Monday, October 1, 2007

How not to rescue a caterpillar

Why, you ask? Because they don't need rescuing! (har har har, SO funny, I hear you say)

No, really, unless your caterpillar is dangling from the mouth of some bird, it's probably just fine. And it probably knows best where it should be and what it should be doing. I know this because I spent a good deal of my afternoon today trying to 'rescue' this guy here, also known as Smerinthus cerisyi, from a) getting squished by Dominic's scooter, b) getting squished by Max's scooter, c) falling out of a window box, and, finally d) getting squished by my camera (Katie leapt on my back in a fit of fondness and I almost fell over while photographing little Smerinthus). Poor Smerinthus. We should have just left him where we found him, but think what we would have missed!

Max found him wandering around the willow tree in the back yard. He was hard not to miss, being about 4 inches long and an extremely arresting green. We took him to the front yard, where we had hopes of both photographing him AND putting him someplace where we could watch him pupate. But he resisted attempts at settling into the various pots on the front porch, so eventually I placed him gently in between the sea glass stepping stone Max made and the Monet's Palette sunflowers. We all went on to other things: the boys playing Attack of the Lego Men, their sister scootering casually up and down the drive, hoping Cotton the Cat would come visit, and me taking yet more photos, this time of my dahlia flowers. (this year I'm taking pictures of them, to attach to the tubers so I won't forget which one is 5' tall and which one is 12 inches tall) About 10 minutes later I parted the plants to see if he had gone, and if you look below, you'll see just what I saw. In case you can't quite see what I saw: little Smerinthus dug himself into the ground, that's his back end you see poking out.

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