Thursday, September 9, 2010

5th Instar Anise Swallowtail Caterpillar on a Fennel Plant, Jerome, Arizona



Seen on the street in Jerome: Papilio zelicaon

The orange bulbs on his head-end, or osmeteria, smell not good to female humans.
To this male photographer, however, they smelled a bit like cheeseburgers.
The fennel was sweet green licorice right off the bush, by the way.
My kids, the caterpillar, and I shared a snack together.
The air up there will snap cold soon, so it's a good time for him to do what he does: fill up on fennel, hunker down. 
Time to butterfly up, cowboy.
I put on bike shorts and shoes, gloves and helmet after this. 
With fennel on my breath, with the memory of that cheeseburger caterpillar smell. 
So I could do what I do. 
Get up. Go ride.

5 comments:

  1. "I put on bike shorts and shoes, gloves and helmet after this."

    That begs the question, what were you wearing while you sniffed the caterpillar?

    Nice picture, man. I don't think I've ever seen that type of caterpillar this far north, but if do I'm gonna take whiff. I love cheeseburgers.

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  2. That's one honking big caterpillar!

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  3. RANTWICK I was wearing boots made for walkin, taking my kids around Jerome sniffing caterpillars and eating weeds. Thanks!

    limom yes sir, we was kind of cartoonish. I wondered if his defense mechanism would be to pull out a giant wooden mallet to whack predators with.

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  4. Motivators
    me: Key Lime pie!
    you: cheeseburger caterpillars.

    Fascinating...so happy to imagine sniffing a 'pillar one day. :)

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  5. Ali B. I think key lime pie would get me up the mountain, too. For some reason that sounds more like a backpacking motivator to me, though, ground pounding all day dreaming about that cool lime taste in camp...

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