per·i·pa·tet·ic
ˌperēpəˈtedik/
adjective
  1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
    Aristotelian.
noun
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

That's My World Tuesday--Orange Dog Days of Summer in Florida

video
Now that the dog days of summer in the northern hemisphere are almost over, I thought it only fitting that the orange dog caterpillar, Papilio cresphontes, should get some face time on the blog. It might not be pretty now, looking like something a bird had for breakfast, but that ugly visage will change soon enough. A giant swallowtail butterfly will emerge from a chrysalis that the caterpillar forms for itself. It seems like magic every time it happens, and I don't mind a bit that the orange dog is feasting on my pink grapefruit tree. It must be the mother in me that keeps saying "Eat, eat, and have some more!"

For more That's My World Tuesday stories this week, please visit the official site and check out what other bloggers have posted.

12 comments:

  1. THAT is amazing! At first I thought it was a slug-glad you identified it. Those giant swallowtails are really something.

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  2. Ironically, I just took a photo this morning of a black swallowtail catt enjoying my fennel. It's no wonder how quickly they grow when you see how much they eat! I'm like you, encouraging them, though; in fact, the fennel was planted just for them:)

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  3. They are pretty amazing creatures when you think about it, metaphorical for a reason!

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  4. Catterpillars are so cool... and an appetite that would make any mother swell with pride.

    I'm not familiar with the butterfly in question... I'll have to look him up.

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  5. What a ravanous appetite he/she has!
    Smiles

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  6. Tina, I hope there are a few flying around in the yard by the end of August. Maybe they would divert your attention from the sorry state of my various plantings--especially the veggie garden. It's a disaster area!

    Rose, save some of those seeds for tea. It's a great stomach soother.

    Mr. S, they're the best sermon in a small package that I've ever seen.

    Claude, according to my insect field guide, Texas is more likely to see Papilio thoas, the Western Citrus Swallowtail, which is supposed to be even larger--of course!--but I'm not sure if that's true of your particular area.

    Hello, Carolyn! I'm glad you liked the post and welcome to the blog.

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  7. Interesting that something so ugly would become a gorgeous swallowtail. There was a fascinating article in the NYT Science section on Tuesday August 10 about why we find some animals so ugly.

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  8. This is great, I've learned something new about Florida critters. I'm interested in your grapefruit tree as well. You're in Tally now?

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  9. I too would say eat eat eat up so you can be big beautiful one soon! Cute video..

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  10. What a chomper! How quickly your vegetation can disappear!!! LOL. I am sad because I have been waiting to find a catapillar somewhere, and have not...I have a little house to put them in to watch the transformation to butterfly...wanted to do with my grandson. Loads of butterflies here...MOnarch, Swallowtail and Sulpher, and I have host plants...where are my share of the catts??? :)

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  11. Thanks for the tip on the article, Sarah. I'll look into it. I've read that other animals besides humans must find the caterpillar unattractive or at least unappetizing. It's seldom bothered at this stage of its life because of its resemblance to bird droppings.

    PJ, I'm glad to be of service. The grapefruit trees were purchased and planted in early 2009. We bought them from Casey's Nursery on Avalon. I was afraid we might lose them to the extreme cold this past winter, but they came through it fine. We put some flexible, corrugated, perforated plastic pipe around the trunks to protect them from the cat and weed whacker and used pine straw as mulch. I guess the combination worked to keep them alive. They've at least doubled in size since we planted them. This year we did not get any blossoms so there won't be any fruit, but I don't mind as long as they stay healthy. As for Tally, yes, we're there most of the time and come back to visit nearly every week. The tenant doesn't have time to keep up with the yard work or pool maintenance, and I'm too cheap to pay for either one. Plus, we get to visit family!

    Hi, Skeeter! Lately, I've been paying too much attention to my own advice about eating. Unfortunately, bigger does not mean beautiful in my case:)

    Julie, that's a puzzler. I'm not sure why your catts aren't evident. I usually see the ones on my plants very early in the morning, just as the sun is coming up. They hide somewhere during the heat of the day. There's another kind of swallowtail that loves parsley. Its caterpillars absolutely devour the parsley in the garden, and I never fail to find plenty of them chomping away.

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  12. hmmm, some bird just may see it as breakfast.

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