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Mystery Photo

I am often asked how I find the subjects that I photograph.  Sometimes I am consciously looking for specific plants and animals, but more often I’m simply looking for something that is either out of place or out of character.  In this particular instance, I noticed an American Beech sapling with leaves that were bunched up into an odd shape. If you think you know what caused this roughly 2-inch long x 1-inch wide, leaf-covered cylinder, go to the Naturally Curious blog (, scroll down to “Comments” and enter your thoughts.  The answer will be revealed Monday, Oct. 7.

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19 responses

  1. aprazar

    Cecropia moth cocoon?

    October 4, 2019 at 7:06 am

  2. Stein

    Cecropia or polyphemus would be my guess. How cool!

    October 4, 2019 at 7:13 am

  3. kathiefive

    I think a luna moth.

    October 4, 2019 at 7:14 am

  4. Sara

    I’m thinking one of the larger moths; Polyphemus or cercropia.

    October 4, 2019 at 7:17 am

  5. Barbara Rausch

    I believe it is a Cecropia moth cocoon.

    October 4, 2019 at 7:18 am

  6. Dawn

    A Polyphemus moth cocoon!

    October 4, 2019 at 7:35 am

  7. Alice

    A little ‘beech house.’ Don’t know who built it. I do see little hairs.

    October 4, 2019 at 7:59 am

    • Alice

      Last week Thursday, walking with my daughter on Norwell conservation land, there were lots of beech-trees, all with interesting ‘growths’ at the base. I remembered you did a post on those, Mary, but I couldn’t remember the name, the ‘Seek app’ told us: “Beechdrops.”

      October 4, 2019 at 8:04 am

  8. I think it looks like a cocoon underneath that leaf.

    October 4, 2019 at 8:32 am

  9. Bill On The Hill

    Cocoon being the obvious 1st thought that comes to mind here, I will take a gander at a wrapped beechnut for future consumption… With that line of thought, it still begs the question: What kind/type of insect did this?
    Good one Mary as I drink my 2nd & final cup of coffee!
    The mast crop this season has indeed been a good one btw!
    Bill… :~)

    October 4, 2019 at 8:55 am

  10. hellomolly

    A moth cocoon: cecropia?

    October 4, 2019 at 8:55 am

  11. Rachael Tolman

    Polyphemus moth cocoon

    October 4, 2019 at 9:04 am

  12. Robin Koczera

    A caterpillar of some kind?

    October 4, 2019 at 9:30 am

  13. bcottam2014

    Hi Mary,I’m having difficulty accessing my wordpress account so am replying here. My guess is it’s a spider shelter. Some orbweavers use folded-over leaves as shelters and other spiders can take a wide blade of grass and create a triangular shelter with only a couple of folds. Looking forward to Monday’s answer. Thanks for all your work!  Barry

    October 4, 2019 at 9:38 am

  14. Holly

    Hi Mary, Is this a walking stick moving about a leaf? I saw one on our outdoor faucet
    last week.

    from Holly at Mercy Farm

    October 4, 2019 at 10:02 am

  15. Susan

    One of the large silk moths. This cocoon is attached to the twig, so perhaps the promethea moth.

    October 4, 2019 at 11:42 am

  16. Beech leaf curl (gall) due to Beech mite (Fagus sylvatica).

    October 4, 2019 at 12:25 pm

  17. Ruthie ireland

    Cecropia Moth cocoon!

    October 5, 2019 at 7:55 pm

  18. phil daley

    Probably a Cecropia moth cocoon.

    October 7, 2019 at 5:52 pm

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