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Big, Fat and Friendly

Caterpillar eating tomato This evening I was grilling up dinner when I spied a tomato plant with only one, half-eaten tomato.  Looking closer it seemed that the half-eaten tomato was devoured by a green leaf.  Then the common sense kicked in and I looked a bit closer.  We have a huge, beautiful caterpillar happily munching on our tomatoes.  My friend Rob let me know this is a Tomato Hornworm and is relatively harmless unless you count it eating all my tomatoes and flowers within one day (apparently it’s supposed to only eat the leaves).  Apparently it will turn into a sphinx moth.

Caterpillar eating tomato I quickly grabbed the camera and got some great pictures of this gigantic, yet cute, guy.  The “eyes” on the top of it’s head are there to scare birds into thinking he’s a snake.

Somehow Rachel thinks it’s not safe to touch, so I told her I’d check.  By now it’s likely moved on to bigger and better things… like our beefsteak tomatoes.

All I can think about is The Very hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.  Maybe I should put out some chocolate cake, salami, ice cream cones, cupcakes, lollipops, pickles, Swiss cheese, watermelon, cherry pie and those other things the hungry caterpillar ate.  by the way, you know you’re a father when you can recite most of a children’s book from memory on command. I can’t wait to see what this thing turns into!

Caterpillar eating tomato

All the caterpillar photos are up on Flickr.  The textures and colors are awesome, and man, I wish I had a spike for a tail.

How industrious do you think you could be if your entire life depended on it?  What would you do to make it possible for your whole being to transform into something more beautiful than it already is?



Jill and Sarah said…
This is so funny. Just a few minutes ago my 9 year old daughter noticed a leaf that's head was moving on our tomato plant. She thought, wait a minute! We watched as it turned itself upside down and ate an entire leaf and then we got a little scared and went to check the internet. When we typed "big green" Google suggested "caterpillar on tomato plant" and we found your page! Thank you! It is a VERY hungry caterpillar indeed.
Anonymous said…
Im in Arizona and tonight I found one of these little guys on my tomato plant. He was two inches streched out. I did not dare touch it, as I read that they bite. I cut off the leaf he was on and sad to say, but I killed it. They are beautiful but oh so harmful to my plants.
Anonymous said…
Just discovered one yesterday. He/she-not sure-has eaten an entire plant. My husband is so fascinated he wants to watch it grow and morph. I'm just hoping I don't find it one day, sitting in my living room with a Schlitz and some chips flippin' through channels. Huge and creepy to me but live and let eat the tomato plants husband says.

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