High 80 F
This mornings' walk around the garden revealed this unusual and interesting creature. I was on the lookout for monarchs and their chrysalis although it is a bit late for that as I see the butterflies around. I have yet to see the caterpillar. I did spy this hairy little creature! Or, should I say, this neighborhood of creatures! There were many on the plant this morning but when I downloaded the picture it wasn't up to snuff so I went back out this afternoon and they had disappeared but for this one. It looks like a false eyelash gone bad doesn't it? The milkweed which I left in the garden because it is food for the monarchs and the fragrance is so very sweet now looks like this. Sticks! This little caterpillar is having a great time foraging. I hope they don't resort to the ornamentals when they are through dining on this plant. In trying to identify it I found this website which has a visual key for identifying caterpillars. You can access it here. It is disappointing that the moth stage of this little creature is so drab but given this outrageous outfit, I guess it is to be expected. I have big things planned for my next life!
As I mentioned, I went back out to the garden to take a few more shots of this caterpillar. As I walked by the fish pond, I stopped to check out what was going on there. It's always something and today was no different...or, perhaps it was. I heard the sound of rustling paper and then the sound of beating wings. A swarm of dragonflies took flight from the iris leaves on the edge of the pond. They were huge dragonflies. Click on picture to enlarge
They were at least four inches long and quite curious. They would hover within a foot or two of me and look me right in the eye as if looking at an alien creature. We both were. I wondered what the dragonfly could see with those immense eyes. What does the world look like from a dragonflies perspective? I don't know if they were laying eggs or what, but they were busy and, did I say BIG! I like the fact that they are wearing fashion colors. Turquoise is the new black and looks good on everyone! Does anyone know what kind these are?