Friday, September 28, 2007

Do the caterpillar roll

Nope, it's not a new dance craze. This is a family tradition that is too good not to share. When I was a teenager, my dad showed us this fun trick he did while driving. We lived close to the middle of nowhere, and there were lots of open country roads.

Dad calls this "caterpillar buzzing". Here's how he does it. When you're driving down the road, you can spot caterpillars crossing the street in front of you. This of course occurs in the fall when the caterpillars are out. So, you line up the outside of your tires with the caterpillar. Then just you come just short of squishing it beneath the tires of your car. If you just barely miss it, and strange phenomenon occurs. The caterpillar will ball up and go rolling across the road. You have to be quick to look in the side or rear view mirror to see it happen. This is what we call "Caterpillar Buzzing".

It's so much fun to watch for the little things crawling across the road in front of you while you're driving. But you have to be careful, if you get too close you'll just squish them. Or sometimes the best way to get them would be to swerve into oncoming traffic. This is not recommended.

But if you have wide open road and lots of caterpillars, this may be the sport for you. Happy caterpillar buzzing! This is one of my favorite things about fall.


Shannon said...

What a great memory. We get more banana slugs than caterpillars but I will give it a shot if I see some!

jen said...

You have no idea how hard I am laughing right now. The other day on my way home from one of my appointments I saw a big giant wooly bear caterpillar in the road and actually swerved to miss the poor little guy. But when I looked in the mirror to see if it was still moving, it was ROLLING ACROSS THE STREET. I thought I killed it and I felt bad.

(and the rest of this story, is that as I turned on to my street, a big giant butterfly flitted past my car... I wondered all day if it was some sort of sign, or just.. "hey, the caterpillar is ok.")