It’s a caterpillar year here. That means there are caterpillars everywhere. On fruit trees. On alder trees. On porches. Climbing up screened windows. Hitching rides onto people. Crawling about indoors.
I can’t help but think of the frog infestation of the Old Testament. In gardens. In homes. In beds, ovens and–truly more so–everywhere. I’m sure this caterpillar year is nothing like it at all.
A lady at my garage sale exclaimed to her son, “Oh! Don’t smoosh it!” as one of these things was cruising along the cement. “Just toss it aside into the bushes.”
Yes, just toss it aside. Because one more or one less really won’t make a difference.
There are still plenty more to eat my strawberry plants.
And my apple trees.
They’re good caterpillars, don’t you know. Just doing their natural caterpillar thing. I’m sure they’re doing some good, maybe turning up the soil or…um…pruning excess fruit baring branches. And whole trees.
In the evenings I spend about an hour picking them off the treasures that I really do care about, the ones I planted, the ones I’ve been watering and feeding and tending to.
But what I want is the fruit off my plants, and these caterpillars are destroying my garden! I’m not willing, however, to deprive them of their food source by cutting down my garden. So the poor plants will have to suffer a while. I tell them not to worry, that relief will come soon. I hope they’re listening.
Because good caterpillars doing their caterpillar-y thing aren’t really doing good things around here. And what I want out of my garden is fruit. And what my plants want is to bare is fruit.
So I carefully pick until the end comes. And I know the end WILL come. Here’s a boxful in the fire pit.
Yes, it seems like I’m fighting a losing battle. But I trust that soon their end will come, and that all things–foliage for starters–will be renewed.
And I shall enjoy the fruit.