Poor Mrs. M. actually bought 20 milkweed plants yesterday (at 6 bucks apiece, no less). By this morning, they had been eaten down to the stems. She was desperate. Mrs. W., who gave me 17 caterpillars to release just the other week, said her plants had recovered enough to take 20 of the smallest ones. Mrs. M. kept about 8 or 10 of the biggest ones that would be ready to pupate soon. I got the rest. I plucked them off the empty stems, from the rims of the plant-pots, from the walls and other surfaces where they had begun to wander when their food supply ran out. I just put them in a plastic box and took them to the arboretum. But before I made like Johnny Appleseed, (only with caterpillars), I took a picture looking down inside the box. That way I could take the time to count them later.
*There might have been a few small ones under the leaves that I missed.
Update: I turned today's adventure and pictures into a digital scrapbook page and posted it on Flickr.