I was checking in with the road crew in front of my house this morning as they were fixing washouts from Friday’s storm (6.2 inches of rain, they reported.  Goodness.) when I noticed this wacky-looking creature.

White-marked tussock moth caterpillar-2 White-marked tussock moth caterpillar-1

The guys in hard hats immediately warned me not to touch it — It’ll bite you! — but I took my chances.  It turns out there’s a broad concern in the land about the dangers of fuzzy caterpillars, but I found a comforting guide to self help after caterpillar attacks.  This particular fuzzy threat is called the White-marked tussock moth caterpillar (Orgyia leucostigma).  I released it back into the wild, to find more victims.