Category: animals

The very hungry caterpillar

I recently couldn’t help but notice that one of the shrubs in our back garden had been reduced from something like this:

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To this:

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I thought that my mind had wondered while spraying for weeds a few days prior, and I’d accidentally killed most of it. However, while out watering I noticed something about the size of my little finger clinging to the side of one of the newly bare stems.

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It’s the caterpillar of an Io moth. I was fascinated by the spines (which are actually poisonous, but not greatly) and the brown and white stripe running along the length of the caterpillar. Luckily it was early enough in the morning and wasn’t in a rush for work, so unpacked the monopod and macro lens and set to taking some shots. It ate most of the shrub, the least it could do was pose for me.
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A few more shots can be found here.

The interesting part is that I currently don’t know where it is. I did see it on an adjoining shrub at one point, although it hasn’t left a trail of destruction. My only guess is that it has made a cocoon down near the base of the new shrub. I’m sort of hoping it is a male, as it will fly away to try and find a mate and then I won’t have to kill offspring. The female however tends to remain in place, waiting for a male to arrive (in moth form life lasts for only a day, so things have to happen fairly quickly), and that means things could get messy when I bring out the killing spray. ┬áBut I’ll try and get some more photos first.

Visitors

In da house!

The jumping spider

Adriana and I were out with friends at Markham Park in Broward on Sunday. It’s a pretty cool park that has a model airplane field, mountain bike trails, areas for jet skiing, a shooting range, and a Jamaican guy with a van that had a fully sick subwoofer, a couch, and 420,000 miles on the odometer.

I got distracted by a very active jumping spider, which was indifferent to my efforts to try and get it to ‘sit’ still. When you only have a depth of field of several millimetres as I do with my macro lens at its closest focus point, shooting a moving object can be frustrating. Having a speedlight handy gives some extra light so you can increase the f-stop and get a much larger depth of field, so I was happy I brought my whole kit along.

The jumping spider

No, for some reason I didn’t get a photo of the van that had nearly travelled to the moon and back. Somehow at the time a common jumping spider seemed more interesting.

Ducktales (episode 3)

So, Razzi and the ducklings have now left the shelter of casa Kristian y Adriana. This is the last photo I have of them at their condo abode:

Portrait

I’m fairly impressed, and relieved, with how Bropey has stepped into the role of protector and is looking after Razzi and the ducklings. We’ve also noticed how brown he is getting, after having either black or dark green feathers only a couple of weeks ago.

Bropey the shield

Last photo for this post: where ducklings come from.

How ducks are delivered.

These and more photos have been added to this photo set.

By the way, if there are any ducks out there reading this in an egg-laying mood, we have three spacious and well-kept planters available, free of charge.