15 September 2007


what is this???
i was cleaning out the scruffy parts of my deck plants, when it seemed to me some of the purple fountain grass's dead leaves were moving of their own volition. turns out i was wrong. this hairy little dude was moving along. so being the good homeschooling mom, i called for any & all interested parties to have a look-see. just D. & Little Man were home, with Little Man first on scene. we did a photo shoot with hairy dude & placed him gently back in the plant. D. came along, took a look & says..."there are caterpillars that can be harmful, so don't touch him." next morning i was watering the plants & saw hairy dude again...this time i told Big Bro to check him out. and thinking about D.'s comment from the last night, i sent the boys on a science mission: identify hairy dude.
from eMedicine...(certainly not very comforting when this is your first google search hit!)..."The most dangerous caterpillar in the United States is the puss caterpillar or asp (Megalopyge opercularis; see Image 1), the larval form of the flannel moth."
most dangerous??
ASP??? caterpillar...
touching hairy dude is ***hazardous*** to our health...
encounters with him lead to things like **severe, unremitting pain & hospital visits**
hairy dude received an immediate eviction notice from our darling deck. i'll have no creatures with descriptions like "most dangerous" & "asp" lodging among my pretties. hairy dude is now quietly living away from man & domestic beast deep in the overgrown forest nearby.
& i am wearing garden gloves for any & all plant care!


sognatrice said...


Shan said...

Yet another good reason not to garden. Thanks!

Bri said...

hah! Run away! I thought he was adorable and so cute...until I read further. I hope he likes his relocation to the woods :D

Yolanda said...

You learn something new everday. I have never seen one of these before.

somepinkflowers said...


i thought
he was from another planet.


i have been stung 2 times
by fuzzy-crawlies
had to go to the hospital both times
for a shot!

yes, beware!!!

i am a big fan of the *relocation* process!

i hope things like that don't mind,
but i toss them in
with the poison ivy
i cannot go near...

[is that bad?]

Joy T. said...

That is absolutely amazing! Ok kinda freaky but absolutely amazing to see a caterpillar that looks like that. Glad you got rid of it though, major ewwww.

Karen Cole said...


Thanks for your comments!!

Am headed out today. Will be thinking of you and taking notes.


qualcosa di bello said...

sognatrice...what you said!

shan...if you do, practice safe gardening...use gloves

bri...you should write about him. his is pretty much out of your genre!

yolanda...he was my first too - & i hope my last!

SPF...poison ivy? sounds good to me! i'm sorry that hairy dude was so rude to you!

joy...yeah...freaky & weird are good words to describe him!

karen...Godspeed...& thanks!! :)