Tag Archives: nature

Browntail Moth: How to identify these and Gypsy moths and Eastern tent caterpillars

Why are they a problem?
The browntail caterpillar has tiny (0.15 mm) hairs that on sensitive individuals cause a skin rash similar to poison ivy and/or trouble breathing.
The microscopic hairs break off the caterpillars and are everywhere in browntail infested areas; on trees, lawns, gardens, decks, picnic tables and in the air.
The hairs can remain toxic for up to THREE YEARS so although the problem is worst from May to July, they may cause a reaction at other times of year as well.
Wind or activities such as mowing, leaf-blowing, etc., can stir up the hairs, leading to a reaction.
The rash and trouble breathing can last anywhere from a few hours to several weeks. It is caused by both a chemical reaction to a toxin in the hairs and physical irritation from the barbed hairs. Contact your physician if a reaction is severe.
Browntail
Moth
Maine Forest Service
(207) 287-2431
www.maineforestservice.gov
Maine Board of Pesticides Control
(207) 287-2731
thinkfirstspraylast.org
Life Cycle: Browntail moth (Euproctis Chrysorrhea)
 One generation a year.
 Four life stages; egg, larval, pupal, and adult.
 Larval stage (caterpillars) lasts from August through to the following June.
 In the spring, as soon as the earliest leaf buds open, the caterpillars become active and leave their over-wintering webs to feed on tender new leaves. They may devour the leaves as fast as the leaves develop.
 When young, the caterpillars return to the webs at night, but later remain out on the leaves overnight, and are fully grown by late June.
 The caterpillars then form filmy cocoons between leaves on trees, under eaves, picnic tables, decks, etc.
 Adult moths are emerge from cocoons in late July and August, laying clusters of eggs on the underside of leaves. The moths are strongly attracted to light.
 Caterpillars emerge from the eggs in August and feed on the upper side of the leaves of host trees.
 In the fall, colonies of caterpillars build winter webs on the tips of branches. The webs are made from leaves tightly wrapped with white silk. There can be 25 to 400 or more caterpillars in each web.
 The caterpillars overwinter within the 2-5 inch (5-10 cm) winter webs. The webs are found most often on red oak or apple trees.

Damage:
The caterpillars feed on the leaves of many hardwood trees and shrubs. Common host trees and shrubs in-clude:
 Oak, apple, crabapple, cherry, hawthorn, shad-bush, serviceberry, and rugosa rose.

Feeding by browntail caterpillars can cause reduced growth and branch dieback. A number of years at high population levels can lead to mortality of trees and shrubs.
Look-a-likes:
 Eastern tent caterpillars have a solid whitish line down the middle of the back with a row of oval pale blue spots on each side and are covered with long brown hairs.
 Gypsy moth caterpillars have pairs of blue and red spots along their back and are covered with long brown hairs.

Browntail Moth (adult):
 Both sexes of the browntail moth have snow white wings and a tuft of dark brown hair on the tip of the abdo-men. Only seen in July and August.

http://www.maine.gov/dacf/mfs/
Identification:
Browntail Caterpillar:
 Dark brown with a broken white stripe on each side and two conspicuous red spots on the back. They grow to 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) in length.

http://maine.gov/dacf/mfs/

New Gloucester Environmental Committee  5/14/2017

Rain or Shine Club

Presented by the Royal River Conservation Trust, the Rain or Shine Club explores your backyard with a concise, thoughtful outing on Thursday of each week. Join the club for a free guided adventure that takes place under any weather conditions. The next two of them occur in New Gloucester.

On Thursday, Feb. 2, 10 a.m., the club visits Chandler Mill Pond, 250 Chandler Mill Road, for the first time. If winter decides to prevail, the group can explore the shorelines from the ice; if spring persists, they can explore the pond from the shoreline.

On Thursday, Feb. 9, 10 a.m., the site is Pisgah Hill Preserve – South at 74 Dougherty Road. Come help RRCT Stewardship Director Kyle Warren pack the trail, make luminaries, and build a snow bar at Full Moon Celebration Preparation for their sixth annual hilltop soirée. Call 632-6112 for more details.

Patti’s Jan. 6 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

Meet wild animals

Meet Josh Sparks of Sparks’ Ark and the array of wild animals he rehabilitates. His talk is open to ages 3 and up in the Mount Washington Room of The Commons at Pineland Farms from 1-2 p.m., Monday, Jan. 16. Buy tickets at The Market and Welcome Center, 15 Farm View Drive, New Gloucester, for $5 per person. For more information, call 650-3031 or email education@pinelandfarms.org.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-75/

Patti’s Aug. 19 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

cider tasting

Dylan Staats and Allison Carrier, of Portland, enjoy sampling varieties of Norumbega Cidery products at a tasting held at the New Gloucester-based cider house on Aug. 13. Carrier remarked that seeing where the hard cider was made added to the experience, and the spice-flavored cider was her favorite.

NGPL Girl returns

The summer reading program, sponsored by the New Gloucester Public Library, 379 Intervale Road, wraps up on Tuesday, Aug. 23. As tradition would dictate, a play written by Tim and Jobin Terranova will open the evening’s festivities at 6:30 p.m. This year’s performance is entitled, “NGPL Girl: The Rise of RedRay.” A presentation of the end of summer reading awards will follow the play, and the evening will end with the Chewonki Foundation putting on their its program.

The public is welcome to come and show support for the young thespians and readers. For more information, call the library at 926-4840.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-43/

Patti’s July 8 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

Pet Show

Would you like to show off your beloved animal and meet other interesting pets? Come to the New Gloucester Public Library, 389 Intervale Road, 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 12, for their 14th annual Pet Show.

All pets are welcome to attend for pet-themed storytime, socializing, and species-appropriate snacks. Light refreshments will be served for the human types. A representative from the GNG Animal Hospital will be on hand for a fun presentation. An additional exciting group will be here this year for your entertainment. All pets are welcome, be they scaly, furry, feathered, finned, imaginary, slithery or stuffed. For more information, contact Carla at 926-4840. Registration is appreciated.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-37/

Bird watching at the Shaker Bog

Trained naturalist and birdwatcher Carol Beyna will lead groups to the fascinating habitats of the Shaker Bog. The bog was originally built by the Shakers in 1816 as a reservoir to power their mills, but today, this 150-acre wetland has become a diverse ecosystem. The combination of woodland and wetland provides an ideal habitat for a wide variety of songbirds, game fowl, woodpeckers and more. Learn to beckon chickadees, nuthatches and other small birds. Possible sightings also include pileated woodpeckers, loons, ducks, Canada geese, and hawks.

This program is designed for families, young and old, and promises a fun and memorable experience in the Maine woods from 8-10 a.m., Saturday, May 28, at Shaker Village, 707 Shaker Road, New Gloucester. Dress for the weather and wear appropriate footwear for a two-hour, moderate trail walk in the woods. Bug repellent and sunscreen are recommended, too. Bring your camera, binoculars and bottled water. The tour size is limited to 12. The class is free, but pre-registration is required. Register online at www.maineshakers.com, call 926-4597, or email info@maineshakers.com.

Explore the New Gloucester Fish Hatchery on March 17

The Rain or Shine Club, sponsored by the Royal River Conservation Trust, explores local areas of interest with a concise, thoughtful outing each week. Join the club for a fun, no-cost guided adventure every Thursday, always at 10 a.m., held rain or shine. On Thursday, March 17, join the group for a study of brown trout at the New Gloucester Fish Hatchery located at 312 Fish Hatchery Road, off Route 100.

The Rain or Shine Club is geared toward young families. Load your babies in backpacks or come toddle along. Everyone from infants to grandparents are welcome. Organizers keep the group together so everyone enjoys their trip into the wild knowing there’s a safe return as part of the plan. Call Kyle Warren for more information at 632-6112.

 

Dog tick or deer tick?

If you’ve been outside at all this summer, you’ve probably seen ticks.

This video from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention explains what you need to know about identifying two types of ticks: deer ticks and dog ticks. Deer ticks, which carry diseases, have a black shield and reddish body, while dog ticks tend to be larger and have a whitish shield. Keep reading

Can you eat that mushroom or plant?

Take a forager’s quiz. Keep reading

Protecting the Royal River

Canoeing on the Saco River is a ritual for many Mainers. Yet a summer paddle on one of southern Maine’s largest rivers is frequently described with words like: crowds, parties and beer.

The portion of the Royal River that flows from New Gloucester to Yarmouth is described in a far different way by local paddlers. Keep reading