Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Follow the Leader Moths
Follow the Leader People

IO Moth (Automeris io) adult.
IO Moth Automeris io caterpillars sting. Adult IO moths are soft and fuzzy, unable to hurt anything.

IO Moth (Automeris io) caterpillars follow each other to find fresh food.
(Click on the photo to see a larger version.)

As caterpillars (watch out, they sting!) they followed each other to fresh food when their host plant (Hackberry Tree Celtis sp.) had been stripped of all leaves. Nose to tail, they go up and down, over and under, until a new plant has been found or they eventually starve. If the front caterpillar finds food, the followers are able to eat.

IO Moth (Automeris io) caterpillars follow each other blindly, going in circles around a center caterpillar.
BUT when they lose their trail, they are some confused cats! Four caterpillars here have lost their trail and are circling one caterpillar sitting still on a Hackberry Tree Celtis sp. stem.

Common sense is not the most noticable attribute of these caterpillars.

I'm often like that. I blindly follow someone or some idea without thinking things through. Whether it's something I want to purchase, a place I want to go, or an attitude, I tend to follow the person I'm with at the time. Good or bad, I tend to follow.

That's what happened with the caterpillars in the last photo ... they simply blindly followed each other. Of course, that's what is happening in the middle photo too. But in the middle photo, they found food. The bottom photo shows them as they went in circles around, around, around, around ... apparantly not noticing that they weren't going anywhere.

Watching IO moths (Automeris io) remind me that I need to be careful who I follow. Even the best people in the world make mistakes! But we can follow each other's examples to a certain extent.

Luke 6: 39-40 “Then Jesus gave the following illustration: “Can one blind person lead another? Won’t they both fall into a ditch? Students are not greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher.”

There is one logical choice about who we can follow completely; the person who never made a mistake, of course, Jesus Christ.

Matthew 16:24 “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.”

1 Peter 2 “1 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered[k] for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.
22 He never sinned,
nor ever deceived anyone.[l]
23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted,
nor threaten revenge when he suffered.
He left his case in the hands of God,
who always judges fairly.
24 He personally carried our sins
in his body on the cross
so that we can be dead to sin
and live for what is right.
By his wounds
you are healed.
25 Once you were like sheep
who wandered away.
But now you have turned to your Shepherd,
the Guardian of your souls.”

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