Viewing Review: Caterpillar-friendly. - VeggieBoards

Caterpillar-friendly. Edit
by Puppet Master Combined Rating: 5.0
It should be noted that I'm not 100% sure this is the one I got, but they're all the same, right?

It was mid-to-late summer. The sun was high, the sky blue, whispery clouds floated along the curve...
It should be noted that I'm not 100% sure this is the one I got, but they're all the same, right?

It was mid-to-late summer. The sun was high, the sky blue, whispery clouds floated along the curve of the globe far above my head. I took a step outside, squinted my eyes as the sun threw it's rays into my face, and shuffled down the concrete steps placed at the base of the front door.

"Oww", I mumbled, as my bare feet made contact with the burning sidewalk. I knew I probably should put some flip flops, or at least socks, on, but I could tough it out. After all, I spent all of my summers as a kid without ever so much as looking at a pair of shoes.

I made my way down the sidewalk, camera in tow, eyes set on my destination: The parsley planter.

A couple days prior, I made my discovery. While plucking some stalks of parsley as a snack for my bunnies, I noticed a familiar bobbly-shaped pattern on one of the plants. I poked it. Blooop! – Two orange stalks outstretched in response.

"Caterpillars! We have caterpillars!"

My family associates the smell of dill with caterpillars. If you offer one of us a sprig of dill, we will all have the same reaction, "Mmmm. Smells like caterpillars!" One time we bought a large cut dill plant from the grocery store, and had it sitting on the table in a cup of water. My sister came home and not even a second after she walked in, she exclaimed: "It smells like caterpillars in here!"

When I was a kid, we had a large barrel planter in our backyard. Dill was was the only thing grown in it*, even though I don't think anyone ever even used it in cooking. But every year, we'd see baby swallowtail caterpillars grow up into fine young adult swallowtail caterpillars (I don't have much of a memory of seeing them in pupa or adult stages) on the dill. We'd spend hours watching them, holding them, having them crawl along our arms, and making them ooze orange liquid on us in attempts to frighten us off. It never worked of course, and we continued enjoying their company each day. So, as you can imagine, we have very fond feelings towards caterpillars living on our plants.

* One year, my friend that lived one house over from the next, stopped by our fence while snacking on a bag of shelled sunflower seeds. We started acting silly, and she began throwing a couple seeds into the air. Shortly after, her mom called her home for dinner, and I went back to my roaming the yard. One of the sunflower seeds was in my hand, and while I had no expectations of it actually forming into a plant, I pushed the seed into the dirt in the barrel planter and promptly forgot about it. Within two months, a two-foot tall sunflower was sharing space with the dill. So for one year there was both a sunflower and dill growing in that planter.

I was so excited to see two fat caterpillars happily munching away on the parsley. Anyone that knows me knows I adore all sorts of cylindrical-shaped tiny, friendly animals: slugs, snails, worms, inchworms, caterpillars, whatever else I can't think of. I'd watch the caterpillars gnaw down leaf after leaf, wondering how such a tiny body can eat so much.
A couple weeks before, we noticed some tiny ones on one of our basil plants. Unfortunately, wasps realized this, and took the babies away to feed their babies. It was pretty sad, but "circle of life" and whatnot.
So, in order to protect my two fat, friendly caterpillars on the parsley, I suggested I bring them indoors. The idea was shot down, much to my dismay, and instead, we went over to the nearby gardening center, where we picked up some pond netting to wrap around the bench the planter was sitting on and keep my fatties safe. That's where this review comes into play.

First of all, don't ever expect to fold that stuff back up the way it was when it was packaged. Not gonna happen. Just like how you'll never fit your huge tent back into that tiny mesh or canvas bag it was bought in. Black magic.

Secondly, it worked "well" for it's purpose. I say "well" in quotes because the two of them ended up disappearing. There is no way on Earth a wasp could even get inside the netting, let alone drag a fat caterpillar out of the tiny squares, so the speculation is that, since it was late summer, they buried themselves in the dirt to pupate. But the netting did the job I wanted, and that was to make wasps to leave my babbies alone.

Finally, we still have tons of the stuff to use whenever we find more caterpillars and will do our honorable duty to protect them from the tyranny of the local wasp population. I do not feel bad because one time a wasp decided s/he was going to chill out on the blanket of my bed, and then when I turned the lights out for the night and climbed into bed, the jerkwad stung me right in the arm.

A++++ would buy again.

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