SCHWENKSVILLE – Behmerwald Nursery owner and manager Bill Donnelly may still be smarting from a sting – several stings, actually – he willingly suffered last week on behalf of a friend. Painful sacrifices made by the Garges Road grower made news Saturday (Aug. 13, 2016) in the Pocono Mountains.
Donnelly and Pocono Record newspaper outdoor reporter Rick Koval share an interest, although their degree of enthusiasm varies, in an intensely potent stinging insect (above) known as the saddleback caterpillar.
The brightly colored saddleback is covered with “venom-tipped spines, which (cause) intense stinging when brushed against exposed skin,” Koval wrote. He knew Donnelly had encountered them at his Schwenksville nursery business, and Koval hoped to capture several so he would rear them into cocoons and, later, into saddleback moths.
Koval traveled from the Poconos and arrived a couple of hours later in the Perkiomen Valley? What happened next? Ouch! It wasn’t pretty, the writer claims.