Caterpillars, Live for all ages – June 15

Above: Celia and Anna Whiteman got up close and personal with fascinating pollinator’s at last year’s Caterpillars, Live event. (photos by Sarah Whiteman)

The Open Space Preservation Commission is bringing back a smash hit from last year. It’s the family friendly “Caterpillars, Live” lab.

(click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)

Some of you may think of them as the pests that destroy plants. But, Freddie Gillespie of OSPC reminded me last spring that they are also baby pollinators.

Not all caterpillars are invasive species (like winter and gypsy moths). There are many native butterfly and moth caterpillars living in Southborough yards and open spaces. They are an important part of the local food web.

Next week’s lab is a chance to get up and personal with several live species of caterpillars. Visitors will learn the fascinating ways different species adapted to survive.

(And if you have questions about which caterpillars are in your yard are native/invasive, this is a good place to ask them!)

During exhibit hours, residents of all ages are invited to drop in to see the caterpillars on display at the Senior Center at 9 Cordaville Road. The lab will be there from 3:30 – 7:00 pm on Thursday, June 15th.

Last year, residents of all ages stopped by the Senior Center to visit the caterpillars. Here are some pics from that event:

Some were experts at hiding (photo by Sarah Whiteman) Trying to spot the camoflauged critter (photo by Beth Melo) Some of them proved a challenge to spot (photo by Beth Melo) Hint - that isn't a twig (photo by Beth Melo)

Some were fascinating to look at (photo by Sarah Whiteman) Careful participants were allowed to touch some of the subjects (photo by Sarah Whiteman) It wasn't just about the caterpillars (photo by Sarah Whiteman) The adults are mesmorizing, too (photo by Sarah Whiteman)
Presenters are from The Caterpillar Lab. Their mission is to foster

greater appreciation and care for the complexity and beauty of our local natural history through live caterpillar educational programs, research initiatives and photography and film projects. We believe that an increased awareness of one’s local environment is the foundation on which healthy and responsible attitudes toward the broader natural systems of the world is built.

Gillespie explained last year that the educational event ties in nicely with one of OSPC’s goals. Members are trying to help residents appreciate what open spaces contribute to Southborough’s environment and why that’s important. In that vein, they have hosted programs covering tracking, bird watching, butterfly walks, mushroom walks, vernal pool education and more.

(Stay tuned for news on another educational event the evening of June 20th – “Small Lawns”.)

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