|From In the Garden|
Finally! Late August saw the caterpillars showing up here at Tiger Gardens. I thought this date was very late when compared to last year's arrival of swallowtail caterpillars, but when I went back and looked at my Metamorphosis post I found that the caterpillar hatched out in a jar hatched on the 19th of September. It would have taken about two to three weeks for it to hatch so the timing this year must be right.
I always find swallowtail caterpillars munching on parsley here in my garden. I grow it for this very reason and love the caterpillars. Now if some monarchs will just find that butterfly weed I planted...
|From In the Garden|
The above pictured caterpillar is the larva of a stout moth that is quite common to the United States and it also made its appearance here recently. I have been stung by these poisonous barbs on more than one occasion and I can tell you it is most painful. It is akin to having boiling water poured on your skin and will hurt and sting for a good amount of time after you are stung. The bad thing about these caterpillars is that you rarely see them because number one, you are not looking for them, and number two, even if you are they are hiding in places you'd least expect to find them. I found a whole passel of them (along with a sawfly larva) munching on my Common Witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana). The only way I spotted them was because I noticed half of the plant was gone; chewed right down to the leaf ribs. This munching had not been going on long but the damage was pretty severe. I was most lucky that when I turned over a leaf to look for the culprits I did not accidentally brush up against one of these caterpillars. They are dangerous and you must use care in the garden to keep from getting stung.
Can you tell why they are known as saddleback caterpillars? That dot on their back clearly gives it away and while it looks nice and smooth you would not ever want to touch one or brush up against one. They are not at all friendly like the black swallowtail caterpillars. Nonetheless, I left these guys alone-for now.
What kind of caterpillars are munching....
in your garden....?
I want to tell Marnie a big thanks for helping me make Skeeter's picture fit into the frame on the header of this blog. She was kind enough to send me some code from her template; which I could paste into my template and it made the picture fit-finally! It only took two years but hey-it's there now! Thanks!
Please add your input to my survey on my sidebar. Do you soil test or not? I am working on a post for this and I'd be interested in seeing how many folks soil test. Thanks.