Finally, proofworking surfaced onto the www, so now onto the topic of speculative research drawn from googling the wiki-sites vs. depth reading with a scholarly search.
Googling and Wikipedia
I’ve nothing against googling Wikipedia — the pictures are great and the information well organized. However, the encyclopedic nature of a wiki-site makes for a dry read. When I do research, I want to be illumined and enriched and transformed forever — that’s why I turn to scholarly sources. I like the atmosphere of these texts. I appreciate the restrained objective tone, the well-balanced perspective, and the even-keeled analysis.
While I am mid-rave, let me add: if you don’t have access to online databases through a public or university library, use Google Scholar, the freely accessible web search engine that provides good depth reading.
When I search Google Scholar, what I fetch to my screen opens me up to see the poetry of the ‘pillar who is, obviously, on a personal journey toward both its beginning and its end. (This as the setting sun spins bubbles of dew along the tent’s delicate gossamer strands.) On top of that, a quick Google Scholar search nets more information about the three species of tent caterpillars that call my region of Canada home. Without getting buried in sheaves of analysis, suffice it to say that the local taxonomy includes
the Forest Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria)
the Western Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma californicum)
and the Eastern Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma americanum)
Obviously, my tree contains the Western tribe of Tent Caterpillars. And did you know that Western Tents prefer the sunny side the tree? Read all about it right here: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3565313
Another ‘Point of View’
Currently, it’s early evening. The sun is almost down; the caterpillars are at rest. However, during the day when the sun shines hot across the land, they move through the tree like Olympic tightrope walkers, bending around behind themselves, tight-roping across silken crosshairs, eating above their weight level. Of course they leave great swaths of destruction and defoliation in their wake as they move from nest to feeding sites. But from their “point of view” it all makes sense! After chewing through the available leafage in their local zone, they have to find bigger supplies to meet their daily needs.
Additionally, birds have begun to perch on the tents and peck out the larvae. As the beaks slice through, do the bagworms cower in their webby lairs? While I am not that knowledgeable about birds either (surprise!?), with Delphic certainty I can say — it was small.