Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.
~Henry David Thoreau
Last week I shared some images of the some of the little things that are so fascinating in a big landscape like Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. I am aback this week and decided to check on one particular little thing while I was in the area – the palamedes swallowtail larva I found on a red bay leaf. I pulled up to the location of the small sapling, got out, and looked. At first I didn’t see it, but then…
Sure enough, it is still on the same plant, a couple of leaves away. But, it has changed its attire and looks very different this week.
It has molted to what I think is its fourth instar (they usually molt 5 times before pupating). It now looks more like part of a leaf and less like bird poop. But it still has those bold false eyes and can resemble a small snake when it puffs its head and arches its body.
It moved about a foot away from its last leaf perch. Here’s hoping it makes it to another molt and fly away as a beautiful butterfly of the swamp.