Sunday, April 26. Day 41 of Quito’s COVID19 Lockdown.
We wake before dawn and watch the lights shift across Pichincha. My husband muses, “Boredom is the compost of creativity.”
I check in on my baby caterpillars to see if they survived the night.
I open the jar and my heart sinks as I see dozens of little black balls. I think the caterpillars have died and these are the remains of their tiny bodies. My guilt rises.
I grab my phone and focus my camera into the jar and am relieved to find the babies happily inching along and see that the black balls are caterpillar scat. They are eating!
They have eaten holes into one of the lemon verbena leaves and so I decide to add more and break off a twig from my potted lemon verbena plant, adding it to the jar.
I have been beating back a plague of aphids in my beloved lemon verbena and one of the surviving aphids falls into the jar with the twig.
I balance my phone on the top of the jar, focus my camera and turn on the video. By sheer luck, I capture a baby caterpillar’s first encounter with this aphid and, by all accounts, my housebound aphid’s first encounter with a caterpillar. I film them as they slowly approach each other. The aphid tentatively reaches out it’s antenna to touch the caterpillar. The caterpillar raises its body, dancing back and forth momentarily like a miniature cobra. She stretches out her neck and then chomps on the aphid’s antenna. The aphid jumps back and stumbles away.
Wild kingdom, miniature scale.
Happy Sunday everyone.