Uh oh...the Boston Globe says it's going to be a banner season for spongy moths (Lymantria dispar) in Southeastern Massachusetts, perhaps the biggest in more than 20 years. Scientists report large numbers of eggs laid by the moths, and note that unless we have a really wet spring, massive tree defoliation should be expected.
The photo above is from one of the birch trees in my yard - the egg masses, which are about 15 feet off the ground, look like they belong to the spongy moths. I've also been finding shedded caterpillar remnants and the ends of pupae in clumps all over my yard. Could Metrowest Massachusetts be under a spongy moth seige too?