Eight-spotted Forester ( Alypia octomaculata ) on Virginia Creeper ( Parthenocissus quinquefolia )

Eight-spotted Forester (Alypia octomaculata) on Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)

I am born hungry. Ravenous. I want to eat the world, and I can never be satiated.
— Gary Shteyngart (b. 1972), American satirist

Last spring we purchased and planted two Virginia creeper vines to establish privacy and to eliminate ambient light in our backyard. One, we planted at the base of our large trellis in the cottage garden next to our pond - the other, beneath our Japanese maple tree.

Today, while trapping yet more Japanese beetles at the pond, I spotted a caterpillar. Michael did some research and we immediately identified him as the eight-spotted forester moth - whose host plant is often, Virginia creeper. I think he is such a lovely caterpillar...and the moth is equally pretty; I'm eager to see if we will spot more larvae (or adult moths)! 

Japanese beetles continue to defoliate the creeper; I will be so happy to see the last of them! This morning we heard cicadas in the maple tree and this afternoon I found two tiny Monarch larvae on our butterfly weed - 1st and 2nd instars - munching away.

Our yard is undoubtedly...a living landscape! 

Jessica Allen explores the fields and forests of Pennsylvania with her artist-husband, Michael Allen, and their son, Benjamin. She shares her observations through words and pictures of everyday magic and beauty she sees in her world.