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The story of Houdini and other photos [Jan. 31st, 2016|08:57 pm]
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[feeling |busybusy]


, For those wondering, no not the stage magicianmy pet caterpillar, which I found on some organic kale and kept.



At first I was convinced he was the larvae of the yellow underwing, but the more I read up about them, the more I realised he could be, but he could also be the larvae of one out of 3 other moths. All winter heardy, so I could at least release him when he turned into a moth (I could have released him as a caterpillar too, but his chances weren't good with all the wildlife in our garden).

So after about a week, suddenly I didn't see the cheery Houdini after sunset. Usually I could see him marching about his jar snacking on fresh greens, but now, nothing. I did find a cloth of earth, because rather than spinning a REAL coccoon he had just made a matted (sort of like a dreadlock) clumb of earth to transform in. I left it be for about two weeks, and after that I moved the jar (which was always without a lid as he couldn't climb the glass) into an empty fishtank (you know, the square plastic ones with the lid full of airholes). Saturday night, Loa (my cat), suddenly went crazy, trying to get to the top shelf, which he couldn't, and waking me up in the process. So of course, I checked the top shelf and what do I see: a beautiful little moth. Queue me getting up at 3.30 in the morning to get some food together for our winged little friend. Of course, whilst Houdini was safe and sound in his cage high up on the shelf, Loa would NOT let it rest, and kept on waking me up in his attempts to murder Houdini.
Considering he kept going like a crazy animal, it was really not an option to keep Houdini, so I decided to take him to the garden of Bert's parent's house to release him there. They have plenty of hidey holes for butterflies and moths that hibernate so that was the best option.

Houdini in his moving jar

Houdini in his moving jar.

When I lifted him out of his jar, I had expected that we wouldn't be able to take some photos, because I figured he'd go right in the wood to sleep, but no, he wouldn't let go of my hand.

I didn't get any good photos of him on my hand, but my father in law did.
These two photos are by Guy Van den Wyngaert, as is the one that intros this post.



And a photo of Houdini after I finally, gently, managed to convince him to let go off me. I was pretty sad to be honest, I would have liked to keep him until spring, but with Loa the crazy hunter cat it just wasn't feasible. I hope he's ok out there and found a nice spot to hibernate.

Houdini outside

And for those curious, no that's not a yellow underwing, it's an angle shades :)

I'm hoping that this summer I can help some more caterpillars become butterflies, my inlaws have a ton of Old World Swallowtail caterpillars in their gardens, so I think I'll take some in :)
I'll feel a lot better about releasing them if it's not winter (even though the temperatures are so mild that it's fine for angle shades) ^^
That and swallowtales are quite rare now so they can get all the help they can get.
Also: I'd love to raise an oak eggar caterpillar because they are my total favourite, but that's probably a lot less likely.
As long as I don't get another hornet caterpillar it's all good because they are bitey jerks!

Easter eggs in February? I don't mind. Not at all...

And today's photo. I'm not regretting the fact that there are Easter eggs in January!

Loa is sad for he cannot have Easter eggs

Loa is sad, because he can't have chocolate. No ridiculously early Easter treats for him!

[User Picture]From: countlibras
2016-02-01 04:08 am (UTC)
I love this entire photo set. :)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kittensandsteam
2016-02-01 08:57 am (UTC)
Hopefully more like them this summer :)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)