Friday, October 13, 2006

A Very Hungry Caterpillar This Way Passed

The caterpillar ate itself out of house and home.
(Click picture for larger view)
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"To eat is to appropriate by destruction."
~ Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980)
Last fall, my dad planted six small collard plants and they all died; at least that is what we thought. This past spring, one small plant with only three leaves took hold and began to grow. Each leaf developed into a branch and soon the plant was lush with gorgeous, broad green leaves. His hope was to wait until the plant flowered and collect the seeds. Then the silver butterflies came and laid their eggs and the yellow butterflies came and laid their eggs; suddenly the plant was over run with caterpillars. There were those whose green color camouflaged them on the leaf and others with silver white stripes and yellow dots; big ones, small ones, and all hungry. They ate voraciously, going through ten inch leaves overnight. We sprayed, they came back; again and again, all summer. Finally we gave up, the collard plant looked like a Halloween skeleton; even the center developing leaves looked withered. One day, just as quickly as they came, the caterpillars vanished. Now there may be a little hope on the horizon for the collard plant. It still looks anemic; a small bunch of healthy leaves growing a top the destruction. Who knows? Dad may get some seed out of this plant yet?

Submission for PhotoFriday topic "destruction". (end of post)

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