Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Tomato Hornworm, an Earthquake and a Hurricane

Take a look at these suckers! Hubby came in, with three tomato stalks with these guys on them. Not knowing what they are, we turned to the internet. Hubby thought the white sacks were some sort of wasp eggs, and he was right! Turns out, this is a tomato hornworm- the biggest worm in the states. Fullsize it is 4 inches long. The white sacks are not its own eggs, but maggots from a wasp. The wasp injects the hornworm with its eggs. The eggs develop, start eating the innards of the worm and the maggots push through the skin and form a cocoon . Eventually they will hatch into the wasp. These wasps are good wasps (apparently there is such a thing as a good wasp) and will hunt both the tomato and tobacco hornworm. We didnt want to take any chances, and let the chickens devour the "treats".

In other news, we all survived the 5.8 earthquake that hit on tuesday. I was out to lunch with a girlfriend. I though it was just blasting at the quarry. We found out it was an earthquake when people started texting us to see if we were ok. Ha! And I grew up in California. You would think I would know what an earthquake is...

On to the next natural disaster- people here are preparing for Hurricane Irene, which is supposed to hit this weekend. I am preparing by making cookies. Yup, folks, I am not too afraid of this hurricane. We are pretty far inland, and up in the hills. I imagine all we will get is some rain and wind. We do have jugs of water in storage (that we have anyways), and plenty of canned food, should we not be able to get out. I am hoping we dont lose power as our chest freezer is full of home grown chickens...

Between natural pests and natural disasters, you would think we are feeling pretty low here. Quite the opposite. Thursdays I am off work, and I was really productive. I started this morning on the deck, in my new robe, with a cup of coffee and a library book. I watched the thunderstorms roll in and decided I should do farm chores before it actually started raining. Sure enough, near the end of my rounds, the sky let loose. All day long the rain clouds and the sun have been playing tug of war. Being confined to the house, I was able to get a lot of work done. I cleaned the bathroom, which really needed to be cleaned. And by really, I mean reeeaaallllyyyy... as in even I was embarrassed to use it. I organized the bedrooms, did some work on the computer and entertained a good friend and her daughter. We made chocolate chip cookies. I had a coupon the other day for dark chocolate chips (I lurve me some dark chocolate!) so we used those in our cookies. I was out of vanilla extract, so we substituted peppermint extract. YUm!!! After they left I split my time between cleaning and reading. Hubby came home to dinner on the table, and fresh cookies. Not a bad thing to come home to if you ask me. I cherish my days off, and I am dreading going back to work tomorrow.

I am going to spend the rest of my evening reading and eating a cookie or two. Bring on the hurricane...

1 comment:

  1. Have just spent the morning coffee reading your blog. I believe I got here from the weekend homesteader's blog lured in by your title of today's post. As my youngest son just moved to MD in time for the first earthquake in 30 years and for Irene I just had to check out your post. Then I read back a few. And then.... I started at the beginning. Thank you for a lovely way to spend my rainy morning and coffee. Have a blessed day! denise/deBRAT in Tampa Bay Florida