J has been raking in the tomatoes lately and sharing his bounty with coworkers. The 6 plants have gone crazy and it's hard to see where one ends and the next begins. He has all sizes, pea sized Red Currents, cherry, grape, yellow pear and two "regular-sized" -one red and one pink.
We found chomped stems the other day and located two of the culprits- the Dread Pirate Roberts of the gardening world:
We knew there was at least one more since we could see the truncated stems on another plant, but these suckers are sneaky and hide under the many, many branches. I found it today and fetched my gauntlet of bravery. In case you don't know, these are big- 4 inches long and solid enough that you cannot ignore them in your hand. Plus they have like 10 sticky feet that they clamp on with as they rear up and wave their revolting heads about.
We call them tomato hornworms, but I found out today that this is actually a tobacco hornworm! The internet told me so, because it (the worm, not the internet) has straight lines and a red horn. No matter though, both can destroy a plant in no time. Both grow into big brown moths that do look cool, but this one didn't. It turned into a chicken snack.
I don't eat tomatoes, but I am keeping a close eye on my corn. I hope I get to it before the raccoons when it ripens. It's got a way to go still.
Many of our flowers have finished blooming and the landscape is turning browner by the day. There are still some bright spots though, like my hibiscus, and the sedum that is just starting to get it's color.
And my pink turtlehead:
As well as the gladioli that I planted among the mums. It was a discount grab bag of colors, so it is a happy chance that the colors match the pansies and mums nearby.
Not that I obsess over neat, matchy gardens, but I do enjoy serendipity when it happens.