Have I mentioned how much I miss my digital camera? The poor baby has been sent off for repairs after I dropped it on Dad's basement floor and jammed the lens.

Today a student found a caterpillar on our crispy, dying tomato plant. It was rather striking in a rockhound way, like a crawling banded agate. Mainly black, the caterpillar had two prominent lengthwise stripes the color of split pea soup. Lower to leaf/tummy level, it had a series of brown stripes in decreasing values.

You never know with caterpillars. The most flamboyant, outrageous, drop-dead gorgeous ones turn into nondescript moths like aging punk rockers with adjustable mortgages. On the other hand, a small, drab specimen may metamorph into the moth equivalent of the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. You wish you'd been nicer to it back in high school.

The caterpillar is in the bugbox with plenty of tomato leaves to get it through the night. With luck it will make a chrysalis and turn into David Bowie.

© 2009 Nancy L. Ruder

1 comment:

Genevieve said...

Nature is interesting to observe, especially through the eyes of children. My daughter remembers the time that I found something that looked like a cocoon and sent it (in a jar) to school with her. Her class of first graders got quite a thrill when praying mantes began emerging. It was an egg case, not a cocoon.


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