Today I am going to have a tooth pulled, so there is not much time to write. However, I did want to share a quotation from Hal Borland’s An American Year. (Borland was a nature writer who wrote for the New York Times. In upcoming posts, I hope to write a little more about this terrific writer.)
This quotation is a perfect example of what might be called a strange coincidence. A few weeks ago, I had never heard of tobacco hornworms and did not know that they turned into the enchanting hummingbird moths. Then I discovered the hornworm in my garden, did some research, and uncovered the Horrid Truth.
A week or so later, I came upon this passage in An American Year. “Those dark, swift wings hovering over the garden these August evenings are moths, not hummingbirds as they appear at first glance in the dusk. Hawk moths, some call them, or sphinx or hummingbird moths. They are easily mistaken for hummingbirds…But they are true moths, and at one stage of their development they have been voracious hornworms feeding on tobacco or eating the heart out of ripening tomatoes.”
Oh, isn’t that the truth! The fair Juliet is no more. All the plants have been pulled from my little garden. I threw them, hornworms and all, into the woods, where no doubt the hornworms will thrive and reproduce and return to torment my plants next fall.
But after examining hornworms so closely, I just couldn’t bring myself to kill them.