Saturday, May 15, 2010

Caterpillar Hunt

Giant Caterpillar

Yesterday, taking advantage of the fresh breeze, the darker rain clouds and the fact that my husband could watch the baby I took a step outside to work in my front garden. As I pulled out weeds I reached towards a dead leaf on my bolted lettuce plants and pulled my hand away as quickly as I realized it wasn't a leaf at all but a huge fuzzy caterpillar. Not long after I found a pretty green and white caterpillar on my parsley. Then I found the tiniest caterpillar I have ever seen on another lettuce plant. I collected them all and put them in a jar. I hated to kill them knowing they would turn into butterflies, but I hated to let them loose knowing they were already devouring my plants. If only my plants were stronger. I left them in the glass over night, the temperatures stayed cool especially in the shade thanks to yesterday's heavy rains. I checked in on them this morning. They ate half the leaves I left in the jar for them and the giant caterpillar left huge droppings in the jar. The same dropping I found near the lettuce leaf the day before. It's cruel to leave them in the jar, but I really don't want to kill future butterflies. I also want my plants to survive. This is something I will have to think about, but I don't have long to do so.

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