Thursday, August 13, 2009

Creepy Crawler In The Backyard

I was sitting outside yesterday evening - enjoying a Joy Fielding novel and minding my own business - when all of a sudden I felt something crawling up my leg. A fly, I thought. Or maybe a mosquito.

Not quite.

I peeked down at my leg and saw this:


So this creepy crawler fell off my leg after I did the ‘EEEEUW-GROSS-GET-OFF-OF-ME-YOU-CREEPY-CRAWLER’ dance. (Have you ever seen a middle-aged woman do this? It can be quite amusing to watch.)


After he landed on the (hard) patio tiles (ouch), he stayed there for quite some time (stunned?) before he slithered away. And where did the little bugger go? He headed straight to the birdbath. I tell you, that birdbath is quite popular. I’ve seen birds, squirrels, wasps and butterflies hanging around it. And now, caterpillars.


When he finally got to the birdbath, the creepy crawler climbed all the way to the top, which I must say was quite an impressive feat for such a little creature, to drink some water.

I don’t know when or how he got down from the birdbath because I eventually had to run inside for cover when the mosquitoes started snacking on me. For all I know, he’s still there. I’ll find out later this morning when I do my garden rounds.

Incidentally, I did google for information and discovered that this hairy beast is a Hickory Tussock Moth (Lophocampa caryae) caterpillar. That’s too bad. I’d really hoped it was a butterfly caterpillar.


  1. Now imagine that dance, with an ear splitting screech at the top of the lungs, and you have a good visual of what I do when faced with such strangers! Glad to hear he's harmless, he sure looks regal with all that hair.

  2. The shrieking adds a nice touch to it, for sure :)

    Well, this little dude is not totally harmless. He can cause rashes and stuff like that; I guess it's his way of protecting himself. Still, at least he didn't bother me; just went on his merry way.

  3. Never knew, caterpillars get thirsty.... Your shriek must have sucked everything out of the poor thing.... haha. ~bangchik

  4. I've never seen a caterpillar like that---he really is very beautiful. But I don't think I'd fancy having him take a walk on my leg.

  5. Ha are probably right Bangchik! That little critter was more scared than I was, that's for sure!

  6. I've never seen something like this either Beth. He practically glowed in the dark. I don't know what on earth he was thinking when he started to climb my leg. I know I can sit quite still when enjoying a book, but I hardly think I resemble a tree!