Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Caterpillars, Tomatoes, and Kitchen Chores

(Click on the thumbnail for the bigger, better version)

There I was standing at the kitchen sink—apron, rubber gloves, the whole rig, fully immersed in cleaning the kitchen, except for admiring the clouds, and the horses, and—and "tap, tap", it is The Husband beckoning me to come outside.
Now, to fully appreciate the tone of the moment you need a bit of background. I am not a full-out slob and I have never lived in what anyone would call a pigsty. Still, neither did anyone ever describe me as fastidious. I own white cotton gloves only for handling prints, mats, and glass when matting and framing my work. It would never cross my mind to apply the white glove test to furniture or any other belongings. Please.

I tell you all this just so you appreciate the risk of interrupting me while I am in the midst of a household chore. The mood is usually transitory, at best.

With a sense of misgiving, I dropped my chore and headed out the door. The Husband would not give up a single hint as to the cause for the summons. (Sure, I would have known had I seen the photos you have seen.) I had to follow him to the tomato plants and wait patiently (even as the enthusiasm for my chore in the kitchen waned), while he built the suspense as to who or what had had the temerity to munch on his plant.

Immediately, I was able to eliminate from the suspect list the baby bunnies, along with the ground squirrels, because of the height of the damage. Once again, I slandered the deer. I am ashamed of myself for jumping to such a conclusion.

When The Husband felt he could draw out the suspense no longer, he finally guided me around to the point where I could view this king-size caterpillar. Am I naive, or is this guy really huge? Maybe I just don't know that much about tomato plants and creepy crawler critters, but I was impressed.

Oh, by the way, there is a happy ending. The kitchen got cleaned up, also. Not bad after an interruption that engrossing.


  1. Anita, if that guy was a fish we would call him a keeper!

  2. Steve - Thanks for the comment. That is a great comparison. I know I had not never before seen a caterpillar that size.

  3. He looks like he could take a chuck out of a finger! I'm sure I've never seen one so large. And I'm impressed you went back to your cleaning! ;-)

  4. Roberta - Thank you for visiting. Indeed, he does look as though he is built for serious chomping.

    Every once in a while that urge to clean is powerful. Have to take advantage when it is there.

  5. I've seen this kind before but I can't tell you what type it is. The one's I've seen have been large but this one must have just finished off a couple of your tomato plants...he looks stuffed! ;-)

  6. Earl - Your thoughts are pretty close to mine. One look at this guy and I marveled there was anything left of that plant. He had partners in crime, of course, but none of them matched his imposing physique.

  7. I think that the atomic testing done in the desert in the 50's can cause this type of mutation. I've seen it in the movies. If I were you, I would arm myself heavily because after they finish off the tomatoes, who knows what they will be hungry for!!!
    I would say "nice capture", but I don't think I need to.

  8. Ken - I knew I could count on you for a scientific analysis of the situation. We aren't that far from the desert, so I think you have hit on the answer. I will let my husband know. Sould we buy more tomato plants to keep them happy or order explosives?

  9. I think that the husband offered you quite a nice diversion from your chores. :) This critter was something to see. Maybe you should have kept it in a terrarium or something so you could see what it turned into. You'd have plenty of photographic opportunities along the way!

  10. Paul - I knew I would later regret not following through on my impulse to keep the thing, but took the easy way out. Oh, well, we seem to have an undending supply of the little munchers. Maybe soon.


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