If you are ever out wandering around and you happen upon a furry looking...uh, thing, that appears to be munching out on the leaves of a hardwood tree or shrub, do yourself a favor and DO NOT TOUCH IT.
Sure, it's cute. Sure, it looks soft and furry. But remember what I said: DO NOT TOUCH IT!
What you don't see beneath that furry little exterior are the sharp, hollow spines attached to little poison glands in the body. Break one of those hidden spines and you'll know it - instantly. It will burn and hurt. In some very sensitive individuals it can cause severe reactions. And it doesn't take much to break one of the spines. Years ago one of these critters fell out of a tree and brushed against Mr. Swamp's arm. He described the sensation as like having acid sprayed on him.
So what is this little marvel? It is one of the stinging caterpillars (also called urticating caterpillars).
Fuzzy wuzzy with a punch. Do NOT touch!!
Megalopyge operularis - Puss Caterpillar, the larval form of the Southern Flannel Moth.
Slate Run Historical Farm Megapost
17 hours ago