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Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Happy New Year!
A heatwave throughout July and August last year had a notable effect on the emperors. I didn't find a single egg and only in September, when the forest verges were cut, was able to locate any caterpillars - just two, both deep in shade and near the ground, presumably where the air was most humid. I can only hope it was choice of laying site that meant I found no eggs in the usual places. I followed just one caterpillar, Gautama, up to hibernation, when he wandered off. I couldn't find him anywhere. Then suddenly today, on my first Swiss walk of 2016, there he was, not 20cm from the leaf he grew up on.