. . . with lego girl!
Call me a bit of a nerd, but I have always wanted a lego person, with a camera!
So, ta da, meet lego girl (she is a Nikon gal too) ;)
I probably should give her a name (and pink highlights), any good ideas?
She has already had quite the adventure and I will be sharing here as
well as on instagram (kimatpickingpoppies).
So earlier in the week I found this fella at the gas pump. All excited, I ran into the gas station and asked the attendant if I could have an empty cup or anything to take this guy home in for a photo op. I was pretty sure it was a type of tussock moth caterpillar, just wasn't sure which kind.
Well, it's not exactly the kind you want to run into because those are urticating (or stinging) hairs. They have a venom (they aren't really poisonous) that can cause some pain and irritation depending on individual reactions. I believe this is a fir tussock moth caterpillar, and they love oak trees.
Now, later in the week, I stopped to get some soup at La Madeleine and when I came back out the side entrance, I spotted another one, and another one, and then I noticed they were all over the table, and on the building and well, they were crawling everywhere. There were even some dangling by a silk thread from the overhang over the exit door I just walked out of. Then I found it, the host tree on the corner, an oak. I walked back to my car and they were crawling on my car, and the cars next to me, and they were dropping from the tree I parked under! I have to say I was a little freaked out to get in my car, and I don't get that way often. But it was a caterpillar apocalypse.
I had my camera in the car, so I tried to get a picture (hard through a slanted and tinted window). You can see some of the bigger ones, but there are smaller ones that are harder to see, and those blobs in between the bark, those are cocoons. And just in the last day or so, I've found two of these guys on my front porch and I'm a little nervous because we have two live oaks in our front yard....I keep checking them and haven't see any on the tree so far, but I have noticed the wasps are quite interested in something up there. And while I'm not fond of wasps because they eat my monarch caterpillars, I might just add them to my friends list if they help keep this one out of my trees.
I love to photograph water, any kind, fast, slow, from an ocean or a fountain it doesn't matter. And the other day while at my favorite nursery I found a fountain where the light was hitting just right and as the water was drip, drip, dripping....it shared some wisdom with me. I will share that snippet with you in a later blog post.
On the caterpillar front, I have some monarchs, but things haven't exactly started out so great. Two stalled in the middle of their pupation, and some have died in various instars. I can't seem to keep up with the chalcid wasps who find the eggs before I do and parasitize them. And yeah, back to those wasps....I took a plant outside and I had only been out for 5-10 minutes when I was distracted by something and came back to find one of the caterpillars had met a horrible death.
sigh.....being a caterpillar mom is hard, and heartbreaking, and frustrating.
But on a fun note, I saw a polydamas butterfly visiting my pipevine and was so hoping she would stop and lay some eggs....and she did....almost 50 of them! I love raising those guys, so much easier. So since it's still early, my pipevine hasn't grown back that much yet and I ran to get a few more of the smaller one, the fimbriata and I only hope it will be enough!
I'm hoping for good weather tomorrow, even though it says 80% rain, since my son
who is coaching 6th grade 7 on 7 football has their state championship tournament tomorrow.
Cross your fingers, we have three games.
That's my random finds for the week and I hope you have a stellar weekend!