“Oh Frass!”

by ESP on May 26, 2014

Caterpillar

“Just a little bit further!”

"Why you little!"

“Why you little…”

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The tobacco hornworms

Maduca sexta

 

have been bulking up on my tomato plants this past week and have now reached alarming proportions.

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Illustration from John Curtis’s British Entomology Volume 5.

Talking of alarming proportions…

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Really?

All this ‘frass’ from one caterpillar?

Yes I said frass.

I think I will affectionately adopt this term into my child-friendly, on-route vernacular, as in; “That frass on the bike just made me miss the green light!”

“What dad?”

“Never mind…

…Frass!”

I apologize if you are eating and reading, you should know better.

caterpillar

You can just make out the caterpillars tiny real eyes near the top set of legs, hands, manicured fingernails…whatever they are.

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Look at this one eyeing up the already half-eaten tomato with one of its fake eyes,

eyes

of which there are many. They remind me of lazy-looking anole eyes and the detail and shading around them is remarkable.

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I had four hornworms and they consumed around five green tomatoes and quite a bit of foliage before leaving the plants to pupate, a loss yes, but it was worth it for the daily competition to find them and to observe these bizarre creatures in chomping action.

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 Of course there is one other caterpillar that takes ‘bizarre’ to a whole other level of ‘frassyness’…

bird-poopI believe you know of whom I write.

A caterpillar-serpent or worse?

bird-poop

Giant Swallowtail 

Papilio cresphontes

 

The first one of the year, lounging around in the open on one of my satsuma trees.

Well lets face it, it hardly looks an appetizing proposition.

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Aw come on Bear.

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Moving Along:

My opuntia tree is really turning into a tree.

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blooms

The trunk of this cactus goes from pliable green extremities to wooded and petrified at the base and when it blooms the bees swarm it.

trunk

I have started another opuntia tree in my back garden which incorporates cactus man Jr.

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More on this in about a decade.

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Jewels in the fennel.

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A sago congregation.

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The pained expression of an iris.

Finally:

Excitement rose to fever pitch this weekend when we checked on our geocache canister.

trackable

Someone had left a trackable artifact in our container,

rainbow

and it was a beauty.

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Stay Tuned For:

“The Normandy Phase”

 

 

All material © 2014 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques

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