Monsoon showers are a good respite for the dry summers . It is blissful indeed when one is at home savoring hot bajjis and watching the rain,Monsoons and bajjis are synonymous with each other . The dark clouds did promise more rain . The trees were totally dripping wet and I was observing the huge Kadamb tree which had spread out its branches near my balcony.Butterflies and trees are interconnected with each other . They have specific host plants where they lay eggs . As I was interested in rearing butterflies unknowingly I had stumbled upon another treasure – trees .Often on outings with birders when I point my camera towards a tree they too start looking in the same direction , When I tell them its a tree not a bird they do find it weird . I can keep my self occupied for hours together admiring trees , yes it may sound crazy but believe me I agree with Herman Hesse who quotes “Whoever has leaned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”
On one of the leaves a black pattern was visible , very typical of the commander caterpillar . On having a closer look I knew my dream of locating a caterpillar on this tree had come true.
This caterpillar eats up a part of the leaf and it makes frass shield which is nothing but its droppings woven with silk. The caterpillar rests on the exposed mid rib of the leaf. The frass keeps away the ants , the caterpillar uses it as a shield. Amazing to know how these caterpillars defend themselves . This is how the commander butterfly looks like click here to know more .