It's time I took a break from current events... everything is horrible, and things don't look like they'll get any better anytime soon. As is typical, it's time to take some solace in nature. This has been a good summer for bugs... we've had beetles the length of your finger and cute green caterpillars, so how about a cute green caterpillar as long as your finger? I found this critter climbing up the railing of the back entrance to the house:
Poking around the t00bz, it was pretty easy to figure out that this was a late-instar caterpillar of the polyphemus moth (Antheraea polyphemus), judging from it's sheer size, and the yellow 'collar' surrounding its head. It must have fallen off of my neighbor's oak tree, oaks being one of the moth's favorite food trees.
Here's a closeup of the caterpillar's head, providing a good view of the leaf-munching apparatus of this (how should I put it?) very hungry caterpillar.
I kept tabs on this breakfast-sausage sized caterpillar for most of the afternoon, watching as it slowly worked its way across the yard, towards the tree from which it had fallen. If it makes it back to the canopy, it will develop into a huge, gorgeous moth.