Hairy Hungry Monsters: Garden Caterpillars


I left ONE volunteer milkweed plant at the edge of the garden just for fun, to see what would become of it. It turned into caterpillar food. This is what I saw stepping out of the car after work on Tuesday. I haven’t gotten around to identifying these lovelies. Anybody got a name for them? Want to make one up? Be creative.  I guess Id best get back out there and be sure this herd has not wandered over toward the tomato plants. As you see, they leave nothing but the stringy main veins when they set upon a leaf. (I’d love to have a time-lapse sequence of this one leaf over a period of a couple of hours)

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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