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The Balance of Nature

May 28, 2012

Collage 038 – Handmade and Hand Painted Papers, 8×8″

This is another piece in my ongoing series of abstract landscape collages. I’m enjoying this theme, especially with so much country scenery around me. Its influence is unavoidable, so I might as well go with it for a while.

Closer to home, the garden is full of daily surprises. New shoots, blooms, bugs, worms, and hopefully enough of an organic mini-ecosystem that there will be a balance between the beneficial and not-so-beneficial. There is at least one huge green tomato hornworm chomping on my juicy tomatoes, but I haven’t found it/them yet. However, I will not give up until I do. Without chemical sprays in my yard, I’m hoping I can encourage these lovely little beneficial wasps to come do their dirty work on the hornworms.

What I didn’t know until last year is that they are the larvae of a hummingbird moth! At first glance I have mistaken those moths for hummingbirds a couple of times, as they are huge, and have a long proboscis that resembles a hummingbird’s beak.

Last year our teenage neighbor was in my back yard when I caught one of the worms and carefully removed it from the tomato plant. He wanted to keep it as a pet, so I put in in a big jar for him, punched holes in the lid, and we put in several tomato leaves. He had wanted to try to watch it make a cocoon. He came over for more leaves for several days, but the poor thing just didn’t make it.

This is our first ripe tomato this year. That was a week ago, and now several more are getting ready for the table. I just hope we get them before the caterpillars do.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 28, 2012 10:07 am

    Interesting bit about the tiny wasps and the tomato worms — eewww! Makes my story not so gross. Granddaddy paid us to pick off the tomato worms. After collecting the loot, the boys cooked them in a tin can and made little Bill eat them. One of the boys grew up to be a perpetual Boy Scour leader; one became a physicist; one was a cook in the Navy; Bill became the manager of a WinnDixie meat department. No, it’s still icky after 65 years.

    • May 28, 2012 3:32 pm

      Pretty icky, Annette — but boys are kind of icky in that way, aren’t they? Too funny!!

  2. May 28, 2012 4:26 pm

    Awesome collage, its fantastic!! 🙂

  3. May 28, 2012 9:18 pm

    I love the collage but that is a helluva of sweet looking and I will bet a great tasting tomato!!! I hope you have a fabulous week in the studio..check out my whispers in the trees project. Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

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