Friday, October 04, 2019

Caterpillars, Butterflies, and Moths + Pottery



For some reason this summer I have been paying more attention to the bugs that inhabit my garden and our farm. I've never been a bug person but I suppose all the attention that is being paid to pollinators has interested me in them. I do not remember ever learning about Monarch Butterflies or their life cycle when I was a kid. I do not think they taught that lesson back in the dark ages. When Julia was in elementary school, one of the teachers was really into butterflies and I remember them watching the caterpillars turn into butterflies. It was totally NOT on Julia's radar but I thought it was cool. 

I have some milkweed plants that grow along the south facing window of the house and every year I leave them there for the caterpillars. I happened to be around this year long enough to notice them. Here are some Monarch caterpillars doing their thing. I checked on them every day but could not find where they attached their chrysalises. 






One day on my late in the day check, I discovered these strange wooly-ish caterpillars. I googled them and discovered they were called Milkweed Tussock Moths. The next day, the Monarch caterpillars were gone and the milkweed was covered with these funky little caterpillars. Here is what the caterpillars become when they are moths. 




Late in the season this year, I have been trying to photograph the butterflies. It is really hard to get a good photo. It turns out butterflies are afraid of humans getting too close. 















I don't know what this one is?????


If someone can help me please - one of you bug people - I am wondering what the name of the butterfly is that isn't a Monarch. I have a lot of them in my garden now. One side of the wings is orange and black and white and the other side is kind of a funny brown pattern. I think it may be a Painted Lady

I have always added caterpillars to many of my pottery pieces. I'm not sure how people feel about bugs on their pottery but for me, it adds a little life to the scene. I think if someone is a gardener, they will appreciate the caterpillar (or worm as I sometimes refer to them as). Here is a new large cachepot that is going to go into the kiln when I can finish enough to fill it up. 


Have a good weekend everyone.

5 comments:

muddyhens said...

I've been paying more attention too. This year, I noticed the cycle of weeds that come up. Just like the flowers that I plant in my beds, the different weeds start sprouting in batches. I wonder which pollinators feed on which weeds?

Sojourner Design said...

I've been paying attention too and am trying to morph over to more native plants to sustain the pollinators. The butterfly that you were wondering about... I believe also that it is a Painted Lady.

joinboston said...

They are painted ladies--my school's second graders hatch them every spring. It seems like there are way more monarchs this year than usual--apparently it's a boom year for acorns as well.

Goldie Stetten said...

Pretty cache pot, I love your work.

Joanne said...

The professor (husband) in my household studies butterfly and moth genomics. He says you have photos there of Monarchs, Painted Ladies and a Cabbage White. Thank you for sending such sunshine filled photos! It is about to snow in Winnipeg and it is only October 9!
(And yes, my professor moonlighted as the photographer for my book...Fiber Gathering! He takes good photos of bugs AND sheep!)

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