Thursday, 5 April 2012

The Answer is Blowin' in the Wind

Hello and welcome to Pish Posh and Elle!
It's always exciting to have new visitors - I hope you enjoy my blog.


On my walk this morning I encountered this little bastard beauty...


It is called a Processionary Caterpillar because besides dangling on a thread from a tree overhanging the middle of a road where people walk their dog in the morning (dodged 1 a minute today) they also do this...


ie walk along with their face in each others arse.

If one of them doesn't feel the face of the one behind it in it's arse it stops and waits until the slow poke catches up. Aren't they clever? It must be a big responsibility to be the one at the very front.

I don't care much - if they want to live their life like that then fine, but every hair on them is an irritant to the skin that leaves an itchy welt lasting up to days. The hairs on both the caterpillar and the moth it pupates into fly away in the breeze and can cause asthma when inhaled. One year, before we moved here, the locals had a plague of them. They put their bed legs in tins of kerosene to get a good night's sleep.

Why the fuck are they here?

They walk around doing their stuff like they have a purpose - as if their life has meaning. I envy them their conviction.

Sometimes it helps to think about these hairy caterpillars when I ponder the meaning of life and the reason for my existence...

It's freeing to think there might not be one at all.

^^
=-=

14 comments:

  1. Which kind of processionary caterpillar? I was able to find pine and oak, but it didn't mention either being in your part of the world.

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    1. hi Esbboston these ones http://lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au/noto/lunifer.html
      They're all over the world?

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  2. And just think, as bad as your day may be going, at least you don't have to live your life with your head up someone else's ass. :)

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  3. The grossest thing is running into one when you aren't paying attention. It is like a furry attack on my face.

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    Replies
    1. Why? why? why? because because because

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  4. Ladybirds eat aphids which are harmful to plants. Spiders, as disgusting as they are, help rid us of flies.
    What on earth is THEIR purpose in life?!

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    Replies
    1. Lily their purpose is to hang in trees, put their face in the next one's bum, pupate, lay eggs and die. Like what we do but without the pupating.

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    2. If leg numbers have anything to do with land intelligence I might be.

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  5. You are DEAD ON, Julie! Annie Dillard wrote about pine processionary caterpillars in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, and it is one of my favorite pieces of writing in the English language bar none. If you haven't read it, you must go find it immediately–it's THAT good! She recounts the observations of a scientist watching the behavior of these creatures when their trail was disturbed and they followed one another in circles without food, shelter or rest for days. These results, I think, prove the ultimate pointlessness of life.

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    Replies
    1. Perhaps showing the pointlessness of life is their purpose - forget the dolphins we should be listening to the hairy caterpillars. I will check out Pilgrim at Tinker Creek Tara. Sounds cruel but fun.

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    2. I think you're on to something.

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  6. Growing up in Chicago I saw tons of furry little caterpillars (they never really bothered me) but had never seen a slug. They're unbelievably plentiful here in the Pacific NW. I even have nightmares about the fat slick-trail-leaving creatures. LOL So, even through it's not exactly the same--I do understand your pain. ;-)

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    Replies
    1. Ew slugs are pretty yuck actually, that sent a shiver up my spine thinking of them.

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