There s/he clung, blissfully chomping in a yummy green forest when all of a sudden a Big Bad Wolf (that would be Me) shows up outta nowhere, leering with obvious nefarious intent. Look, if some funny-looking giant sticks its nose into your dinner, what else is a poor wittle proto-papillon supposed to do?
It skunked me.
Luckily, my eyeball wasn’t as close as it had been seconds before because although the noxious substance those caterpillars emit might be unlikely to cause real harm to homo sapiens, I wouldn’t like to test that theory when it comes to critical systems such as, say, sight, touch or smell.
And it’s not like I blame the critter. I did have nefarious intentions, which I executed immediately. In my defense, though, understand:
1) That “forest” is a parsley patch sited mere inches from the equally delicious but far more valuable carrot kingdom and
2) All’s fair in love and vegetable gardening so you’re not getting your voracious gnashers on my bounty of Chantenays, Mr. Not-Quite-A-Butterfly!!!*
Of course, you probably know I avoid smushing insects whenever possible (and never crush stink-bugs, that’s what vacuum cleaners are for!) so, in this case, I simply tore off the stalk and tossed both worm and stem into the wild mint several yards away. Did the ‘pillar find some other food source in time to cocoon or did a duck or other hungry avian find him first? Alas, we may never know. (And I’m not digging around looking for evidence. What if it’s still there…and angry???!)
What I do know is this: If you want to protect those last sweet carrots of 2013, scanning the greenery for signs of late worm incursion is still recommended. Also, if you look on the ground near the target veggies, sometimes you can find telltale signs that something’s been supping.
Remember what we say down here on the backyard farm–
*Yes, I am a Bad Person.
**Can I get that in a bumper sticker?
More on stinky caterpillars:
Copyright 2013, Lori Fontanes