This spring everywhere we walked around our property, down the road and out-and-about we noticed these cool fuzzy caterpillars we've surely seen before but didn't remember. After looking in our favorite caterpillar field guide we identified them as Virginia Ctenucha caterpillars. The reddened prolegs, black and red head and yellow, and black and white tufts make for a colorful critter. The moist grassy fields around us are perfect habitat providing grasses and other plants for food.
I moved so many off the road and disturbed the caterpillars into their protective posture, but better that than squishing by a car!
The caterpillars are always a favorite around here, but so is the American Mink recently discovered on our property! We created this large brush pile over the past few years with various plant materials and knew it would provide refuge for many wild animals, but we didn't expect a mink (I don't know why....perhaps because you just don't see them everyday.)
While watching the newly fledged killdeer in the farm field behind us, I heard a pretty horrid "scream" and turned just in time to see a mink grab a full sized rabbit. Holy cow. The mink saw me then and rushed back into the pile with the rabbit via the entrance on the left of center in this photo.
The sighting shocked and excited me all at once. How cool! Steve missed the whole thing and we want to set up a wildlife camera to see if we can see more of this interesting animal. The brush pile is near a small stream, lots of wooded brushy areas and our created wetland...a perfect spot if you want cover, water, and lots of small mammals, birds, eggs and frogs for food.