I'll get off the caterpillar spree in a moment, but before moving on to other subjects, I have to share this outrageous bag of goo. It's a long and complicated story, but through a very fortuitous series of events, I found myself up close and personal with one of our strangest caterpillars today. This species is also very seldom seen, at least in these parts. I know of one other person in Ohio has found the following animal, and many of my veteran cat-hunting friends who have been at it for years have yet to encounter one.
As with many of our most spectacular caterpillars, the adult moth is rather a Plain Jane. It is called the funerary dagger moth, and it wouldn't warrant near the attention that its bizarre larva does.