In mid-May, my friend Connie May brought me a tiny yellow-and-black caterpillar to raise. For four weeks it ate tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) leaves and grew to be two inches long.
I especially liked its yellow “booties” and red spikes.
Here my six-year-old neighbor, Nancy, proves that the caterpillar is harmless.
Soon afterwards, the caterpillar enclosed itself in this cocoon.
Then one morning last week, I walked by my butterfly cage and was thrilled to see this beautiful moth drying its wings. It’s a female Promethea moth (Callosamia promethea), one of our giant silkworm moths.
I realize most moths are not nearly as large or showy as this one. However, I see all of them as mysterious and an essential part of nature’s web. I want to know more about them – especially the ones in our backyard.