I'll get off the catepillar jag after this post, promise! But I've become smitten with everything about caterpillars: their appearance, behavior, interaction with plants and predators, and overall ecological importance. As a field of study, they are exquisite and provide endless intellectual stimulation.
And as a photographic subject, caterpillars are nearly without parallel in the insect world. They embody everything that I like about shooting nature. There is very much the element of the hunt involved, and that requires some fairly detailed knowledge of the quarry. How many caterpillars do you see when you are out hiking about? One must train their eye to find them. Also, objects that are long and cylindrical can be surprisingly hard to photograph well. Some thought must be given to the pose, and the photographer must make the effort to put themselves in odd positions to fire from interesting angles.
The hidden world of caterpillars is indeed a strange and interesting place. I'll tip you now to an event that you won't want to miss. Next year's Midwest Native Plant Conference features Dr. David Wagner as the keynote speaker. Dave is author of the incredible guide, Caterpillars of Eastern North America and he's an incredible and engaging speaker. We'll also be conducting evening field trips to search out cool cats such as the ones in this post, and many more. CLICK HERE for conference details and block it off on next year's calendar.