I wouldn't advise petting him as the hairs can irritate.
This big guy was found munching on a maple tree. He's around two inches long, so will probably chrysalis soon. I think this is a gorgeous, dramatic caterpillar with his yellow fur and elegant black tufts. Not all of you will agree, but I am a bug nut and proud of it. Although it has felt like summer since March, usually in late June and July we start seeing some really cool insects in the garden. I'm combing my milkweed for monarch eggs, but so far, no dice. I did catch a couple of black swallowtails doing the fandango in the fennel, so maybe we'll have caterpillars there. Everyone agrees that swallowtails and monarchs are beautiful butterflies. However, the dagger moth seems to have a snazzy adolescence then morphs into an obscure adult. Hmmm...how many of us had wild hair as a teenager and now are sedate brunettes?