Caterpillars and Badges

View of a bog bathed in yellow afternoon light, framed by trees

This one is inspired by ALICIA363. Here are my badges and caterpillars! 😁

Garmin likes to gameify incentives to move and we could get a “point” for earning a “badge” for doing a 3-mile “walk” this weekend. I need two “points” to go from “level 2” to “level 3.” (Can you tell from my quotes I’m a looking a little askance at this gamification stuff? LOL). Still, it got me out there, so there’s that.

Garmin “badge” earned for doing a 3 mile “walking activity” this weekend.

So I decided to go for it. I haven’t walked that far all at once in a long while. And I only really started walking much at all again, in February.

Chart showing my weekly step totals over the past year.  From a low of about 8K around January, dramatically increasing in February, up to a maximum if around 38K in May.

So it was going to be a challenge but I suspected I could manage it. I was right.

Along the way there was a lot of milkweed. Instead of looking for frass on the ground, I just looked for chewed leaves. And once we started seeing that, there were monarch caterpillars EVERYWHERE!

Monarch caterpillar on the underside of an upturned chewed milkweed leaf
Another caterpillar picture .
If you look really closely you might notice this is the same caterpillar from the previous picture but in a different pose because i accidentally bumped it!
Close-up of a different caterpillar near some milkweed pods, looking like it’s thinking of making a chrysalis

It’s pretty scenic in places, too. I was glad we brought bug swatters because the mosquitoes were pretty thick in some places, and every once in a while a deer fly would buzz above my left ear. I had one following me like that for a quarter mile, before I got it.

I also discovered that my stride must be set wrong on my vivofit. H was along too, and his Forerunner has GPS. His watch says we went 3.37 miles. The vivofit (which just counts steps) says we went 3.17 miles. I have some math to do!

Overall, not a bad excursion. A little sore, but in a good way. And I got to see stuff. 😀

Update: DOVESEYES’ comment intrigued me. I had no idea there were monarchs in Oz and NZ!

Monarch distribution map from Wikipedia

10 thoughts on “Caterpillars and Badges”

  1. Wonderful the photos are so clear on here, I love the Monarchs but not the Milkweed it really is a weed here. In New Zealand it didn’t spread so much and the teachers would teach on the Monarch life cycle stages :), amazing creatures 🙂
    Thanks

        1. Sorry about the invasives. 🙁

          Oz and NZ have such unique and special sets of plants and animals, it always makes me sad to hear of yet another human-mediated disruption to the ecosystem. Whether intentional or not! 💚🌿

    1. From Wikipedia:

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monarch_butterfly

      “In the Americas, the monarch ranges from southern Canada through northern South America.[4] It has also been found in Bermuda, Cook Islands,[34] Hawaii,[35][36] Cuba,[37] and other Caribbean islands[10]:(p18) the Solomons, New Caledonia, New Zealand,[38] Papua New Guinea,[39] Australia, the Azores, the Canary Islands, Madeira, continental Portugal, Gibraltar,[40] the Philippines, and Morocco.[41] It appears in the UK in some years as an accidental migrant.[42]” (see distribution map I added at the end of the post because I can’t add it here)

      I need to look into this further. I suspect an introduction.

  2. Nice to hear you got out for a walk. You wasted no time getting on that badge! 😉 Congrats on being able to go the distance without any ill effects. So enjoyed the pictures of the caterpillars and the environment in which you found them. Fond memories of these caterpillars from my childhood.

    1. Thanks! I am kind of tired today; I’ll be taking it relatively easy for a few days, I think.

      Hoo boy the mosquitoes were out… my ankles are covered with pink polka dots! 😳
      🦟🦟🦟

      Glad you enjoyed the monarchs. H went back today and moved some of them to the volunteer milkweeds on our property. He’s concerned the town might mow the verge of the road where we found them. (I secretly think he just wants a bunch of pet monarchs he can follow. 😉)

  3. Well I found my way here – hope to do so again!
    So happy to see the caterpillars and badges! I’ve bookmarked your page – I don’t use the reading lists. As I find spark bloggers, I add their bookmarks to my iPad and read when I can. The Spark lives on! ❤️❤️❤️

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