Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Interesting Caterpillars

Yards in Florida are strange places. I've noticed that we have a number of scary looking caterpillars in the yard. The top one I found near the herb garden today. As luck would have it, there was a guy here to look at a tree that's got to come out. He said it was a "fireworm." I haven't been able to ID it further online yet (all the fireworms appear to be aquatic and feed on coral), but he said that the sting is very very painful. It certainly looked threatening enough. The lower photo is a saddleback caterpillar that I came across while weeding on Sunday. It's quite striking, and also very painful. We're going to have to be careful when we're handing plants out there so as not to get stung. In my research to figure out what these guys are, I found out that I had gotten rid of some caterpillars that would become black swallowtail that were munching on our parsley. That's too bad. Next time I'll let them be and lose the parsley just to watch them and see what happens. Ah, well. We've plans for a butterfly garden, which seems like a weird thing for me to be into, but what the hell. I like bugs. I like gardening. I must therefore like bugs that are good for gardens. And besides, butterflies look cool.
I added Greek Oregano, English Thyme, and Spanish Lavender to the herb garden today. I also finished mulching it and made a border by laying down cedar rails (the kind that serve as rails in a split-rail fence). Cheers.


Saddleback Moth Caterpillar

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