Having no idea what I was looking at, I picked up a stick and held it close to the critter--hoping it would grab hold so I could pick it up and get a better look. When it began crawling up the stick, I called for my son to come out and hold the stick so I could snap a few photos.
After taking a few shots, I set it down in an empty birdbath which was lying on the deck. I ran inside and began to upload the photos, simultaneously doing a Google search for 'pink and yellow caterpillar'. I'm pretty sure at some point I put in terms like 'with ears', as well!
I was inside for less than five minutes--but when I went back out, this little creature looked nothing like when I left her minutes earlier:
She had attached herself to the side of the birdbath, and those little 'ears' were actually wings! She was a moth. A Rosy Maple Moth, to be exact. It all started to make sense when I looked up and realized I had found her underneath a Maple tree!
I began to realize that she must have recently emerged from her cocoon and, having fallen to the ground, had been in the process of trying to find a place to attach and pump up her wings. I just happened to intercept her as the process was happening.
A few articles I read mentioned this moth could be destructive to trees, but I simply ignored that information and instead, remained in awe by the lemon and raspberry sherbet that looked more sweet than sinister. I placed her back in the garden, where she attached herself to a Hellebore stem:
She remained there as nightfall came and I went to bed. When I checked for her the next morning, she had flown. I hope Rosy has a good life. I feel blessed to have seen part of the process of changing from 'fat cat' to beautiful moth. It's funny how you can live in a place for 15 years and still find something new, nearly every day. You just never know what surprises await you on any given day!
Words and photos ©Thanks for today.™, by Jan Huston Doble @ http://www.thanksfor2day.blogspot.com/
Not to be reproduced or re-blogged without express permission of the author.