MYSTERY EGGS: A pictorial chronicle of a mystery gift from mother nature.

I receive many emails from people who've visited my website THIS AND THAT and want to ask me where I find all the ideas for the pages. The answer is that I don't find them, they find me. A case in point is captured in the following picture:

One morning I opened the blinds to my bedroom window to discover that a cluster of eggs had been laid on the outside glass. Immediately I began wondering what could have laid them, what it looked like, would the eggs hatch, how long would it take them to hatch, what would the hatchlings look like, and could I identify them?

To answer these questions I decided to take a sequence of pictures to record how things progressed.

Three days later things started changing. Most of the eggs had turned from amber to a dark, almost black color. (The above picture is twice actual size.)


Using the Macro setting on my camera and expanding the image of one egg using Abobe Photoshop enabled me to capture a greatly magnified image of one of the eggs. (In actual size this egg is much smaller than a pinpoint.) With a little imagination you can make out the head and body of the larva developing inside.

Two days after that the eggs began hatching.

Magnifying one of the little beasties shows that they are caterpillar-like critters with large black heads and ten ten pairs of legs.

At actual size each of these worms were 1 millimeter long.

Unfortunately, there were too few distinguishing marks to identify this bug. I had a suspicion that they might be grape leaf skeletonizer worm eggs. This turned out not to be the case because and Internet search showed that skeletonizer worm eggs are oval whereas these where spherical. The only other distinguishing characteristic of my worms was that they spun silk. I suspect they will remain a mystery forever, unless someone reading this page recognizes them and lets me know what they are, which I would greatly appreciate.

I tried growing them larger by transferring the worms to the leaves of a plant I wasn't too fond of in the garden, but they quickly left the plant and I couldn't find them again.

I tried locating them the next day but by then they had scattered, never to be seen again... and yet-

Three months later I noticed there were dozens of caterpillers in the yard of a type I'd never seen before.

There is no way to determine if this is the grown-up version of the little gys I released, but there's a chance. I've found one that's gone into a cocoon, indicating it's a moth and not a butterfly, and when it hatches will take a picture of it and try to determine what it is.

So, what's the point of this page? It's to illustrate how THIS AND THAT came to be: I use it as the vehicle for recording the curious events and objects that attract my attention as I blunder through life. Many, like the eggs that formed the topic for this page, are admittedly trivial and only take a couple of hours to explore. Others, like my career in electric space propulsion, took decades. They are all recorded on the pages of this site as a sort of corporate memory that anyone can access. I hope in doing so they are able to locate the data they were looking for or, at the very least, find something interesting to entertain them.

The world is full of interesting things going on all around us. Simply by keeping our eyes open and increasing our awareness of what's happening around us we can all enrich our lives.


(Click on main site to browse 70 other topics ranging from exotic kaleidoscope designs to the strange world of lucid dreaming.)