Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Very Hungry Caterpillar(s)

I think that Eric Carle may have visited Wildwood Park before he wrote his book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and here is why:
One day in July, my friend Clyde Kessler told me about some caterpillars that were feasting on the leaves of a Catalpa Tree growing at the North Bridge. So I set out with my camera to find them.
When I arrived at the bridge, I immediately saw the tree. As I got closer, I also saw caterpillars crawling on the branches. 
They were Catalpa Sphinx Caterpillars and most of them were large, black critters with a white stripe long their side and a long spine or horn on the back end.

The younger ones were much smaller and were mostly white with black dots. They also had spiny horns.

 Just like the caterpillar in Eric Carle's book, I could tell that these were very hungry. They were eating leaves instead of apple and oranges and ice cream, but the leaves were disappearing .

                                          The leaves had almost all been eaten...

                                                                    very hungry caterpillars!

When all of the leaves were gone and there were only bare branches left, I didn't see any more cats.
However, I did keep checking on the tree as I crossed the bridge to and from the tunnel. I was very pleased to see that new leaves began to cover the twigs and branches.

Then one day in early September, I saw that the caterpillars had returned! The young ones made lovely designs as they rested on the underside of the leaves.

                                                       They were ready to feast again!

                                          And ready to grow larger and larger...

                                                                    they ate more and more!

They did not stay on the bare branches after the leaves disappeared. Perhaps they knew that fishermen love to use them for fish bait.
Unlike the caterpillars in the book, these "worms" will grow up to be Catalpa Sphinx Moths instead of butterflies.

No comments:

Post a Comment