Friday, December 16, 2016

Friday’s Tales

More on the Black Fuzzy Worm (Caterpillar)

Tuesday the story of the black fuzzy worm began. Tuesday morning as I was preparing to get in my car to leave the house I noticed the black fuzzy worm hanging out on the wall near the bedroom window. The black fuzzy looking woolly worm is actually a moth in larva stage. The black fuzzy worm (or caterpillar) made its place of abode on the brick wall instead of under the leaves in the shrubs. Probably looking for a place to hibernate. Thankfully the bedroom window was secure and the caterpillar couldn’t get in the house. Flashback of cotton picking days! The cotton-picking days were when I was a child of eleven to about sixteen years old living on the farm with my family in West Carroll Parish. The black fuzzy worm was a pest to me; it interfered with me picking cotton and carrying on with the task at hand. If you missed the first post about the Black Fuzzy Worm you can read about it here.

On closer observation of the worm, after putting on my best eye glasses with bifocals, and standing at a safe distance of about six inches from the bristled fuzzy worm, the best that I could tell the black fuzzy worm (caterpillar) is two and half inches long, has five feet (best I can see), and an orange band in the middle under the hairy bristled black fuzzy spikes. And resting comfortably on the brick wall. I dare not touch for fear it would roll up and fall off the wall.

Some folks say these critters stand out as cute and appealing and they are safe to handle and observe. If that is true, then I will keep telling myself that. And I will eventually believe it and flashbacks from those cotton-picking days will be happy memories. Apparently, the black fuzzy worms are among the few nonpest caterpillars, so they are harmless to watch transform and do their thing. This worm can stand extreme cold temperatures.

Wednesday, the worm moved from the wall near the bedroom to the wall near the bathroom. I was curious how the worm moved on the bricks. Observing it on the brick wall, its feet probably hold it to the bricks. Now I am really getting brave, and may overcome my fears of this critter. You can read about Wednesday’s Tales of the Black Fuzzy Worm Hanging Out here.

Thursday, the fuzzy black worm (caterpillar) moved over near the front door. Apparently worm or caterpillar becomes active at night. They eat at night and sleep during the day so that explains why it was in a different location.

Friday, the black fuzzy woolly is hanging out in the same place. It hasn’t moved since Wednesday. When it moves, it may be molting, could just be resting or sleeping when motionless for this period of time. Could be just hanging out to protect itself from a predator. Maybe it had a busy night. Only the caterpillar knows for sure.

These stages will take place if it isn’t a food for the day of a predator. The location of the black woolly at this time is a concern, because it in an open place, not under the leaves or shrubs. Their food supply is leaves so it has plenty of food nearby. Also, if it falls off the wall it will fall into the leaves a safer place for it. If the black fuzzy woolly isn’t a bird’s meal and it survives, it will eventually become a moth in the spring. It will begin to spin a silk cocoon. Later, it will become a moth.

Caterpillars, such as the black fuzzy woolly, transform themselves into a completely new critter after a period of cycles, incubation and time. Wow! Transforming themselves. That would be great if a change would transform me. Just renew myself and evolve into a whole new being.

Will black fuzzy worm be there tomorrow or until spring? I’ll keep watch. You keep coming back to find out. ■ 

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