A few weeks ago, a group of kindergartners and I came upon the largest, whitest, spookiest-looking caterpillar imaginable along the Blockston Branch. Almost grub-like, with pink dots along its edges, this rather naked-looking specimen would not have looked out of place in a science fiction movie. The kids and I rushed back to the Visitor’s Center to look up native caterpillars, hoping to identify the butterfly or moth that would morph from such a strange larval form. Alas, the mystery remains unsolved.
Mysteries are what I love best about being a self-proclaimed naturalist. When you observe the world with a questioning mind, there is limitless knowledge to be gained. If our earth were a book, it would be The Neverending Story. Which is why, when a student asks me a question to which I have no answer, I’m not ashamed to say “I don’t know, but I’ll do my best to find out.” The joy is in the quest.
by Jenny Houghton
Youth Program Coordinator