country life, insects, nature, photography, Uncategorized

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Caterpillar.jpg

A few nights ago, we found this fat and sassy caterpillar happily munching on our tomatoes.  It was quickly apprehended and now lives in Wyokiddo’s bug jar.  At least for another day or two.

After some research, I discovered it is a tomato hornworm, so named because of it’s penchant for devouring tomatoes and the little horn-like appendage on it’s tail.  After it pupates, this caterpillar will turn into a Sphinx moth.  Google also told me this probably wasn’t the only caterpillar we had in our garden…where there’s one there’s probably 10 or 20.  Sure enough, on subsequent trips to the garden, we another 15 or so of the chubby green menaces.

As Wyokiddo stared at one mowing down my plants, she said “Mama, it looks just like the very hungry caterpillar in my books!”

It really did resemble the star of the Eric Carle books.  But this caterpillar won’t get a chance to eat through oranges, apples, pears, salami, cheese, pickles or an ice cream cone, and neither will his brethren.  You don’t mess with my tomatoes and live to tell the tale.

Teresa

 

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nature, photography, Uncategorized, Wyoming

On Gossamer Wings

Dragon Fly 2 CRWhat do you call a dragonfly with no wings?  A dragonwalk. 🙂

At least my 4-year old laughed!

This is my contribution to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Narrow.  Dragonflies are one of my favorite insects.  Not only do they eat other, more annoying bugs like mosquitos, but they are sheer beauty on the wing.  Their aerial acrobatics are stunning, especially considering their wings are one three-thousandth of a millimeter thick.  Yeah, I’d call that narrow!

Teresa

 

country living, insects, photography

Mantis

Praying MantisTonight was another creature first for me – a praying mantis!  This beauty was climbing its way across the potted flowers along our driveway.

I’ve since learned they are more accurately called mantids and that there are more than 2,400 species of mantid, praying or otherwise.  They have compound eyes that are spread wide across their head to give them a wider field of vision.  The dark spot on each eye is a psedudopupil, which really isn’t a pupil at all, but an optical phenomena.

Praying mantids are highly predacious and feed on a variety of insects, including moths, crickets, grasshoppers and flies. They intently watch and stalk their prey. They will eat each other.

It’s a mantid eat mantid world out there.  Be careful, folks!