Aliens!

Although they may look otherworldly, they’re not aliens. They’re called tomato hornworms, they ARE disgusting, and they are a scourge on my tomatoes this year.

Where did they come from? What are they? Why my tomatoes? What did I do to deserve this?!

It turns out that they are the larval stage of the hummingbird moth. Had I known this I would have swatted those suckers when I saw them flitting around the garden earlier this year, but they were pretty cool looking, and as many people do, we initially mistook them for actual hummingbirds!

What’s a guy to do about these little terrors? Well it turns out that unless I want to douse my tomatoes in insecticide (no thanks!) picking them off is the best I can do. Their natural predators are wasps, (unfortunately I killed all the wasps around the house earlier in the summer!) and ladybugs. Although I’d love to see a boatload of ladybugs battle it out for supremacy against the hornworm hoard, I don’t know if that’s a great option this late in the game. I’ll just have to stay vigilant and keep checking daily for more signs of these monsters.

The only upside here is that my kids LOVE playing with them. They were so excited coming home from Costco today because they wanted to go outside to “check on their babies” that I had picked and put in their bucket this morning. They’re outside right now as I type this poking and prodding and doing who knows what to them. It’s fun to see them excited about nature and animals and exploring their curiosity about things, and as long as they’re nowhere near my tomatoes I’m happy to let them go to town!

What Happened to April?

Seriously? It’s May already? That was a fast month. A couple rounds of visitors, some travel, work (both at home and at work), and a few pitched battles with the wasps that have decided to make their home on our deck turned the month of April into a blur!

I did manage to make it out fishing on the lake a couple times. Once on the kayak with my son, and once just from the dock with my nephews. The bass around the north end of the lake, especially the juveniles, were pretty aggressive going after real and artificial worms. Around the dock, the boys had no luck hooking the few nibbles they got.

We’ve gotten a late start to our gardening this year. Mainly due to losing a couple perennials out front this winter, and failing to sit down and come up with a solid landscape plan for the front of the house. We do have some herbs and veggies getting a late start in our reading nook that gets a ton of sun. When it’s not raining at least.

Speaking of rain, we closed out the month with a cloudy and rainy week, and look to be starting off May much the same. We definitely need the rain, but I wouldnt mind a little more nice spring weather. The only plus to the continued rain is that the grass seed I’m putting down this week will have some nice moist soil to start with.

That’s about all for now folks. More to come as spring hits its stride.

Cheers!