Sunday, July 15, 2007

Horned worms and walking the plank

I cannot imagine a good reason for tomato hornworms to exist.

They do a tremendous amount of damage. They are pretty gross to top it off.

Maybe if you were six or seven years old and wanted to hear girls scream a lot, they might be useful.

My wife, who is a few decades older than six, still hates tobacco worms as we call them. Whenever she finds one, I have to dispatch it.

They are even nastier when they are covered with their little white eggs.

We have been pretty successful with our tomatoes this year. In fact they have done much better than last year's ugliest tomatoes ever.

We got our first tomato on July 5 here in the Cape Carteret on the NC coast.

We managed to hit that date in spite of a sneak attack by the Hornworms.

However, we have also been bothered by Fiddler Crabs eating the tomatoes as they get ripe.

Today when I went outside I found that the Hornworms had come after the tomatoes in force once again.

Instead of throwing them in the street and watching them explode on contact, I decidea more coastal punishment was in order.

I launched a small piece of tomato plant with the Horn Worm still attached into the salt water gut behind our home.

It was my version of making them walk the plank.

Only one of the four was able to get in position to suck in some air for a while. The others went quickly.

I have probably lost a dozen tomatoes to tomato monsters this year.

The devastation they have caused has been considerable. So far the score is Horned Worms 12, David 8.

I wonder if these worms make good Bluefish bait.