Friday, September 21, 2007


Back in the early 90s, I was in graduate school in Brooklyn, New York. I had just arrived from Fort Worth, Texas and I was green. I didn't know how green I was, and I was certainly not as green as some people, but I was still green compared to the person I was when I left New York City three and a half years ago. But that's another story.

One of my classmates was a woman named Julie, who was from Montana. She'd lived on a ranch before moving to Brooklyn and living in a city was not what she was all about. She was about the wildlife and the fresh, open air. I have always been more of a city person, although I've had some serious brushes with nature in my life. My father has always had some "property" that was open and wild and he liked to encourage us to visit it with him.

While the rest of the class bemoaned the nasty pigeons and the dirty squirrels that were all over New York City, Julie said that she liked them. They were the only wildlife available and she missed being around wildlife. City dogs obviously don't count.

So the other day, I thought of Julie when I saw this spider, which had spun a web behind our morning-glories-that-never-happened. We really don't get much in the way of wildlife in Amsterdam. Granted, a spider isn't exactly a coyote or a fox, but I liked having it around. I even threw a couple of bugs in the web to see how it would scamper over and attack them. It was interesting. I got one hit. The other two got away. Ah...the circle of life.
But my real question is: What is this thing in the picture below? I know it's a caterpillar, but do you know what kind? We've had several in the past few months. They are a little over a centimeter or a half inch long and don't appear to be going anywhere. They sit a lot. We've had some moth problems in the past few months, and I think they are associated with the ugly, little moths, which Fred is convinced came out of my yarn. (I remain unconvinced.)
They seem to originate from around the corner with the refrigerator. Coincidentally, that is the corner where I put the bowl with the morning glory pods so they can dry. Fred is convinced that the caterpillars come from the morning glory pods. However, I call "correlation without causation." My theory is that some dumb moth laid a bunch of eggs in that corner and that's why the caterpillars show up there. It's warm, dry and safe from preditors.

I've looked at this site, which was helpful, but not so helpful as to give me a name. I found a picture of what looks to be the same caterpillar (my picture is tons better) but it's only called "11." I've put a few in a bottle with some leaves hoping they will eat for a while and then spin a cocoon and eventually show themselves to be the moths that I think they are. Another option is moving the refrigerator, which I'm not so sure about.

In the big picture a few caterpillars are not that bad. I've dealth with roaches (in NYC). That was a challenge.

So that's our wildlife in our little apartment in our corner of Amsterdam. We have birds, of course, but birds are birds.


Marion said...

Andy, have a look here, scroll down:

I think it is the moth..
Try looking for the dutch word 'rups', I also found 'plodia'.. latin for moth..

Oh and I am totally against killing animals, but get rid of them one way or another...
begor they start eatning your yarn ;D

Charles said...

Hey Andy~~

AS Marion says Iam agreed with! It is moth. My grandmother's house always has moth like on pic..

I remember She use to light on the incense....( It was smell a like sadlewood) She was saying that moth dont the like smell incence.
I dont know this work but try it...