Thursday, August 8, 2019

Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar

I was reminded yesterday of a health advisory on the Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar I forwarded to friends last year.  The health advisory notice came from the Sunapee Fire Department.

We again have the annual presence of this caterpillar with its allergic reaction or rash to humans.  Below is a picture of the woolly, white caterpillar with black markings and long white hairs. 

We had a hickory tussock moth caterpillar yesterday on our front door. After posting this notice on Facebook yesterday, I received many comments in agreement to the widespread presence of the Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar.

Don't touch them if you see them! The hairs of the Hickory Tussock caterpillar, which has black tufts on its back and black spikes, can cause an allergic reaction or rash for some people who make contact with the insect. The caterpillars have microscopically barbed setae, which can cause inflammation.

Watch out for this caterpillar. It is a woolly, white caterpillar with black markings and long white hairs (see above).

Don't touch them if you see them! The hairs of the Hickory Tussock Caterpillar, which has black tufts on its back and black spikes, can cause an allergic reaction or rash for some people who make contact with the insect. The caterpillars have microscopically barbed setae, which can cause inflammation.

This caterpillar appears between June and September and munches its way through the leaves of deciduous trees (it prefers nut-bearing trees, but will settle for willow, ash, aspen, apple, oak, and even raspberry plants and corn stalks).

The caterpillar excretes a type of chemical defense upon contact (which is more 
 appropriately termed "allergenic" than "poisonous").

Most people who handle these creatures will experience a burning, nettle-type, itchy rash of mild to moderate severity, but washing the affected area with soap and water, then applying ammonia or calamine lotion and icing the area should set things to rights.

However, some people are hypersensitive to the poison and have allergic reactions to it in addition to the itchy rash, those persons are likely to experience more severe symptoms such as swelling and nausea and should seek expert medical advice as soon as possible.

To emphasize the impact of the hickory-tussock-moth-caterpillar, below is a picture of a 5-year-old who learned the hard way when he touched the insect, put it on his face and ended up with a nasty rash. 


Monday, August 5, 2019

8th Annual Lake Sunapee Cruising Fleet "Poker Run"

Never say, "I wish I had been in the Lake Sunapee Sailing Day Annual Poker Cruise"

When Captain Al asked if Cathy and I wanted to be part of his crew in the Annual Lake Sunapee Sailing Day "Poker Run", we could not pass up this unique outdoor challenge. My motivational mantra, Never say, "I wish I had ..." had to be answered, "Yes!".

The ANNUAL “POKER CRUISE” SAILING DAY HOSTED BY THE LAKE SUNAPEE CRUISING FLEET, promotes sailing fun on Lake Sunapee. All sailboats from sunfish to cruisers to racers are welcome to join a “Poker Cruise”.

Sailing enthusiasts are invited to rendezvous at the Lake Sunapee Cruising Fleet boat just outside Sunapee Harbor. At the Committee Boat each sailboat is given instructions, a map of the course and a playing card. Boats will then sail to four-mark boats on the upper end of the lake.

At the mark each sailboat will receive another playing card. Following the “Poker Cruise” each crew is invited to bring their “poker hand” to a reception sponsored by the Lake Sunapee Cruising Fleet at the Knowlton House (LSPA) in Sunapee Harbor. There are prizes will be awarded for the best poker hands and for the best themed crew costumes.

In case you cannot tell, Captain Al’s crew costume theme is that of being WACKY WAHINES (Goggle "wacky wahines" .)


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Saturday, August 3, 2019

Using My Browning Trail Camera in Sunapee, NH

This post is for friends to comment on my trail camera experience.  Let me give a disclaimer here.  I am an outdoor writer and the videos and pictures I use in my books and blog posts all are taken by me. The Browning is my first use of a trail camera.  Suggestions and comments are most welcome.

I selected the Browning Trail Camera Model BTC-5HDPX because it received a very positive online review.  My criteria were: 1) Ability to talk to a company specialist if I had camera set-up and operation questions. 2) Fairly easy set-up - I am not a camera expert. 3) Quality pictures and videos I could use with minimum editing in my books and blog. 4) Night pictures and videos. 5) Medium pricing.
Can you spot the camera?

After nearly two months of use, the Browning Trail Camera Model BTC-5HDPX has proven my selection.

The most current video is first.  The third video is my initial use of the trail  camera. I first placed the Browning Trail Camera Model BTC-5HDPX on a wooded trail in Sunapee, NH.  The area is close to where I live.

I am learning more about the camera each time I move the camera to a new location:

  • Weeds and over-hanging leaves - and even rain - can set off the camera - giving us beautiful pictures, but no wildlife. Placement of the camera needs an unobstructed view.
  • Pesky squirrels scrambling up trees and inquisitive deer are all part of wildlife pictures.
----- October 14
My friend Mike accompanied me as I kayaked in an isolated area to check my latest camera placement. Not intentionally on my part, the camera placement filmed me both exiting and entering my kayak. I frequently get ask, "What is the best way to enter and exit a kayak?" I included in the below video the method I frequently use, where I use my paddle as a brace between the shore (in this case a rock) and my kayak.

Upon looking at the captured videos, the surprise was a pack of coyotes crossing a natural bridge of branches, rocks and mud.  See if you can count the number of coyotes.

-----September 17 through September 24
Leaving the camera in a three secluded wilderness sections of Sunapee, NH has provided new surprises. A roaming bobcat was seen prowling twice. A spooked coyote was interesting. My first glimpse of a beaver was nice, although I wanted more detail.  Maybe next time. Hearing and seeing a Pileated woodpecker was an absolute shock! Enjoy.

------August 9 through August 14

Here we have a five day video from a second location.  We indeed saw some exciting wildlife activity. 

-----July 31 thru August 3rd

Below are my first three days with my new wildlife camera. I edited out all videos started by wind from nearby weeds. I also split videos that did not contain significant information as I continue to learn this camera and where to place it.

The doe with her fawn was interesting. The coyote was a surprise.  We have heard them at night, but never saw one. The way a coyote walks and its size make me sure this is a coyote.

Enjoy - and please send me your comments.

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