We planted cherry tomatos this summer, if by ``we'' you mean ``bunny_hugger'', and one day in August she was admiring how great all the plants looked. The next day she noticed how one of them had lost about one-third of its volume and so many of its branches were spindly and denuded. But what could happen to a healthy tomato plant that fast?
Caterpillars, it turns out. There was this incredibly fat, bulbous green thing clinging to one of the not-quite-denuded branches and it turns out that yeah, these guys will eat tomatos most prodigiously. We picked up the critter and took it to the backyard, along with the tomatos it had started to eat and hadn't yet finished. In a few days, all going well, it should have turned into a not-quite-attractive moth. And we examined the plants for more caterpillars. Turned out there were at least two more, and strikingly hard to see at that. We brought them over to their companion and the poor battered plants made it through the rest of the growing season well enough.
So the tomato plants were one of the things we were examining closely when the eclipse came around, back in August. (Remember that?) We got only a partial eclipse, enough to turn the sun into a crescent but not enough to make the sky truly dark or nature truly weird. Still we delighted in the event, building pinpoint projectors with paper plates and then with our crossed fingers and looking how the eclipse reflected in our pond and between leaves and all that. And even saw neighbors along the street come out and marvel at shadows in parallel to us. Ad we could wonder whether the caterpillars, or the moths, that had eaten our salad plans were around and what they made of that.
Trivia: In 1845 Lieutenant Charles Wilkes was ordered by a jury to pay two of the marines he had confined and flogged in Honolulu $500 in damages. He was found ``justified in all his acts save that of imprisonment in a foreign port and neglect''. Source: Sea of Glory: The Epic South Seas Expedition, Nathaniel Philbrick.
Currently Reading: The Fascinating World of Graph Theory, Arthur Benjamin, Gary Chartrand, Ping Zhang.
PS: Now for a bunch of pictures of the International Flipper Pinball Association's championship!
Giant stuffed mammoth standing on a pool table in the front room at Fun! Billiards and Gameroom Superstore, location of the 2017 International Flipper Pinball Association National Championship and World's Women Championship. Pretty sure none of this needs further explanation.
bunny_hugger taking a chance to warm up on Whirlwind ahead of the International Flipper Pinball Association's World's Women Championship back in March 2017.
The Women's World Championship brackets. I knew three of the sixteen people on the roster! Two of them would even recognize me!