Oh, happy day! The azaleas in front of the house are getting ready to bloom again! It made me giddy to know that we do indeed have the Encore Azaleas. As I was admiring the new blooms I noticed an interesting caterpillar so I hurried inside to retrieve trusty Mabel II (my camera). After my eyes became adjusted to the foliage I noticed more and more and more of these suckers until I was all, "We've got a frickin' army of these things! This can't be good."
It was about to rain so I went inside to consult with Google. Turns out these are azalea caterpillars or datana major. Azalea leaves are their crack, but they'll also settle for apple, blueberry, red oak and rhododendron.
Today was a clear day so I continued my observations, noting that the bushes these little devils were on the night before were pretty bare, and "the family" were now latched onto the next bush, having themselves an enormous feast.
As much as I wanted, I just could not harm them; after all, they are God's creatures doing what they were designed to do, but I felt for my azaleas as well! Not fair to them, right? So I hand plucked each caterpillar, gently placing them in a plastic container as green goop ran down my arm. I don't know if they puked or pooped on me, but EWWWW! Being a nature-loving gal has its down side for sure.
|I got a little too close with my camera and this one reared back, trying to threaten me I think. But I just laughed.|
|Another angry little devil. Hee!|
|My little captives. I even threw in some crack so they wouldn't have withdrawals. It was the least I could do.|
|Safely at the edge of the woods behind our house, hoping they do not find their way back!|
And that was a good portion of my Saturday afternoon! Hope you had more fun than me. Or is it I?
Edit: Thanks to Hilary at The Smitten Image for selecting this post for Post of the Week! I always have a good day if I win POTW. I was having a pretty sucky week on the new job until today, then I came home and found this. Thanks again, Hilary! :)