There's a takeover going on in our garden.
Our passionflower vine is being decimated.
It's not the colder temperatures or lack of water that's causing this destruction.
We are being inundated by these critters,
who feast on this delicate vining plant.
While some of you have welcomed your first frost or snowfall,
we are being visited by a storm of another kind.
The voracious gulf fritillary caterpillars
have descended like a squall.
Noticing how peaked the plant looked,
I had a feeling that they were very busy out there.
I wasn't disappointed.
Having hosted these caterpillars for quite a few years now,
I can't recall ever seeing so many at one time in our garden.
They start out small enough...
but with each bite, they grow exponentially.
And the passionflower disappears before our eyes.
When they've achieved the right size,
they look for a place to hang out and cocoon.
Up the walls they go,
looking for the perfect spot to work their magic.
Here's one that has already transformed
and moved on to greener pastures.
What a blessing to be able to witness their metamorphosis,
especially during this week of Thanksgiving.
Here's hoping that today you are able to experience
the wonder of the natural world around you.