NATURE KNOWLEDGE: Black Raspberries

July 4th Week Vacation 2011 073These are Black Raspberries. Many people refer to them as “Black Caps”. As you can see in the photo, when the fruit is picked, the white core remains attached to the plant. This is the simplest way to tell them from Blackberries.

Another way to tell the two berries apart ( in my area of upstate New York and western Massachusetts), is according to their time of ripening. Black Raspberries appear in June and Blackberries are in August.

Black Raspberries are a small fruit and grow in sparse numbers per bush while Blackberries can yield gallons of fruit in a similar space.  I’ve found it hard to find significant patches of wild Black Raspberries. They are susceptible to many blights which also plague wild Raspberries. One final note, they are far less painful to harvest than Blackberries, simply because, their thorns are much smaller and their fruit tends to grow outwardly.

A Black Raspberry patch is indeed a great find!

NATURE KNOWLEDGE: Quick ID~ Moth or Butterfly

There a few tips that you can keep in mind in order to quickly distinguish a moth from a butterfly. Although they belong to the same larger group of insects, there are some rules (with, of course, some exceptions) to follow. Directly below there is a Luna moth. Notice the “feathery” antennae. Moth feelers lack a club-like tip too.

Butterflies have more narrow Q-tip-shaped antennae . See the Great Spangled Fritillary  butterfly below for example.

Another tip : If you see the insect in the bright sun of daytime, it is most likely a butterfly. Moths prefer the shadows and night.

Moths are usually drab in color while butterflies have bright colors. There are exceptions though.

Butterflies most often have a slender body with moths generally looking stout and furry.

When moths are at rest, they usually lay their wings flat along the surface of their post. Butterflies usually keep their wings upright and perpendicular to their spot. (see photos)

Butterflies have free hanging translucent “containers” spun from their caterpillars called chrysalises. Moth caterpillars spin cocoons of soft silk for their metamorphism.

These fascinating creatures share their ability to turn from a worm-like caterpillar into a graceful flying wonder. Hope this post adds to your pleasure when viewing Nature.

A butterfly chrysalis
photo credit: Wikipedia
a moth cocoon
photo credit: Wikipedia