Colorful Caterpillar

I just returned home last night, from a 10-day trip to Minnesota. A lot of interesting experiences, as well as visiting with relatives on my wife’s side. One of the areas I photographed was the North Shore area, along Lake Superior. At Grand Marais, I stopped to photograph the lighthouse in the harbor. While walking the shoreline, I came upon a very colorful caterpillar. I have no idea of it’s identity … I checked a couple of reference books last night and couldn’t find it shown in them, so if anyone knows the identity, please let me know (Update: My friend Jeff (@MyNatureApps on Twitter) suggested it is a Spotted Tussock Moth caterpillar. After Googling that, I agree with Jeff). Here are a couple of images of the beauty.

If you look closely, you can see small droplets of water on the caterpillar. These were not dewdrops, but rain; there was a steady mist of rain that day:

Caterpillar on some rocks

Caterpillar on some rocks

One of the reasons for visiting the North Shore during this visit was to photograph some fall colors. Well, true to form,  the color show was later than projected and there was just not sufficient color to make any worthwhile images. Another complicating factor was the weather. One day, the fog was so thick that you could only see a few car lengths ahead of you, so if color was there, it certainly was not visible. On the following day, storms hit and strong rain and wind kept me inside the motel all day. But I did capture something totally unexpected, and I’ll share that experience in an upcoming post.

Photographic equipment used:

  • Canon 7D body (handheld, no tripod was used)
  • Canon 180mm macro lens
  • ISO 250
  • Aperture f/8
  • Shutter speed 1/20 sec. (Not ideal for handholding, but due to weather conditions, I had left the tripod in the car. With this beauty quickly crawling along the rocks, not enough time to go back to the car to get the tripod. In this situation, always best to takes lots and lots of photos … and hope for a few that are reasonably sharp!)



Posted in Insect Photography, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Travel Photography
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