A number of you have mentioned to me, either by comment, e-mail, or in person, that the larger-than-life caterpillar photos are not your favorites. I can appreciate that so I thought I would post something from my yard a little more rollie-pollie and hugable (and a little more difficult to photograph). So now, do you think my woodchuck is cute? Maybe he needs a name?
Just for the sake of arguement, however, let me give you a couple of statistics:
Number of spicebush leaves eaten by spicebush caterpillars: About 10 to 12.
Number of milkweed leaves eaten by an entire flock of tussock caterpillars: Just a few large older yellowing leaves.
Number of garden plants eaten by woodchuck: Entire population of squash, parsley, cucumbers, pumpkin, nasturtium, and some tomatoes.
Now that everything is gone – the garden is mowed over and just a few scraggly weeds remain – I am giving in and becoming friends with my woodchuck. I will embrace him as my friend on these last few days before school starts. I need all the moral support I can get.