that emerge at the very beginning of the wet season. As soon as I saw the marsh near the station, I worried that I’d gotten here too soon.


This is what the marsh looked like last June:

PV 06-25-13 015



This is what it looks like now:

PV14 06-02-14 (7575)


This is why Palo Verde is a dry tropical forest.


But when I went for a little walk to get reacquainted with Palo Verde, I found seventeen shelter-building caterpillars in three hours. That may not sound like a lot, but it was enough to keep me busy for the rest of the day. Even though a lot of the smaller plants are waiting until there’s more water available before they sprout, most of the trees and shrubs are producing lots of tender new leaves. And where there are tender leaves, there are caterpillars eating them.




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