Processing with the caterpillars


We have been very busy these past few days – most posts on this to follow.  But, today, we went walking as part of a group of 29 people.  And we saw a huge number of wildflowers.

processional-caterpillarsWe also saw these caterpillars…

We are fairly confident that they are pine processionary moth caterpillars.  And we finally found out what those strange nest-like things were that we kept seeing in the pine trees…

what-the-cocoons-areThey are the cocoons of those same processionary moths.  We were warned not to touch them – we know they can cause some very nasty reactions.

Apart from the months and the cocoons, we are becoming more and more interested in trying to identify the flowers we see on our walks.  There is a gallery below and we would appreciate any corrections and help with identifying the mystery species.

It was a lovely walk in so many ways.  We started out near Camlık and walked up through Sultanayi and down to Kuşadası, coming out near Pygale beach.  We had explored and tried to find that path on our own but, in winter, we ran out of daylight and had to turn back.  Today it was warm.  We both got slightly sunburned…


17 responses to “Processing with the caterpillars

  1. Red ones definitely some sort of vetch.

  2. What kind of reactions after touching the cocoons?

  3. Annette newton

    Cant be leave you have the flower out even our daffodil s are slow it’s still so cold plus side soon be in turkey,and will see you soon x

    • It will be good to meet up again. We are hearing of flowers in the UK blackened by frost. We were forecast thundery showers today, but we’ve not had one yet!

  4. You don’t even have to touch the caterpillars, get close enough and you break out in a very itchy rash.

  5. But why? Is there some kind of poison in them?

    • Yes. I just pulled this from Wikipedia….

      ‘the larvae should never be handled as the abundant hairs on their bodies cause extreme irritation (urticaria) to the skin.[1] 5th stage larvae can eject hairs when threatened or stressed; the hairs, which have the form of harpoons, then penetrate and irritate all areas of exposed skin nearby with an urticating protein.[2] Allergic reactions may follow in susceptible individuals on subsequent exposure to the hairs.[3]’

      Please do not touch them and make sure that children know not to touch them.

  6. prob C. major – variations like this are fairly common, Borage family same as out very rare Alkanna mughlae. Your iris is a really good find – Iris histrioides – normally only seen in northern Anatolia. Orchis anatolica. Your O. spegodes is Ophrys mammosa. Mystery flower is Orchis papilionacea ssp heroica. ‘no idea what . .’ are Peas – Lathyrus sphaericus. ‘another mystery flower’ is Tragapogon porrifolius – Salsify a member of the group commonly called ‘Goat’s Beard’. Happy rambling!

    • Many thanks. I did see quite a lot of those irises around Lake Bafa about a week ago. They seem to be finishing now. Maybe they are migrating Southwards or maybe the ones we found had escaped from a garden.

  7. My little daughter was v allergic to caterpillars when we lived in Ankara so it’s interesting to read here that this happens! What lovely flowers! Your spring is much more advanced than it is here in Istanbul.

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