Close encounter with Mexican cats
Until yesterday it was mere curiosity, but then I got a little too close to some particularly savage looking caterpillars I'd seen on a peach tree. I was weeding around the tree, being careful not to disturb the cats, when I felt a tingle on the back of my upper arm. I had brushed against a rose bush and thought at first the thorns had pricked me. But on closer inspection, I saw that some of the cats had migrated to the rose bush.
"Owwwww," I whined, and headed for the house, the weeding abandoned for the day. My arm was starting to throb. I planned to take Benedryl and go to bed, but I decided to see how bad it would get, so I just washed the area with soap and cold water and scrubbed it with a nail brush (that felt good).
After the cold scrubbing-induced numbness wore off, it didn't hurt anymore. I could detect several mosquito-bite-size bumps under the skin and a slight tenderness, but I had no more pain or itching. Overall, it was not nearly as bad as, say, a jellyfish sting.
I've been finding a lot of different cats, only a couple of which I have recognized. Maybe some of you can help identify them. When I return to Mexico in January, I'll bring the appropriate gear to rear some of them to adulthood. From Butterflies and Moths of Michoac
These eggs are on a black cherry leaf. I think they are probably the same species as the stinging cats on the peach and rose. From Butterflies and Moths of MichoacÃ¡n
I find these on thorn bushes. From Butterflies and Moths of MichoacÃ¡n
I find these on romero milkweed (A. linaria) summer and winter. From Butterflies and Moths of MichoacÃ¡n
I think this is a Queen. It is on romero milkweed. From Butterflies and Moths of MichoacÃ¡n
I was ecstatic to find this tiny Eastern Black Swallowtail when I stopped to photograph the flower on my dill. I brought him inside and offered him dill, fennel and parsley to see which he preferred. So far, he's remained on his original dill florette. The next day, I found his older brother on the the fennel plant, so I brought him in too. They are in separate containers for now, at least until the little guy grows enough to hold his own. From Butterflies and Moths of MichoacÃ¡n
I shot this from across the fence. I think the vine may be milkweed, but I won't be sure until I get a closer look.