Raking Dead Sunshine and Devil’s Cats

All summer long the cherry trees have been soaking up the sunshine and converting it into green leaves. They are falling to the ground, and lie quietly, no longer shining, thousands of sunshine corpses. It doesn’t take long before there are mountains of them.

Before the chickens lay waste to the piles of fallen leaves, I need to cart them away to the garden. A flock of mischievous hens can destroy piles of fall leaves in minutes. Each flick of their legs sends a hundred leaves flying. Leave the piles unattended for long, and you’ll come back to fallen leaves scattered here and there, and chickens looking at you and wondering what they could have possibly have done to make you frown.

While carting the leaves to the garden, I ran into this phantasmagoric creature. How many barbs does this golden, slinking bit of fuzz have? If I were a bird, I’d think twice before swallowing this caterpillar of many quills. Interesting bit about the word “caterpillar”, it could be a variant of the French word “chatepelose” which means “hairy cat”. The Swiss German word for caterpillar, “Teufelskatz”, means “devil’s cat”. They must have similar caterpillars in Switzerland.

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