I'm still trying to recover from this especially tiring and trying week, so just a short post today with a few shots I took in our yard this weekend of monarch caterpillars and a butterfly.
The caterpillars spend their time on Butterflyweed, a milkweed species (Aesclepias), eating flower buds and leaves.
They extrude the most massive turds; you can see one coming out of the back end at the left of this photo. Both ends of the caterpillars have appendages, so it is hard to tell if they are coming or going, except when they are "going" like this one is. A couple of older turds are on the leaf below the caterpillar.
These are very fleshy and very flashy caterpillars, flashy to advertise their unpleasant flavor from the milkweed.
There really is a gorgeous monarch butterfly in this picture, hiding amongst the orange and purple of the coneflower. (Click on the picture to see it bigger.) Not that they need to hide. Like the caterpillars, the butterflies also advertise their unpleasant flavor to potential predators with their strikingly colorful black, orange, and white markings.