Friday, May 13, 2011

Nasty Flying Things and Creepy Crawlies

This has been a fun week. In addition to watching our little baby birdies, we came across a hornet's nest with babies in various cycles and some sort of porcupine caterpillar. Let's start from the beginning.

One of my Mother's Day presents was having the DH swap out a damaged bird house for one in much better shape. As he was doing this, I noticed him on the ladder swinging a hammer furiously around his head. I thought he was trying to swat away a fly, but turns out he was trying to kill a mama hornet (in mid air no less). Well, he got her and found what was making her so aggressive - she laid a nest in the damaged birdhouse. My husband was just as excited as the kids to observe the more developed larvae as well as those that could only jiggle as he moved the next around. Kinda gross but like one of those trainwrecks you can't look away from.

A little later on, the kids and I found a caterpillar which no one is able to identify. It's black with orange stripes, suckers for feet and quills. Yes, I said quills. Freaky. Anyway, this is not the first one I've seen over the years, but it is the first one we captured to hopefully determine what type of moth or butterfly it turns in to.

We currently housing it in a glass jar with a ventilated top. Since this picture was taken, we've added a few twigs and more leaf variety since its began spinning its coccoon. Not long now.

I was worried I'd run out of activities to keep the kids amused this summer, but seems like our yard has the potential to keep us plenty busy if only we can survive the heat.


  1. Thanks to a fellow Rate-My-Spacer I learnt that my caterpillar is a Black Bristly Caterpillar which will turn into a Giant Leopard Moth. Cool. Now that I know, DH and I will release it into the woods tomorrow. Hopefully a hungry bird won't spot it.

  2. Yeah, I love posting pics and getting input from friends/followers. I know there's a huge variety of people with all manner of hobbies and interests and they come up with most of the answers I need! Thank goodness for helpful people!