We’ve had rain. After not having any for almost 2 months. Things come alive again. Things you want to come alive and…well…. other things. From my studio, I noticed a frangiapani tree that was growing unevenly and at that moment had to go out with pruners and do some lopping.
I grabbed the biggest branch, poised the Felcos’ #9 made for lefties and with precision, executed my first cut. Off came this unexpected conglomeration of the most bizarre caterpillar cluster I’d ever seen here. In my hand. Like a bouquet. They’re actually velvety, ( yes, I had to pet one ).
Their coloring is a warning to experienced predators that they are not to be eaten without Rolaids or, worse, the handy phone number of the Poison Control Center. They average between 4-6 inches, lay zillions of eggs on the underside of the leaves, and strip the tree to its’ skeletal remains. The leaves grow back. The caterpillars turn into B-52 moths.
That’s what I call them because although there’s nothing stealth like about them, they’re huge, and have the same wing formation.
Thought it was a sign that I needn’t worry about the shape of the tree. Mother Nature was going to help me take care of that.
And I got to use my new camera ( notice that depth of field?) Or lack of.
This is the rain that poured 4 gorgeous inches of rain on us, spawned the spawning of Jailbreak Caterpillars ( really, officially: Frangianpani Worms ).
Before she became Miss Hurricane Fay, she was this…….