Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Acrobats' Breakfast

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The Anise Swallowtail butterflies keep laying eggs in our fennel. So, I keep collecting the caterpillars, and bringing them inside where the birds won't eat them.




At the moment, we have eight caterpillars chomping on fennel fronds in our office. We have beautiful light in our house, and I waste an awful lot of time in the morning, taking moody out-of-focus photos of caterpillars.




It is incredible to see how quickly they grow, and how frequently they change form.



I particularly love it when the caterpillars grab onto a fennel strand with their hind legs, and then pull the far end of the strand toward their mouth with their front legs. They create a looping swag of fennel, and gradually eat their way back to where their hind legs have been holding on. This fellow is letting his middle legs hang lax as he gorges on fennel.

The caterpillars are also prodigious poopers, but we're far too delicate to discuss that sort of thing, here at How's Robb. Let's just say that it will be a quite some time before I order a poppy seed bagel again.

4 comments:

Alli said...

Your pictures are great, and your caterpillar setup is perfect!

Christine said...

Wasting time is a relative thing. Sounds like the most important (or at least the most fun) task of the day to me!

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I wouldn't get any work done at all if those were hanging around in my office! I love how they grasp hold of the fennel. Alas, our fennel only has lady bugs and their larvae...no caterpillars :( I'll have to live vicariously through yours.

crazihippichic said...

Gorgeous photography. Makes me want some pet caterpillars. They're so pretty.

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