It’s Raining Cat…erpillars!

Malacosoma Americanum.

Pretty fancy name for a pesky visitor.

The Eastern Tent Caterpillar.

To us, they are like company.

Company with boundry issues.

I love the saying “Don’t confuse hospitality with endurance.”

These little guys, well…

they test our endurance.

But then so do other unwanted guests, such as skunks and porkies.

We have those too.

Malacosoma Americanum arrive and unpack their bags.

And hitch a ride on my camera bag.

And they make themselves at home.

On top of our heads.

Riding on dog’s backs, horse’s backs, our backs.

The clothesline.

Our fencing, where they bob their head in a decision-making process before walking the tight rope.

They sound like rain on the metal roof of our cabin, as they fall from the trees.

They litter our walkways.

They join me in the outhouse. On the door, in the door, on the ceiling. I can honestly say, never on the seat itself.

While eating outdoors, which we do most nights, we casually pick them from our pant legs during conversation.

No big deal.

They don’t bite.

They don’t sting.

Although they eat the leaves, they don’t kill the trees, except for trees already compromised.

So, what’s the fuss?

Sure, you have to look at your chainsaw handle before you grab it.

And your picnic table is preoccupied.

And yes, one was resting on my pillow one night.

But they are only visitors for a short time.

We can endure.

They come in late May, and by late June they have begun their cycle.

The cycle of life.

Folks are pretty worked up.

Kill them, you say?

Have the government drop the pesticide from the sky?

Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT).

That is the answer?

It will only work on this year’s crop and not prevent next years from hatching.

What about the Monarch Butterfly that might also be affected?

Or, even scarier, the latest mystery of what is causing Colony Collapse Disorder (yes, another acronym) in our bee population?

As we know, bees make the world go ’round.

So drop the pesticide from the air. Make our lives comfortable ~ not messy. Forget about the “green” ways and buying only organic.


Try viewing it as a thing of beauty.

Their cocoon, which they build in hours, is a thing of beauty.

They work so hard.

And it saddens me when they make poor choices in where they set up shop and where they will emerge.

The other night we were in the cabin. I was fixing dinner when a small moth flew gently by my face. I reached out and it rested on my hand.

Rustic Russ and I both smiled, wondering if it was one of the caterpillars we gently lifted from our pant legs and deposited on the ground while eating dinner under the night’s sky.

Don’t let these harmless, fuzzy, colorful soon-to-be moths keep you inside.

Step out, watching your step as always, and enjoy God’s creatures.

All of them.

Until tomorrow ~ God willing,


For further adventures, follow us at Russ-Stick Acres

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