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Little Fuzzy Friend

September 30, 2009
garden fairy with caterpillar

garden fairy with caterpillar

The garden fairy and I found a caterpillar crossing the road on our nature walk, this past Monday. It was cute and fuzzy. I held out a stick for him to crawl onto and gave him to the garden fairy. She, friend to all things living, immediately picked him up, held him, spoke with him, and let him crawl on her. It was adorable…

caterpillar close up

caterpillar close up

until she started complaining that the caterpillar bit her and made her ouchy and itchy. Apparently, some fuzzy caterpillars have hollow hairs that carry venom. I don’t remember that part from my caterpillar catching days. Perhaps she is more sensitive than I am. Thankfully, the irritation seemed minor and didn’t last long. As far as I can tell from poking around online, this is a type of hickory tiger moth.

cocoon

cocoon

We gave our new friend accommodations in the garden fairy’s bug jar, with a leaf to crawl on. The next afternoon, he started building his cocoon. It was somewhat fascinating and something I don’t remember ever witnessing before. I’m looking forward to sharing the birth of the butterfly with the garden fairy. With any luck, her Dad will be home to watch with us.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. September 30, 2009 10:36 am

    Too cute for words!
    The hairy caterpillars are almost always itch-starters, arent they? At least, the ones here are.

  2. September 30, 2009 1:38 pm

    Kate, you just brought back some wonderful memories of when my daughters were little…sigh Thanks,
    Scott

  3. September 30, 2009 9:17 pm

    Way to precious for words—she’s a cutie and does look as if she has a way with nature.

  4. marydelle permalink
    September 30, 2009 10:25 pm

    Lovely post. Seeing nature through the eyes of a child. Thank you.

  5. October 1, 2009 6:39 pm

    I won’t be as brave as this little girl when it comes to this hairy caterpillar. Looking at it makes me feel itchy all over. The picture of the cocoon is a real gem. It’s my first time of seeing a cocoon.

  6. Kate permalink*
    October 3, 2009 12:49 am

    Autumn Belle, this may be my first time seeing a cocoon, as well. Thank you all for stopping by and sharing my delight. The cocoon is more solid, now. We can no longer see the caterpillar inside. I’ve read that the moth will stay in there through the winter and emerge next spring. I’ll have to take him out to the shed so he doesn’t stay too warm.

  7. October 3, 2009 6:56 pm

    Hi Kate, I have been seeing that caterpillar your sweet daughter is holding… your pictures are great… if that little creature is making a cocoon … which your photos seems to prove then you will greet a Moth when it emerges… I do have a Shag Bark Hickory here… very interesting to see it spin its cocoon… I have never seen that process. Carol

  8. October 5, 2009 10:42 pm

    We put a little green caterpillar in a cup (with a lid) and found out they are the little white moths we have lol. It was cool to finally find out what they were 🙂

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