Monday, August 29, 2022

Never Seen Here Before

On a very rare occasion we have the opportunity to see something that has never before been seen here.  Two such sightings fairly close together are unbelievable.  Seeing a caterpillar eating  milkweed is commonly reserved for Monarchs.  This is a milkweed leaf being eaten by a caterpillar but it is no Monarch.  The brains of this outfit instantly recognized it as a Milkweed Tussock caterpillar.  There will be no migration when this caterpillar matures.  It will spend the winter here wrapped in a cocoon.

Our Princeton Field Guide states that the female adult moth deposits rafts of eggs.  I certainly appears that that two caterpillars are here together.  The why and the how remains a complete mystery.  The leaf eating ends neatly at the midrib.

Days earlier Becky and daughter Amy were harvesting weeds from the garden down by the road.  Several strange sounds were heard revealing the location of a Garter snake starting to eat a toad.  This looks like a beginning that cannot possibly come to an end.  The snake is a somewhat large creature for its species but it is dwarfed by the size of the toad.  An internet video of a similar event described a more than three hour wait for the snake to completely swallow the toad.  Needless to say the conclusion of this event remained unnoticed here.  Several days later, a respectable Garter snake crossed my path in this general area.  Its body was slender from the tip of its nose to the end of its tail.  We have no way of knowing if it was the same snake.

1 comment:

Beth at PlantPostings said...

Garden surprises are always fun. I'm surprised you haven't had the milkweed tussock moth in your garden before. We seem to have them here every year--usually toward the middle and end of the season. They're fascinating to watch, too.