Friday, April 17, 2015

A new adventure . . .


. . . 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!

Love, Kim









18 comments:

Kim said...

Fun week Kim! Love the funky caterpillar. How about a little pink nail polish on the Lego girl's hair?

Adrienne said...

Oh! Pink nail polish is a perfect idea! And how about "Poppy" as a name? My son and I used to spend HOURS building legos together - we'd build fighter bases for all his little guys. He'd build the military side with all the ammo and controls and training stuff and I'd build the living side with the bunks, kitchen etc. I so regret that not one picture exists of our creations...but I think I'm gonna try and get him to build one with me again at some point so we can re-make a memory and take a photo! "Poppy" has inspired me!!

Dotti said...

I love the Lego gal! Both of them. **wink, wink** Sounds like you're back in full force with nature bursting out all over. A good thing! Love the photos and especially that water. Swoon!

ClickNCamera said...

The caterpillar closeup is beautifully captured! I would have been very freaked out knowing those little guys might fall on me and sting me. I'll be looking at caterpillars a little differently now!

Barb said...

I am loving that Lego gal! I first saw her staring at the ocean on IG and loved it - so dang cute! I look forward to following her adventure. As for the caterpillars - ugh - it's quite a fascinating creature but I hate what they can do to trees. Love your water shot too!

Michelle said...

The different stages of the moth caterpillars on the tree are so cool and fascinating! You always have your eyes and your heart open to even the smallest things in nature that other people will walk on by without noticing. When I look at your beautiful pictures, it makes me realize that I should open my eyes more to see all the beauty that surrounds me.

My Garden Diaries said...

Your shots are always beautiful Kim! That water photo is just fantastic as are your caterpillar shots! I can't wait to see and hear more about your adventures with them! You are doing a good thing my friend! And best wishes to your son's team! Nicole xo

aspiritofsimplicity said...

Oh I think I would have been a bit freaked out as well. I love your nikon lego girl....I want one!! I am a nikon girl myself...

Lisa Comperry said...

I agree with Michelle..And everybody else who commented..I love what you are doing with this leggo lady photographer..Makes me smile every time I see a pic..Such an awesome and cute story of how you think about nature and do your art :-)

Tamar SB said...

Been loving the lego on IG! How creative (-:
The caterpillar is wicked!

Sarah Huizenga said...

I love your Lego girl!

Andrea Dawn said...

Poppy would be a very fitting name for Lego girl. That was my first thought and I see someone else concurs.

June Caedmon said...

Love your lego-girl, Kim! How fun! Those caterpillars are fascinating, but I hope I don't see any around here! Sorry about your losses, and exciting to see results of the latest egg-laying. I'm having trouble finding milkweed here to plant for the monarchs.... have a great weekend!

doodles n daydreams said...

A really interesting random collection, I haven't heard of those caterpillars here and hope they stay away! Thanks for sharing everything and have a great weekend.

Diana

Ida said...

Lego Girl is so fun.
That Caterpillar was cool looking but after reading more about it and the fact they seem to be invading your area I found it rather "creepy."
Enjoyed your water shot too.

Sylvia said...

Such a fun and creative idea ... love your lego girl ! :-)
Great capture of the caterpillar !
Have a nice weekend,
Sylvia

Sharon Collins said...

Just love the lego girl. I would have freaked at the caterpillars but probably would have grabbed my camera.

Gail Dixon said...

Love Lego Girl! How cute. Keep up your great work for the butterflies. I often wish to do that also, but don't know how to get started.

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