Our gorgeous early fall weather has fostered an explosion of caterpillars large and small; some brilliantly colored, some camouflaged. As anyone who lives around trees knows, even if you can’t see the caterpillars, you can hear them. It’s the sound of light rain falling in the forest. Back in the 1970s, entomology romanticists said that sound you were hearing was the sound of millions gypsy moth caterpillars nibbling in unison. Don’t buy it. What you’re really hearing is that gentle rainfall — of caterpillar poop.
GLOW WORM — The chartreuse coloring and semitransparent body almost seem to glow.
FALL ARMYWORM — Cool weather has slowed the near-insatiable appetites of these larvae.
BIG ORANGE — This big guy is a riot of color among shed seed parachutes.
TIME CAPSULE — Caterpillar in his time capsule, perhaps to emerge as a winged creature in a few weeks.
MEASURED STEPS — Inchworm walks across the face of a wild aster family member, one of the late bloomers.
STRIPES — One of last fall’s caterpillars with racing stripes.