Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Who's eating my Columbine?

   I've had my eye on the columbine lately, I'm waiting for the seed heads to mature so I can collect them before they pop and spill out. Apparently I wasn't watching closely enough! Last night I discovered these caterpillars chewing through the seed heads and possibly even eating the seeds.

Aahhhh! What's happening here?!

   They appear to be Tobacco Budworms, and will eventually become moths. I also noticed on the same plant when it was flowering that somebody was chewing on the petals, but I didn't think much of it. Tobacco Budworms feed on many different types of flowers and vary greatly in color. They are widely considered to be a pest. I, however, try to be open minded and let creatures do their own thing (even if they are eating my seed that I was planning to share and distribute). They are only a "pest" because we humans think they destroy the pretty things we like to look at. They're not actually posing a threat to our or our pets' health. Ticks and Black Widows, now that's another story. They get squished. I even left a Bald-faced Hornets nest up last year- it was far enough away from the house and eventually they abandoned it. I guess I'll leave them alone unless someone can make a valid argument otherwise.

   A few feet away from the columbine I found this Harvestman on my Agastache "Blue Fortune" (Anise Hyssop). I've never seen a black and white one before, only brown, and I couldn't identify it specifically. Did you know Harvestman, aka Daddy Long Legs, are not spiders? Although it looks like it has huge fangs, they are actually pedipalps, which act like hands. Also, its eyes are on its stomach. Pretty cool huh?

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