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After work today, I drove two hours to rescue these three Snowberry Clearwing caterpillars.

Last week, I filled in as guest speaker for a garden club after their scheduled insect expert cancelled last-minute. Had a great time with them, and in exchange for filling in, I was gifted plentiful plants for my garden. But the best gift of all was the gift of friendship. And by friendship, I mean when people find caterpillars they ask me if I want them 😀

One of the garden club people works in a nursery, and she found these caterpillars on the honeysuckle. They couldn’t stay, because they were eating the merchandise, but they’re so fun she couldn’t bear to hurt them. Snowberry Clearwings are sphinx moths that are often mistaken for bumblebees and/or hummingbirds. I won’t usually take caterpillars I don’t find in my yard, because if I don’t have the host plant easily accessible, it’s hard to keep them fat and happy. But I have a honeysuckle bush! And I can’t say no to these cuties!!! The garden club is based in a town 60 miles from my work, so it was a bit of a trip, but worth it!

June 19, 2018

I came home and couldn’t find the big fat baby!!! Then I thought, “Hmmm…” Under the paper towel, working on a cocoon, and dreaming of pupation. So cute how so many moth caterpillars turn pink before they pupate!

The other two are still very precious. Behold:

June 21, 2018 (Happy Solstice!!)

Cocoon progress from this morning! Baby is working hard!

June 22, 2018

Morning vs evening. I missed the action! But I have another caterpillar who is currently the Fattest Sausage who I can watch very closely. I CAN’T WAIT FOR MY MOTHS!!!!

Pupation occurred June 23 / Posted June 24, 2018

Another update! The other sausage is prepupal and in search of the perfect place to cocooninate!

June 24, 2018

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I CAUGHT IT!!!!!!!

I got the ENTIRE THING on VIDEO!!!!!

I’ll post that later, for now, enjoy these stills of the baby spinning a cocoon and pupating

It was SO NEAT YOU GUYS WOW. I’be seen lots of caterpillars pupate, but none SO BIG before 😀

June 26, 2018

THE FIRST MOTH IS HERE ALREADY!!!!

She demanded to be released IMMEDIATELY even though it was pouring rain. In the last gif, her wings are vibrating, she’s warming up her muscles to fly away! When she left, I could hear the hum of her wings, and she flew between the raindrops off to freedom.

July 4, 2018