Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hanging by a thread

I paused for a minute as I came out of the barn--my eyes squinting as they slowly adjusted to the bold, bright light.
I'd been scouting the rafters for nests.
Earlier, I'd heard a Phoebe in this pasture, her raspy "fee-bee" alerting me to the fact she was close. Again.
Last year, she'd nested atop a light bulb just inside the goat stalls. And I 'd watched as her brood grew and fledged.
I hoped she'd returned.
But her spot was empty.


Standing beneath a small elm, I looked up.
Against the backdrop of fresh green leaves and blue sky, on the finest silk thread, a strange creature was suspended.


I watched as he lowered himself with a sudden drop, then, pulled himself back up, his white tangled line bunched into his face--almost to the very same spot.


Up and down.


On a silken cord.


Bird food.



















I could not ID this caterpillar.
It appears to be a "looper" of some sort, perhaps?
Inchworm,...


Thanks to Wigger's World for hosting Skywatch Friday each week at his site!

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63 comments:

Lynne said...

Good eye Nina! That is the strangest looking caterpillar I've ever seen.

Abraham Lincoln said...

I think most kids would and most adults would be afraid of this.

quinttarantino said...

This is simply amazing!

Mary said...

Neat photos! Have no idea what it is....but it is interesting to see it that close.

Lana G! said...

WOW!!! What a great find! Beautiful photographs of the little floating creature!

Lyn said...

it kind of looks like a chinese dragon flying :)

Rose said...

Wonderful series of photos...when we were kids we would let them inch up our hands/arms etc and my kids did the same thing.

Tommy V said...

very cool pictures.

Texas Travelers said...

I believe it is a Horned Spanworm Moth (nematocampa resistaria).

Great photo.

Our sky is heating up.
Come visit,
Troy and Martha

Voz do meu Coração said...

Just this wonderful series of photographs, worms beautiful congratulations

***Fotografia e Luz*** said...

magnificent photos with these worms very beautiful

Old Wom Tigley said...

It's a baby 'Sky Dragon' .. or it will be when a show the little girl next door who loves dragons.. ha!.. Neat Sky Watch post.

Daniel J Santos said...

fantastic, well done.

Mrs. Darcy said...

Great shots, but a little bit creepy too...

Picturing of Life said...

cool shots

Mine in here Thanks

juliana rw said...

great macro shots

Visit mine also in here Thanks

Judi-gmj said...

Fantastic find and great sky watch.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Fun Sky Watch, Nina. Hmmm. I don't think I'd be AFRAID of this caterpillar (see Abe's comment). Like you, I'd be fascinated. ;-)

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

These are great shots... you done an awesome job at describing it as usual!!
Rocky Mountain Retreat

Angie said...

Fantastic photos!

John said...

This is amazing! Great capture.

The Texican said...

Nifty dance those little catapillars do.

Ida said...

Amazing! :)

Anemone said...

This pictures shows that this world is amasing !!

We should be taking more care about it...

Nice weekend to you, from Anne in the middle of Norway.

Pretty Life Online said...

nice one for SWF! mine's up too hope you can drop by.

Musings said...

This is such an original amazing series of photos! However were you able to catch it? I love it! You're in such clear focus!

me ann my camera said...

What a unique and fascinating sky watch contribution!! And such fun reading of it.

Champ Townboy said...

Thank you for such an awesome post and fantastic pictures - this is what makes Sky Watch worthwhile!!

SandyCarlson said...

This was an amazing sequence. Thanks for these pictures.

zhakee said...

That's an interesting caterpillar. Dangling, it looks very much like a long catkin. Those appendages on it are fascinating.

The Birdlady said...

That looks like a Dr,. Seuss caterpiller!

Pam said...

I enjoy coming here to visit. There is always something fascinating!Great photos.

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

I agree with Tom; it's a baby Sky Dragon! I've seen a lot of caterpillers in my day, but have never, ever seen one like this. An amazing series of photos!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Now that is one odd looking bug.

Larry D said...

Excellent series of photos!

Sherry said...

What a strange looking caterpillar. I don't think I've ever seen one quite like it. You captured it beautifully in your photos!

Suzanne said...

A great lot of photos, caterpillars are interesting liitle creatures.

Steven and Aisha said...

Really good photos you have of the caterpillar. I am afraid of them but this one looks really beautiful.

Scotty Graham said...

what a cool series of photos...I really like it, but it would give my wife the creeps...she has a phobia with those little guys...but great photographs never the less...

Anne-Berit said...

Just great!

Melli said...

That's a GIFT! Straight from God to nobody but YOU! And you chose to share it with us! That is AWESOME!!!

Mike said...

That's awesome, Nina. I believe the trusty Texas Travelers are on the money with their ID. Here are some more photos of Horned Spanworm moths and caterpillars.

Dave Coulter said...

Good eye...GREAT shots!

babooshka said...

Wow1 these are excellent closeups.

Quiet Paths said...

You never know what you'll see looking into the sky....space aliens! I've never seen a creature like that before. You have a wonderful blog.

Small City Scenes said...

What an excellent series of shots. Very interesting caterpillar or inchworm of sorts. Did you find out was exactly it is. MB

fishing guy said...

Nina: Very cool pictures of the inchworm. I've seen this happen before. Nice SWF.

On my post, I had made one round with car pictures and noticed reflections so made anothe round through the cars getting reflections of the sky because of SWF..

Mary said...

You find the darndest things, in the right light, with the perfect background, and your amazing eye for photography.

What a treat!

cestoady said...

Marvelous photos of the inch worm caterpillar of the Horned Spanworm moth. I wonder what the function is of those 4 ,white tipped "horns "??

They must have some role in the natural selection of that caterpillar. I wonder if, at the least, it changes the silhouette to suggest a spider or just debris-- something a bird might not want to eat. Who knows ??

TSannie said...

That caterpiller looks like he/she could be part of Cirque du Soleil! What gorgeoug shots. I would never think of a lowly caterpillar being a thing of beauty, but your photos disprove that. It looks like it's doing some exotic acrobatic routine.

Lovely!

bobbie said...

Wonderful series. The way he twists himself, he almost looks like a mini-
seahorse sometimes.

Jennifer Robin said...

Great series of shots, very creative!

Kathiesbirds said...

I love seeing all the different ways people post Sky watch. This is new, different and intersting! Great job! A little gift from the Sky!

For The People said...

What is it. Great series BTW!

Stacey Huston said...

Nina, this is wonderful.. great post.. I love inchworms but have never seen one with the feeler(?) like this.. thanks for sharing

Wendy said...

Weird, but cute!

Gusto! said...

Nice all around pics and story.

chrome3d said...

What an excellent series of pics. This was really good. Thanks!

nina said...

Yay--it looks like a Horned Spanworm, indeed. (Thanks, Texas Travelers and Mike @ 10,000 Birds)
And I agree with all the suggestions of skydragon, seahorse, cirque du soleil,...isn't it beautiful!?

And those strange "appendages"? I almost thought it was a piece of debris, as it hung there, spinning in the breeze. Perhaps that's its attempt to be unseen by wormeaters!

At any rate, I'm glad what almost ended up caught in my hair, has been so interesting for skywatch!

Marvin said...

Great shots, Nina. I have spent much time trying to focus on small critters suspended in the sky. No success thus far, but I will keep trying. Yours pix are excellent.

Sandpiper said...

This is fantastic! I love that you took a series of photos of one of life's simple moments. I once made a video of an ant moving sawdust to the edge of a tree and dropping it off to the ground. The ant spent the afternoon working and tidying up- picking up a piece, walking to the edge, dropping it, over and over. When you walk in nature, you do it the same way I do - noticing every detail. It would be fun to walk together someday.

Carole said...

What an odd little fellow. Very interesting Sky Watch.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I've been searching for over an hour trying to find something that looked like my caterpillar. I think we may have captured the same thing. ^^ I am in Texas so the Horned Spanworm Moth may be correct. It almost looks too different to me, though.

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