Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Horning in on my turf

This is my first year growing tomatoes from seed. So far, I only have one really gigantic tomato to show for it, and a bunch of little ones that are just starting at this late date. Strange. So, there are things that I don't know. For instance, I didn't know it was going to take this tomato more than a month to go from green (I think I posted a picture of it at the time) to the orange-ish color you see here. I think I might as well pick it soon before a) some animal comes along and eats it like they did with my green peppers or b) it ends up with some blight I can't control or c) something completely unforeseen that is entirely likely given that I am an amateur here.

I did know that tomatoes are subject to pests. What I didn't know was how freaked out I would be when I finally saw
one. When this little bastard, and I don't think I am speaking too strongly here showed up on my other tomato plant this morning, I thought, that's it. I'm done for.
I promptly pulled off the stem he is attached to in the photo and took a picture so I could figure out what the hell he was. He is a Tomato Hornworm. And he's a nasty little bugger. And boy did he shoot a lot of juice when I squished him with my shoe. What I can't figure out is where in the world he came from. Is there some sort of worm convention I am not aware of where all the little worms meet-up to find out where the good chow for the season will be? I've never seen anything like this thing and he was huge! I was actually afraid to touch it (highly unusual for me) because of its menacing looking tail on the end. And short of using pesticides, it seems my best bet is removing them and stepping on them. I didn't see any more than this one, but you know, where there is one there is always another.

So, if any of you have any suggestions at all regarding the tomato adventure let me know.

Oh, and also, folks, I added a little map! It's in the upper right hand corner and I would love for you to stick in your pin so I can see where you are from. And there's a link too if you want to get one of your own!


Mindy said...

That is one freaky looking worm!

Eleni said...

And you can't even see in the photo how really creepy it is, it's got all these tentacle looking things up near its mouth and it has hair off of the bottom also. Very weird

Holly in CT said...

That has to be the most ugly bug on the face of the earth. I can't tell which end is the front or back but it's either puking or pooping. I sure hope there was only one!

Connie said...

Also, the little eye-like designs all along the length of his body are creepy. Eek. I don't think I could have even stepped on it...