Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.

Hunting for caterpillars

Yesterday afternoon, Chris, Sidney and I went in hunt of a new air mattress for some upcoming camping trips. I was disappointed to find that Fancy Gap Outfitters in Mount Airy (N.C.) had closed. So we eventually made our way back up the mountain and stopped in at Magic Mart (Galax, Va.) where we found not only air mattresses, but cots, tarps and other camping gear. (We only needed and bought the mattress.)

While out and about, Chris insisted on stopping along the way to scope out milkweed for caterpillars, particularly monarch caterpillars. We started out in our backyard. Chris found several monarch caterpillars and, as usual, tons of tussock milkweed moth caterpillars:

Chris in our backyard.

Chris in our backyard.

A tusk (left) and monarch caterpillars on swamp milkweed in our backyard.

A tussock milkweed moth (left) and monarch caterpillars on swamp milkweed in our backyard.

Next up was the Emily B. Taylor Greenway in Mount Airy (N.C.). We didn’t see any caterpillars, though.

Emily B. Taylor Greenway

Emily B. Taylor Greenway. You can faintly see two dragonflies in the upper right of this photo.

Besides goldenrod, these beautiful flowers were in bloom.

Besides goldenrod, these beautiful flowers were in bloom.

Kudzu beetles on the underside of the kudzu leaf.

Kudzu beetles on the underside of the kudzu leaf.

On the way to Galax, we stopped at Devil’s Den (Fancy Gap, Va.), but someone had already mowed the meadow, which is sad. Just a couple of weeks ago this field was full of milkweed and there were lots of monarchs flitting around. Most of the monarch caterpillars won’t emerge from their chrysalis until late October. I wish the preserve would have waited until early November to mow.

Devil's Den Wildlife Preserve, Fancy Gap, Va.

Devil’s Den Wildlife Preserve, Fancy Gap, Va.

We did find this guy at one of the overlooks.

This fella is on a bench at one of the overlooks. I about sat on him.

This fella is on a bench at one of the overlooks. I about sat on him.

Top of caterpillar

Maybe another type of tussock moth caterpillar? Here’s a view of the overlook.

Overlook at Devil's Den.

Overlook at Devil’s Den.

I hope other people are finding tons of caterpillars this year!

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