It is a strange sight to see a hedgerow covered in silken webs, and underneath the webbing evidence of all the greenery eaten away. However despite its oddity it is a common sight in summer in some parts of England

Contained within these webs are hiding hundreds if not thousands of caterpillars, and in the UK at least they are most likely to belong to a group of moths called the Small Ermine moths. The ones here are most likely to be Orchard Ermine Yponomeuta padella as these hedgerow mostly contained blackthorn and hawthorn, but they could also be Spindle Ermine or Bird-Cherry Ermine. Unlike the processionary caterpillars I posted about in Portugal, these larvae are harmless to humans and pets and incredibly the hedgerows and trees will recover. However the advice remains – always be cautious of caterpillar webs and hairy caterpillars just in case they are some of the dangerous ones.

If you or your blogging friends have not yet joined in the web of squares then I would be delighted if you or them did this week. We are looking for square photographs whose subject matter is;

  • Differing from the usual or not happening often (ie oddballs, the exceptions and follies)
  • Separated from its set or mate (eg odds and ends or maybe odd socks or shoes)
  • Not divisible exactly by two (ie odd numbers) or the number is unknown (ie 70 odd birds)

It is a month to have fun exploring oddness and discovering oddities. Here’s the challenge image which tells you a little bit more about what is involved, but all you and your friends really need remember is that at least one the images needs to have 4 equal sides!

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