When I was a young girl in Western North Carolina, I use to go moth “hunting” at night outside our front door (I still do this when I’m home). Not every night but a few times a week white moths with black rings would be gathered on the brick under the porch light, you know just chillin’. I would catch them gently, hold them for a second, look at them up close, then let them go. I know now that they are called the Giant Leopard Moth or Eyed Tiger Moth but I prefer Hypercompe scribonia.. even if it is hard to pronounce.
In kindergarden through 5th grade I had a lot of free time after school to go exploring around the woods that surrounded our house. Often I would find these really prickly caterpillars and be wary, as I was told not to pick up things that might be poisonous.. hehe, most children were probably told that. I picked them up anyway and sometimes it would prick me and hurt for a few hours. Over time whenever I came into contact with them I learned to get a stick, let them crawl onto the stick and then onto your hand, and just to act like its environment. That way you got to hold it, and it wouldn’t sting you.
It wasn’t until today that I put it together that these two creatures were the same organism.